Book Review: Influx by Daniel Suarez

Have you been looking for a fast pace science fiction thriller? Here it is. I received Influx as a digital advance reader copy from edelweiss, you can get your copy when it is released on February 20th. Here is the syopsis:

influx_coverWhat if our civilization is more advanced than we know?

The New York Times bestselling author of Daemon–(“the cyberthriller against which all others will be measured” -Publishers Weekly) –imagines a world in which decades of technological advances have been suppressed in an effort to prevent disruptive change.

Are smart phones really humanity’s most significant innovation since the moon landings? Or can something else explain why the bold visions of the 20th century–fusion power, genetic enhancements, artificial intelligence, cures for common disease, extended human life, and a host of other world-changing advances–have remained beyond our grasp? Why has the high-tech future that seemed imminent in the 1960’s failed to arrive?

Perhaps it did arrive…but only for a select few.

Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they’ve been working toward for years: a device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics–the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring. This Bureau of Technology Control uses the advanced technologies they have harvested over the decades to fulfill their mission.

They are living in our future.

Presented with the opportunity to join the BTC and improve his own technology in secret, Grady balks, and is instead thrown into a nightmarish high-tech prison built to hold rebellious geniuses like himself. With so many great intellects confined together, can Grady and his fellow prisoners conceive of a way to usher humanity out of its artificial dark age?

And when they do, is it possible to defeat an enemy that wields a technological advantage half a century in the making?

This was a very fun read that had enough action to make me want to keep turning the pages. I will warn that it has a lot of scientific theories presented as if they have been confirmed, so there is plenty of scientific jargon that some people may get lost. If you find the jargon slowing you down, skip it. Nearly all the hard science talk is not necessary to understand in order to get the story. I enjoy the scientific specs as I feel it helps make the story feel more real.

As for action, there is no shortage. Sure, there are some spots where Jon Grady is trying to cope with his situation and he is lost in his head and it can feel a little slow, but those scenes move the story forward and are not too frequent. There is plenty of chases and spy thriller type of suspense to create excitement.

I also found several characters that I wanted to like, but wasn’t sure if they could be trusted, but Jon had to trust them so I did. Daniel Suarez keeps you on your toes with great characters that act like real people. He is also not afraid to kill off some, so be careful not to think you have it figured out.

I highly recommend this book. It is an overall fun read that makes you think what you would do in the position of Jon Grady.

Besides finishing Influx I have also just finished reading Eye of the World and will have a review of that up next week.

Until next time…


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