Book reviews from The Free Lance-Star.
Amp vs Non-Amp
Brain implants have far-reaching effects
BY Chelyen Davis
The Free Lance-Star
WHEN Owen Gray had a brain injury as a child, his doctor father had him fitted with a new brain implant to control seizures.
Now Gray is an adult, and the implants have become popular with parents of children who were a bit slower than their peers. The implants vault those children’s brains and abilities far past those of their peers, raising concerns among those without amps them.
A charismatic politician fans the “us vs. them” flames until a fearful government decrees that “amps” are no longer fully human, nor do they have the same rights as non-amped humans.
On that day, Gray’s father hints that what’s in Gray’s head goes far beyond a seizure-control device, and sends him to a friend in the Midwest to find answers.
While class warfare between amps and others escalates into literal warfare, Gray finds himself living in an amp community with the dangerous and unpredictable Lyle Crosby. Crosby knows just what Gray’s implant can do, if Gray wants it to. And Crosby has big plans for amps such as Gray, plans with moral repercussions.
“Amped,” Daniel H. Wilson’s second novel, suffers from the fact that many characters, particularly the bad guys, are one-dimensional stereotypes. But it is a fast-paced, futuristic thriller that’ll make you think, especially about the dangers of us-versus-them demagoguery.
Chelyen Davis is a reporter with The Free Lance–Star.
By Daniel H. Wilson
(Doubleday, $25.95, 288 pp.)
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