Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Wired

Wired by Douglas E. Richards

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Biotechnological Thriller Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy of this book from the LibraryThing Member’s Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Kira Miller is a brilliant genetic engineer who discovers how to temporarily achieve savant-like capabilities in all areas of thought and creativity. But what if this transcendent level of intelligence brings with it a ruthless megalomania? 

David Desh left the special forces after his team was brutally butchered in Iran. Now he has been reactivated for one last mission: find Kira Miller, the enigmatic genius behind a bioterror plot that threatens millions. But when Desh learns that the bioterror plot is just the tip of the iceberg, he is thrust into a byzantine maze of deception and intrigue, and he becomes a key player in a deadly game he can't begin to understand. A game that is certain to have a dramatic impact on the future course of human history. . .

My Thoughts: It’s pretty clear right from the start that this book is going to be about one thing: action. Which is unfortunate, because, as a bio-techno-thriller, the science/technology needed to hold together as well, and it did not do so. Swallow a pill and genetically altered viruses rush to your brain? I don’t think so – how about the blood/brain barrier? It’s in place to help prevent things that you, say, swallow from working their way into your central nervous system. That’s why it is so incredibly difficult to treat brain tumors and other brain-related diseases. I mean, I get that Kira is a super-genius and that she’s working on these most of the rest of us can barely comprehend, but truly, it would not have hurt for the author to have acknowledge this in some way, explained it away, rather than just assuming the readers weren’t smart enough to know about this basic precept in neurological medicine. Adding to my irritation while I was reading was a plethora of exclamation point abuses – every sentence that could possibly be surprising was ended by one! Someone moved! A gun fired! A grenade! Wheee! Really annoying. Then there was the point of view, which I think was supposed to be omniscient, but which occasionally would branch off into someone’s inner mind. I think it would have worked better to have either had it be partially omniscient, just reporting the actions and dialogue of the people in the scene, or fully omniscient within a particular character’s thoughts, maybe changing with the scene, but not head-hopping.

Fortunately, otherwise it’s a fast-moving, fast-paced story that keeps the reader distracted with endless tech-talk and action. The ideas presented are fairly interesting, and the series seems like it might be trying to make some sort of point about the human condition. That said, I just really didn’t like it that much – my abject apologies to the author, who was nice enough to give me a copy through LibraryThing – and had to basically force myself to finish. It seems to be pretty popular among the thriller crowd, and if you are willing to radically suspend disbelief, I’m sure you’d find it entertaining enough – it’s certainly capably written. There is a sequel out now called AMPED if you are interested in pursuing this book, so be sure to watch for both of them.

I have a couple other books by this author from his young-adult books and will let you know what I think once I’ve read them; thinking about it, this type of writing style will probably work better in that format. I’ll let you know.

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