Amped by Daniel H. Wilson

Amped by Daniel Wilson

 

I’ve been eyeing Daniel Wilson’s sci-fi novels for a while – Robopocalypse got a lot of praise a while back, and Amped came out last year. I’ve been meaning to try this for ages and so I grabbed Amped from the library a couple of weeks ago and I FINALLY got around to reading it. I’m feeling lazy, so here’s the description from Amazon:

It’s the near future, and scientists have developed implants that treat brain dysfunction—and also make recipients capable of superhuman feats. Exploiting societal fears of the newly enhanced, politicians pass a set of laws to restrict the rights of “amplified” humans, instantly creating a new persecuted underclass known as “amps.” On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old schoolteacher Owen Gray is forced into hiding, only dimly aware of the latent powers he possesses. To escape imprisonment, and to find out who he really is, Owen seeks out a community in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world—or destroy it.

It’s a fun idea. It reminded me a tiny bit of Nexus by Ramez Naam, which was also about the idea of posthumans – humans with enhanced abilities thanks to technology. It’s something that could be decades away, or it could just be a few years away, but it does seem a path that we’re likely to go down as a species and I like that authors are playing with the topic.

However. Amped didn’t do it for me. It was a quick read, but it wasn’t fun or engaging. It required some leaps of faith, because Wilson didn’t spend much time on world-building. It wasn’t particularly thought-provoking or exciting. I never really connected with the main character. Owen is supposed to be almost thirty years old, but his thoughts and mannerisms made me picture him as a teenager while I read. That almost makes me want to classify this as young adult – the sci-fi elements are there, but the character seemed so juvenile and the writing just wasn’t good. It was almost as if the author decided he didn’t really like the idea of the novel, but he had to finish it anyways so he rushed through writing it.

Sooo. Yeah. This is coming off kind of harsh, and I don’t mean it to sound that way, but this was definitely a disappointment.

Sarah Says: 2 stars

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