Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Book 46 of 2012: Wired

Wired by Douglas E. Richards was the second of my review copies that I received, this review copy having been released to coincide with the publication of the sequel, Amped. In Wired, David Desh, military agent turned private investigator, is hired by his former employer to track down a woman believed to be working with terrorists to develop a biological weapon. Desh gets right down to it, only to discover that he might in fact be working for someone else, the bad guy might actually be the good guy, and she’s found a way to not only increase human intelligence, but also lifespan as well.

I’m not sure if this is the sort of book that I would normally choose to read myself. Had it been recommended by a friend or colleague, perhaps, if I’d seen it sitting on a shelf, probably not. I’m certainly glad that I’m being a bit more adventurous in my reading, because I did really enjoy it. It took me a little while to get into, perhaps because I wasn’t entirely sure what it was that I was getting in to. Unfortunately I was slowed down somewhat because of writing my End of Module Assessment which I think caused me some problems, this is the sort of book you want to read quickly because who the good guys and who the bad guys are can change with the turn of a page!

I was a little bit confused at the beginning and I have to admit that the philosophy at the end was a bit lost on me – I did not enjoy the nine months of philosophy I was forced to endure at university and remember very little of it today. There were some bits that I thought were very convenient for the characters, like how Alan was never suspected of anything even prior to his death. If enhancement caused you to remember everything as well as stripping away emotions, such as love of a sibling, surely Kira would have noticed something.

I enjoyed all the little literary nods throughout the book. Lord of the Rings got a mention, paralleled with Kira’s terrible weight of knowing how to change humanity but also knowing what damage it could do to us; as did Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde which I thought of myself before the characters brought it up. In a way, this is a sort of modern take on the latter story, considering the effects that the drug Kira invented can have on people.

My favourite bits of the book were the descriptions of people who have been enhanced; especially Desh. Richards did a really good job of capturing the way it changes Desh’s emotions, causing him to scorn at the lesser mortals with their lower intelligence meanwhile noticing every little thing going on around him, from the twitch of an eyebrow to the beat of his own heart. It’s very clever.

Desh’s mind leaped! A massive acceleration of his thoughts occurred in an instant. Like one hundred billion dominoes falling into place at once; like a chain reaction leading to a massive explosion, his neurons had reordered themselves into a more efficient architecture. Thoughts arrived at a furious pace.
Location 3413

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