Amped by Daniel Wilson

Author and roboticist Daniel H. Wilson blew readers and critics away with his debut adult novel, Robopocalypse (which Bob M. reviewed last year) and this year he’s returned with an equally enjoyable thrill ride through a near future where technology, religion and politics all combine in a very explosive way. If you’re looking for some fun and exciting summer reading, look no further than Amped by Daniel H. Wilson.

In the near future there exists a technology that can greatly improve the brain function of those born with neurological disorders. The tech in question is a small chip implanted into the brain that doctors monitor and maintain through a tiny port on the temple. Owen Gray’s father invented this new tech, and after Owen developed epilepsy when he was younger, his Dad made sure that Owen received an implant to control his seizures. Sounds fine, right? Well the tech can also vastly enhance the brains of those without any problems too. Those who choose to become “amped” — as well as those who were part of a secret military test with this new tech — have an unfair advantage over the rest of us regular humans.

This issue becomes a massive dividing wedge in our country (and lately, what issue doesn’t?) when an ultra-conservative Senator takes up the cause of “Pure Pride” and turns the media and the masses against the “amps.” Eventually the Supreme Court rules against the amps, stating that any contracts into which any of the amped humans have entered are null and void since they have the unfair advantage of greater brain power.

Owen soon finds himself on the run for his life and heads to meet a former colleague of his father in Oklahoma. There is a small community of amps living together and looking out for one another, but with tensions rising across the country and the Senator inciting an uprising against those with microchips in their brains, the days of safety and security are numbered. In Oklahoma Owen does meet his father’s former colleague, Jim, who is the unofficial doctor to the “amps” once the technology has been outlawed. Owen also meets Lyle, a hot tempered former soldier and member of the Zenith program, whose implanted chips include hidden powers and much more abilities than the average patient. It turns out that Jim knows a few things about the Zenith program and that Owen’s father worked on it. Lyle sets himself and his fellow “amps” up as the opposition to the pure pride movement and it seems that he’s hoping for a   violent conclusion to the conflict. It’s up to Owen to somehow stop the looming civil war before it starts.

Wilson presents his fascinating story interspersed with news articles, court rulings and other primary source documents that help inform the reader of the dystopian nature of our country in the not too distant future.

Find and reserve this new book in our catalog.

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