Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Review: Nexus by Ramez Naam

Title: Nexus (Nexus #1)
Author: Ramez Naam
Format: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Published: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Angry Robot
ISBN: 0857662937
Barnes and Noble


Mankind gets an upgrade

In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link humans together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.

From the halls of academe to the halls of power, from the headquarters of an elite US agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath a top university in Shanghai, from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok, from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand – Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion.

First of all, I would like to thank Netgalley and Angry Robot publishing company for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review!

Nexus was definitely a thriller! This book made me think and I love books like that. The message of the book was strong. Should we as humans be allowed to enhance ourselves? What would the government do to control the mere humans? How far will their "protection" go?

"In space," she said, "no one can hear you dance." This line absolutely cracked me up. This book starts off light and has moments of fun. But, is actually a high octane mega trip with lots of action. The character of Sam (the narc) is a complete bad ass, made to fight. She has her reasons for becoming what she is, but should she be listening to her government superiors? Her inner battle is brutal and raw.

But overall, it is a story of Kaden Lane and his fight to do what he thinks is right. You see, Kaden is the creator of Nexus 5 which is a drug that interlinks human brains to share information, thoughts, feelings. The "good" and the bad guys both want the Nexus 5 secret and will stop at nothing to obtain it. .. or destroy him.

As you all know, I am a sucker for anything Albert Einstein. Well, at several points in the book, Kade reflects upon some of Einstein's thoughts. "The problems we currently face can't be solved at the level of thinking that created them." Of course, this made me fall in love with this book even more!

There are also some highly important side characters that assist in moving the plot along greatly. Also, most of the book takes place in Thailand and Naam's world building is brilliant. I could see everything through his writing.

At the very end of the book, there is a section called Extras. It details Naam's own encounters with neuroscience and some of the advances he has seen in restoring sight, hearing and limb function through outside stimuli. The last paragraph of this section encompasses Naam's views:

"To understand a thing is to gain the power to change it. We're surging in our understanding of our own makeup – our genes, our bodies, and especially our minds. The next few decades will be more full of wonders than even the greatest science fiction." – Ramez Naam

There is so much more I could say about this book, but I know I would have spoilers and I really hate reviews with spoilers!

So, I will end with this.

If you had the opportunity to take a drug and be able to interlink your mind with other humans, would you do it?

5 stars to Nexus for being such a trip!
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