My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It is just so awfully frightening when you happen to realize how closely you can link Science-Fiction and Fantasy. Just exactly how similar they are. The comprehension of this struck me when I was in the shower, taking a much-needed break from Nexus. I managed to link the following before my brain shut down in discord with this new revelation, on the basis of heresy and blasphemy:
Mind Control using Nexus:Vampiric Compulsion
Mind Read:Edward Cullen
Upcoming Human-Posthuman War:Seraphim-Fallen Angels War(sort of)
Greek Hydra:Mutated Snake with extremely rapid regenerating/metabolic powers(1000 times that of a lizard)
And that’s about it. Thank Merlin for that!
Now to Nexus:lots of drugs, which brings on lots of hippiness; lots of science and tech, which brings lots of headache; lots of espionage and double/triple crossing, which brings lots of oohh-ing. This book was a roller-coaster, with rides through the tunnel of narcotics and depression, gliding under the arch of awesomeness and sci-fi and secret labs and HQs; with a distant view, and later on in-you-face scenery, of corruption and murders and explosions and fascism/racism-in-guise-of-democracy and very bad,bad things.
Nexus is a nano-drug which connects human minds and is illegal, the origins of which are unknown. Kaden Lane, a brilliant young neuro-scientist, manages to improve the drug so it allows collective consciousness and can even allow people to control each other. And then he goes and gets caught, and everyone’s in trouble and all and he gets leveraged into spying for the US govt.
Ramez Naam has created a book that goes BOOM!-BAM! from the first page. It’s blown my mind so thoroughly that I can’t even articulate sentences properly. He’s written form third-person perspective which gives him more freedom to explore every consequence of every action taken by every character. He takes into account how every aspect of the world is affected: social, economic, political and the general populace as well as the elites.
It also raises a lot of questions and gives you much to think on while you wait for the next book.It questions the frailty and arrogance of being human when under the influence of science and when without. It asks how far one can go in the name of science and evolution. It simply inquires the meaning of humanity. Whether we should move on if we have the chance or protect what we are today. Will we ever accept a more evolved species or decimate them or join them? Questions, from decades in the future, that are relevant in today’s world as well. The characters are all well thought-out and you can’t mix one with the other. Everyone has their own agendas; and all of them are reasonable in their own way. No one is evil- everyone does what they think is best. No one is innocent- all have made mistakes that have grave repercussions on other innocents.
However, as much as this book awed me, I was also severely depressed by the end. Not only because of the world and people in the book, but also because even though we’ve mastered in-built computers in our brains and what-not, we still don’t have a cure for cancer and hoverboards.I mean, seriously? Ben 10 does, Justice League does, everyone does; then why not us? I don’t think I’d like to be in a future where still have to drive around in cars and subways and modified-rickshaws, no matter how many cool modifications they have- moving tattoos and cat-slit eyes and skin-color transformation(I want blue skin with golden spots).
Many, many thanks to ANGRY ROBOTS Ltd. for providing an ARC.