Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Amped: An "average" novel by Daniel H. Wilson

Set in the future, "Amped" tells the story of a world where people can be enhanced by technology; have ADHD? Amp it up and you'll be the brightest kid in your class; want to be the next Jordan? Amp it up and they'll give you the extra height and motor skills you'll need. The only problem? All the pure humans who will hate you for your new abilities. Which is exactly where the protagonist, Owen Gray, a high school teacher with a simple brain implant that cured his childhood Epilepsy finds himself when the war between humans and amps begins.

The Good: It begins with a splat and continues on an uphill roller coaster ride for half of the book. Technically the writing is good, character descriptions and scenery are nice and easy to see in my mind. I enjoyed some of the characters more than others, like Lyle, a great bad guy. I love "good" bad guys, they make a good book to me; and I was not disappointed with Lyle, ruthless, cunning, and this side of sane. Nick was another standout for me, good sidekick.

The Bad: Pacing in the second half of the book is slow moving; details of construction work by exoskeleton wearing amps was a little boing. And, I found the book was overly convoluted with metaphors, for example, "Zenith" mode sounds so cool and I kind of imagined it like watching Neo in the matrix trilogy, but it wasn't near as fun; 3-2-1 eyelids flutter and lame high school teacher becomes an expert fighter. Seriously, by the time I read the final fight scene I was struggling to care about the characters and reading through to the end of this book like walking through a swamp, slow and trudging.  though many of the characters including the protagonist were underdeveloped.

Overall it's ok.

Want to check it out? Amped:A Novel

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