Amped by Daniel H. Wilson

One of the things I really like about doing book reviews is when I fall in love with a review book that there’s very little chance I’d have picked up for myself.  Simon and Schuster sent me a copy of Amped by Daniel H Wilson and that definitely falls into that category.

Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. Enter a stunning world where technology and humanity clash in terrifying and surprising ways.
Some people are implanted with upgrades that make them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities – and rights – of ‘amplified’ humans.
On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, 29-year-old Owen Gray discovers that his seizure-supressing medical implant is actually a powerful upgrade. Owen joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as ‘amps’ and is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumoured, a group of the most enhanced amps are about to change the world – or destroy it.

This is such a powerful book.  It’s one of the best I’ve read this year.  In fact I think I’ve only gotten so involved and hooked into one or maybe two books more than this one.  In terms of it’s feel it reminds me of I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.  I was going to say not so much in terms of its plot but actually thinking of that as I write this there are a few parallels.

I’m not sure that this is a quick read.  I read it very quickly – in two sittings – but that might just be because it sucked me in and whilst I kept thinking “I’ll put it down after this chapter…” I never did.

I loved the depth of the characters and their interactions.  At the beginning of the book I thought this character was such and such and that character was X and so on and by the end of it they were all grown and changed and in a lot of cases completely different to the person I’d assumed them to be to start with.

There are a lot of parallels between this book and disability.  Particularly the current situation with disability services and benefits being massacred cut here in the UK.  And some of those parallels are really quite chilling.  I thought Daniel Wilson did a very good job of showing what it can be like to be “different” in some way and the negative reactions people can have to that and I liked that the path the characters took wasn’t easy with the difficulties glossed over but was gritty and painful and above all realistic.

I liked this book so much I’ve just downloaded another one by the same author – Robocalypse.  I’m looking forward to reading that soon.

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