Amped by Daniel H. Wilson
I had high hopes for Amped, having really enjoyed Robopocalypse, and it didn't disappoint. It's a smart, futuristic thriller that does what many books in its genre fail to do nowadays--it gets you to think.
The book takes place in the not-too-distant future. Technology has advanced to the point where many of the disabilities and shortcomings that plague mankind can now be fixed with a neurological implant. People suffering from epilespy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD and variety of other disorders no longer have to suffer, they're now able to live not simply normal lives, but the implants give them advanced abilities above and beyond those of normal humans. Likewise, children born with below average intelligence or even severe mental handicaps are now able to quickly surpass their average peers in mental and physical abilities.
The book begins with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling being handed down. The Court's ruling states that since the surgery to receive an implant is an elective surgery, and since those who receive one receive an unfair advantage over those who don't, recipients should receive no protections under the 14th Ammendment. They essentially have none of the rights of a U.S. citizen.
Owen Gray is a teacher who has grown up thinking that his parents had given him an implant as a child because of his epilepsy. But his father, who was one of the developers of the implants, gave him one that had the ability to do far more than that. The implant's true abilities have been dormant in Owen's mind all his life. But with the Court's ruling, and the civil unrest and violence that it leads to, the true nature of the implant is about to be revealed to Owen.
Wilson is a young writer and he's been described as Michael Crichton's successor in the technological thriller genre. I'd compare him to Aldous Huxley as well. I mentioned before that the book will make you think. There are a lot of philisophical and sociological questions that it's sure to make readers think about. As I read it I was continually reminded of the thoughts and impressions I had while reading Brave New World.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆