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Amped: A Novel by Daniel H. Wilson

Amped: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Daniel H. Wilson

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247None46,208 (3.22)1
Title:Amped: A Novel
Authors:Daniel H. Wilson
Info:Doubleday (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:novel, 2012

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Amped by Daniel H. Wilson


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Not as good as Robopocalypse, but not bad. Amps are amplified humans. Storyline was good, if somewhat predictable. It will be memorable as my first cover-to-cover e-book (w/ Kindle) ( )
  gkyoungen | Mar 24, 2014 |
Quick, good read. Not deep, but worth thinking about. ( )
  MikeRhode | Feb 21, 2014 |
This really rips along, but the action feels like a natural progression, rather than forced. However the writing doesn't totally convince. There are a number of inflection points where the plot changes direction in an interesting way, but that did strike a false note.

Nevertheless, the story is really strong in conveying in a primal way the dilemas that will arise when it becomes possible to implant technology in our bodies that make us smarter. Wilson is a roboticist so its not surprising that he gives a sympathetic portrayal to the view that people with these enhacements would just be using tools as man has always done. ( )
  Matt_B | Feb 17, 2014 |
This book asks questions about whether some people might no longer be human. Not because of race or belief but because they are part-machine.

The book is set in a world where mind/computer interfaces are common. Initially these were used to solve medical issues such as epilepsy and to control prosthetic parts for the disabled. However some people, including the United States Government, now use them for elective improvements: making people faster and smarter than humanly possible. As the book opens the United States Supreme Court has just ruled that these "Amps" are not a protected class opening the door to legal discrimination. Owen Gray is a school teacher who was amped as a teenager to control his epilepsy. Inexplicably included in a list of rogue military Amps he is thrown into the centre of the struggle between for Amp rights. Seen as a potential saviour by some and a threat by others he must not only learn what he can do but also what he should.

Gray is very well crafted. Unlike many protagonists who discover hidden potential he neither transitions comfortably into a hero nor undergoes a series of humorous interludes. His acceptance that he must cease to be a school teacher with a medical implant and become a revolutionary is well paced and has realistic moments of self-hate. Many of the other characters, both normal and amped, are similarly well-rounded. Several of those who have replaced large portions of their bodies with elective prosthetics are especially well written combining an obvious human motivation for the change with the slightly alien character of inhuman capabilities.

However - despite a plot which gave many sides of the debate a fair chance - I found the main antagonist to ultimately be a touch like a Bond villain: megalomaniacal not dedicated.

With a plot centred around the superhuman few being constrained by the weaker many there are some characters who take the same approach as Nietzsche and refuse to accept the unamped as possible social equals. However, Wilson has created equally believable characters with vastly different philosophies. With a background in robotics it is unsurprising that theories of Amps as humans with tools is portrayed with more sympathetically than other views; however this is story that has a sound background and not a veiled treatise.

The chapters are interspersed with memos, press releases, and historical documents such as articles of the United States Constitution. These add depth to the story by freeing the reader from Owen's direct experience while still keeping the benefit of a single POV. However some of them do not quite fit the point in the narrative where they occur which distracted me slightly from the flow of events.

I enjoyed this book both as a story and as an exploration of where the boundary of human might lie. ( )
  Tyrshundr | Feb 6, 2014 |
It was okay. Not great. Started out great and got lost along the way. Not going to be in a big hurry to read more of Wilson's books. ( )
  AutumnTurner | Dec 29, 2013 |
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We can change ourselves.
Think of the possibilities.

- Carl Sagan
For Genieve Wilson
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I'm standing on the steep slate roof of Allderdice High School,  gripping a rain-spattered wrought iron decoration in one hand and holding up my other hand, palm out.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385535155, Hardcover)

Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse creates a stunning, near-future world where technology and humanity clash in surprising ways. The result? The perfect summer blockbuster.

As he did in Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities—and rights—of "amplified" humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world—or destroy it.

Once again, Daniel H. Wilson's background as a scientist serves him well in this technologically savvy thriller that delivers first-rate entertainment, as Wilson takes the "what if" question in entirely unexpected directions. Fans of Robopocalypse are sure to be delighted, and legions of new fans will want to get "amped" this summer.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:45 -0400)

In a near-future world where technologically enhanced humans are governed by a strict set of conduct laws, twenty-nine-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a persecuted underclass that is planning to change, or destroy, the world.

(summary from another edition)

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