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By Craig on 05-15-14
Solid to Silly to Inane
At the opening the premise was solid; there is a secret government organization responsible for monitoring and controlling global technological innovations. It is very powerful and deeply off the books. Then, just when you have bitten a big bite of the apple, enter the dark forces that mimic the evil characters in a Marvel comic sans the mutant superpowers (our antagonists use technology to that end).
Eventually the entire sic-fi thriller degrades into silly dialogue and revenge-driven mania.
This audiobook should only be downloaded in those desperate moments (from your Wish List) when you are late for work and your iPod is empty. If you have the time, search around for a more viable futuristic battle of good vs. holier-than-thou-technocrat.
80 of 91 people found this review helpful
By AudioAddict on 10-15-15
Too over the top. Wish it had been more serious.
STORY (futuristic thriller) - The main character, Grady, is a particle physicist who has invented a gravity mirror. He and other geniuses are imprisoned by a rogue federal agency supposedly trying to keep futuristic technology from upsetting humanity and the balance of world power. The thrust of the story is Grady trying to escape from the prison, rescue his fellow scientists and get their inventions back into the proper hands, save the world, etc.
This book is full of awesome scientific thinking and gadgets, but IMHO it goes way too far, to the point of being like the action hero cartoons kids watch on TV. What starts as fascinating applications of reflecting gravity soon turns into prolonged action scenes with good guys fighting bad guys as huge buildings rip out of the ground and disappear into outer space. There is so much gravity reflection and manipulation during the action scene at the end that I gave up trying to envision who was moving where and what was up or down. I just wanted the book to end.
PERFORMANCE - I plan to check into other books performed by Jeff Gurner. This book has great multi-character differentiation, accents, sound effects, etc. I loved the futuristic voices he gives the artificial intelligence characters. There is also suspenseful music played during critical scenes.
OVERALL - If you're looking for something serious and weighty, look elsewhere. This is more of a light, futuristic action story. There is no sex, but there is quite a bit of cursing. There is fighting and killing but it is fairly light and not gory or overly descriptive. Not recommended for people under 18, only because of the detailed descriptions of scientific gadgets and the cursing.
28 of 32 people found this review helpful
By Sterling Okura on 02-24-14
Entertaining Physics SciFi
Influx is a fun read, though not as gripping as his Daemon series. The first half of the book is slower paced with a lot of technical information, but the pacing picks up in the 2nd half with the exciting action we've come to expect from Suarez.
The world of Influx is not as strongly developed as the augmented-reality gamer paradise of Daemon, and as another reviewer noted, the suspension of disbelief is more difficult with this story. However, the humor and lighter tone helped me to just go with it and enjoy the fun, silly ride.
Even though the beginning was slower paced, I found the scientific explanations of new technology and the psychological explorations of futuristic interrogation quite interesting.
Things really get fun when the action turns on. I loved the manipulated-gravity combat tactics that took Ender Game's "the enemy's gate is down" concept to entirely new levels.
While the story is about a secretive and ruthless government division suppressing miraculous breakthroughs in physics and technology, Suarez continues to acknowledge his gamer geek cred with a shout out to Leeroy Jenkins, and a nod to the greatest first-person-non-shooter (that would be Portal of course). One of the many enjoyable characters was a GladOS-like female AI that ran a secret facility and tried to kill people while cheerfully engaging them in friendly conversation. She even used laser-turrets for security.
The story ties up neatly, but there are rogue AIs left that could make for an interesting sequel (please).
As a big Suarez fan, I pre-ordered Influx and started listening within minutes of it being available after midnight. While it was different than his other books, I was definitely not disappointed and eagerly look forward to his next release.
31 of 40 people found this review helpful
By Joseph on 02-21-14
An excellent book well read
Influx is not quite as interesting as Suarez's first work, Daemon (and Freedom tm, which was really just the second half of Daemon rather than a second book) but I enjoyed it more than Kill Decision.
The characters are nicely drawn, the story never lags. Definitely a page-turner... and Suarez is never afraid to dip into "hard sci-fi" levels of technical descriptions that are the result of copious research.
The best part by far is the scene in which the main character is being interrogated. I don't want to spoil anything, but it is a brilliantly conceived bit of drama that there's no way to describe without spoiling. Suffice it to say that it alone justifies reading the entire book, and it is beautifully written.
If there is a single problem with Influx it's that it requires a greater level of suspension of disbelief than the closer-to-current-reality books that precede it. Daemon and Freedom were almost as far-fetched, but they baby-stepped you towards accepting each new piece rather than demanding you to accept everything all at once. Influx throws you immediately into a universe that's far removed from our current levels of technological achievements without giving you time to adapt. However, the concepts are so well researched that they still feel real, and if you can suspend disbelief on some of the more exotic technologies presented (which, again, Suarez explains expertly) you're in for a great ride.
Daemon (and its sequel Freedom) stands as my favorite fiction book in the last 20 years. Influx doesn't quite reach that bar, but is close... and is a fantastic book.
Also, worth mentioning that the narration by Gurner was excellent as always. I wound up reading about a third of the book and listening to ⅔... I found that when I was reading I was hearing Gurner's voices. He's a great narrator.
33 of 44 people found this review helpful
By Zombie on 03-28-14
Any additional comments?
Daniel Suarez's previous works were amazing. This feels like something written much earlier (like High School) and published now due to the success of his other books. The story was terrible.
24 of 32 people found this review helpful
By Cindy on 04-09-14
Influx is so bad, I want to cry...
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
If it were 100% better quality of writing and more adherent to Suarez's previous style. I excused a lot of the quality of his writing before due to my interest in his vision of future technology. However, Influx is inexcusable.
What was most disappointing about Daniel Suarez’s story?
I began the Suarez collection with Daemon, followed that up with Freedom, and backtracked to Kill Decision. I enjoyed all those books because (as Suarez readily admits on his Google talk) he had always written about technology that's on the brink. This made the stories have an air of realism, futuristic possibility, a vision of a potential world. However, with Influx, he ventures into "deeper" sci-fi, but in such a way that feels like a caricaturization, rather than a serious undertaking.
The dialogue is staid, names are inert, and action scenes are indulgent. I'm so disappointed that I highly doubt I'll return to any future Suarez novel.
Which scene was your favorite?
The beginning of the novel was good because I thought it was going to be like his other novels. Once I discovered that Suarez has journeyed into so much sci-fi that it's almost a caricature of sci-fi, then I lost interest.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Anger that I wasted my time.
Any additional comments?
I forced myself to finish the novel but hated every minute.
29 of 40 people found this review helpful