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* Excellent opening, chapters, starting at a californian rave and spreading across the planet.
* Fresh idea of post-human intelligence; The Silicon valley trans-humanists übermenschen are dismissed in a single line in favour of more subtle, collective models of mind enhancing technology
* some fun parallels between various religions and various approaches to posthuman intelligence (theravada buddhism and christianity mostly)
* very contemporary flavour of technological speculation; more or less, some ravers port linux to run on brains, and consequences ensue when wider society gains interest in the diabolical applications of the technology. Absolute candy for today's crypto-nerds.
* characters feel a little flat. The cast might be laudably multinational, but most characters substitute an ethnicity for a personality: Japanese sensei skimming stones while talking in metaphors... Loyal magical negro who would sacrifice everything to help the white protagonist... revolutionary Russian immigrant who write political tracts about how american security obsession is eroding liberty. etc. The privileged white male protagonist is a little too bland to be relatable; the female secret agent is a little better, but the childhood trauma reliving scene (won't say any more to avoid spoilers) was a little forced and clean-cut to keep me convinced
* very filmic violence; Every time someone falls over, their gun lands just out of reach and there is always time to step on their hand before they reach it, and so on. Plot would be improved if every character in this book invested in some velcro straps.
* plot is rip-roaring but not satisfying; while the philosophical themes the author starts with are hella fun and could really go somewhere wild, most of the action thereafter is driven by the more traditional plot mechanics of a covert military team doing covert military things with lots of filmic violence
Overall I enjoyed this book, but found the earnestness and unidimensionality of the characters a bit of a drag, and the plot was gripping enough, but without doing the subject matter justice.
This feels like a first novel. I'm excited by a lot of the world the author has built, and the author is presumably still honing his craft; interested to see where he is going with his career.
p.s. the reader was enthusiastic but *ooh*, some of those accents were a little awkward.
84 of 90 people found this review helpful
Nuts and Bolts
I like tech books for the wonder of science and what it can accomplish. I don't care to hear about how everything works. This book concentrated on the nuts and bolts too much for my tastes. As mentioned by other reviewers, the characters in this book are flat. Another reviewer mentions that Naam has a bright future and I agree, but I was bored by this book.
34 of 36 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Nexus again? Why?
For the early chapters of the book I felt both the author and narrator were struggling to find their feet and I didn't find it easy to immerse myself in the tale but knowing now that they both hit their stride I'd go back and re-visit those early chapters.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
The book has made me re-evaluate some human concepts that I simply took for granted, it makes you think a little outside of the human comfort zone in a way that not even another sci-fi book has done before.
Any additional comments?
Stick with it if like me you find the early chapters a little less than stellar - it improves significantly as the book goes on. I'm halfway through the sequel now and it's excellent.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I'll write my short review in the style of the book.
Nexus, a book, for reading, to read, and now... Have read. It has content... science, fiction, drugs, the future, factions, government, plans... Some... Good.some...bad.the book... not that good after the initial story didn't progress past fighting, chase g, fighting g again, chasing, hiding, thinking, developing into... Nothing. Shame, sad, wanted... More... Maybe... Next time.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful