Saturday, April 11, 2015

Amped by Daniel H. Wilson

1) I'm really surprised I even bothered to read this book.
2) I'm more surprised that I enjoyed it.

I listen to a few science podcasts but my favorite is Science...sort of. When I was listening to the backlog (episode 166), I heard an interview with Daniel H. Wilson while I was commuting to work. He was discussing his science fiction book, Amped, and it sounded interesting but honestly, I don't really read science fiction so I wasn't inclined to read the book.

But the more they talked, the more I thought I should give it a shot. So I downloaded it from the library as an audiobook and started it on February 3rd. I finished it today, April 11th. No, it's not really that long of a book.

Amped is set in the near-future where humans have a choice to get brain implants to help them become smarter or faster. It's used for kids who are a little slow or people with mental illnesses or brain problems (ie. epilepsy). But the non-implanted people are getting upset about the amps (implanted people) getting ahead in schools and work. How dare they be able to change themselves to be better? We come in to the story with Owen, a teacher who is trying to talk a student off the ledge, literally. Samantha is an Amp and she doesn't think the world will accept them. She jumps.

Things start going downhill fast because Samantha wasn't wrong. Laws are set that say Amps are not considered people. They have no rights. Owen is forced on the run since he has an implant for epilepsy following an accident.

Owen ends up in Eden in a trailer park refuge with other Amps and soon discovers that his implant isn't what he thought it was. He is right in the middle of a war: between the Pure Humans and Amps. And it's getting ugly.

It took me a bit to get through because I'm not terribly intrigued by science fiction and, in the beginning, it just didn't grab me. I wanted to finish it though so I kept going. I forget which chapter or point finally dragged me in but this book really picked up for me and I couldn't stop listening to it. I finished the last 5 hours in a matter of days.

After this, I'm definitely not opposed to trying out Wilson's other books and giving more Sci-fi a try.


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