The first half of the book was ok, but the second half was breakneck speed action with secret agents and high tech electronic warfare and monksand Bruce Lee all mashing together in a techy druggy roller coaster ride to the end I thought the fact that a lot of the action happens in Thailand was also cool.
Ramez Naam paints a near future not so different from the present but with some advancements that I think are little optimistic for only 25 years in the future He does write a good action scene though.
Luke Daniels, the audio narrator, didn t do anything for me though his accents are pretty good If he just narrated with a Thai or Chinese accent the whole book he d be fantastic.
The book as a whole wasn t quite gritty enough for me and I m not sure that I want to continue with the next book in a hurry but it did give me an itch to revisit the Altered Carbon universe and continue Takeshi Kovacs story for some reason.
I m giving thiswait for it.
wait for itconcentrate30% uploading 60% uploading90%3.
5 stars Pick up a near future sci fi book and you will typically encounter similar themes of the moral dilemma of technological advances, particularly in the field of human enhancements Then you will have the regression of supposedly democratic governments towards fascism to stem personal freedom and choice, in their attempts to stop such enhancements from progressing or falling into the wrong hands The wrong hands meaning anyone but themselves This book was no different Nexus is also called coercion technology as its ability to connect human minds also enables mind control Throughout the entire time I was reading it, I find myself flipping back and forth on what s right and what s wrong And the answer is no one really knows Do I condone the methods used by the government to stop the threat of the elite few utilising Nexus to potentially control the entire human race Do I think that the good or benefit of widespread availability of Nexus will outweigh the potential abuse The best aspect of this book is how it makes one empathise with both sides of the coin I can appreciate how the connectivity of the general human mind if properly guided and trained can only advance the human race to greater heights both spiritually and mentally I can also understand how such technology if left unchecked in the hands of the few elite can lead to a dystopian society Or how political or religious extremists can seek to abuse it The characters are well developed to illustrate such themes and the quandary of people achieving such revolutionary advances as to make them than just human, all without being preachy In the end, though, I m still not sure if the main protagonist did the right thing This book really was that thought provoking On the story itself, there was a lot of action and the pacing of the plot made it an absorbing read, neurological mumbo jumbo aside What unnerved me the most was not part the story but an afterword where the author wrote a section called the Science of Nexus, highlighting how such technology is plausible based on various discoveries advances in neurological science at the turn of the century Recommended for fans of cyberpunk science fiction This review can also be found at Booknest Mankind Gets An UpgradeIn The Near Future, The Experimental Nano Drug Nexus Can Link Humans Together, Mind To Mind There Are Some Who Want To Improve It There Are Some Who Want To Eradicate It And There Are Others Who Just Want To Exploit ItWhen A Young Scientist Is Caught Improving Nexus, He S Thrust Over His Head Into A World Of Danger And International Espionage For There Is Far At Stake Than Anyone RealizesFrom The Halls Of Academe To The Halls Of Power, From The Headquarters Of An Elite US Agency In Washington DC To A Secret Lab Beneath A Top University In Shanghai, From The Underground Parties Of San Francisco To The Illegal Biotech Markets Of Bangkok, From An International Neuroscience Conference To A Remote Monastery In The Mountains Of Thailand Nexus Is A Thrill Ride Through A Future On The Brink Of Explosion I listened to the audio version of Nexus and let me tell you, it was 13 hours of nerdy fun brilliance It has an intricate plot, basically it is set in the not too distant future Technology has surpassed what we would have ever expected The new nano drug Nexus works by linking minds together, it is also extremely feared and illegal Young budding scientist Cade is caught improving it, and is made to work for the government as a spy, to bring down others who would use and distribute this technology But not is all what it seems Are the government the good guys How can linking human beings together be a bad thing What a ride It was exciting, thrilling, action packed and so darn interesting The technology in this book is WOW, however still not incredibly far fetched There is so much action in this book It doesn t really let up The way that the characters all communicate in their heads and use their brains as an internet of sorts, allows the plot to develop in really unique ways It was SO MUCH FUN The characters are all fantastically written They have depth and all have other special qualities, whether it be physical upgrades, or if they have surpassed human intelligence all together I thought Cade was a great character, however I felt he didn t have quite the depth as some of the other characters Sam was my favourite character, and we find out a lot about her and where she came from, and why she is the way she is I enjoyed the way the story was written, with extracts, interviews and articles in between chapters to set the scene of the technologically advanced world and the challenges that it has encountered.
I thought the audio version narrated by Luke Daniels was FANTASTIC I loved the way he portrayed all the characters and at times it really felt like I was watching an action movie in my head because of his talented and gripping narration If you are looking for a good audio book I would highly recommend you try this one Would I recommend Nexus YES If you like sci fi I am almost certain that you will enjoy this book Loads of fun and there are two YAY For reviews check out my BLOGTwitterFACEBOOK Mindjacking the ability to read another s mind and, if you want to, force them to move and speak as you wish.
Kaden Lane is a young scientific genius experimenting with Nexus 5, a new version of a popular drug really a nanotechnology that allows you to connect your consciousness with the consciousness of others He is na ve, goodhearted, and wants this technology to be expanded and created in order to give everyone a higher consciousness He believes this technology will make the world a better place.
Samantha Cataranes real name Sarita Catalan was a prisoner of a evil cult when she was a child She saw the Nexus technology used to enslave people She was raped and beaten and burned over and over every day for years because of the Nexus Her little sister, who she vowed to always protect, caught the eye of one of the men and Sam was forced to take action that ended with brutal death and destruction for both the guilty and the innocent Now she s become a spy a secret agent working for the ERD, a kind of Homeland Security that focuses on destroying the Nexus She s vehement that no other little girls will suffer the way she and her little sister suffered.
Watson Cole is a warrior, a former soldier of the highest order, trained and enhanced to be a killing machine He s responsible for the death of hundreds However, after taking Nexus and connecting to others, he realized the suffering and pain he caused He started to doubt that he was on the side of good He leaves the army and becomes a kind of vigilante, working with Kade to create higher and higher forms of Nexus in order to better the world through shared consciousness.
Who is right Kade and Wats, who believe Nexus can be used for good and make the world a better place Or Sam, who knows firsthand just what kind of horrors this technology can inflict on people Naam does an amazing job making all the main characters complex, real, 3D beings You feel and ache for each of them And he doesn t make it clear what is wrong or what is right in this way the book is much like the real world, with lots of grey areas You feel doubt and confusion just as the characters do when learning and and trying to make the right choices.
This book is chockfull of action, explosions, shootouts, and fights It s wonderful But it s also very thoughtful about what is moral, and how different people can interpret the same thing in many ways.
There s a lot of science and computer jargon in here, but I followed along fine and I m no science geek So I feel it s pretty accessible to the general public.
It s really nice, for once, to see how technology was formed and what the politics were surrounding it, instead of like so many SF books being plunged into a world of incredible technology with no explanation of how it got there.
My only minor quibble is the accessing of memories In the book it s presented as a straightforward affair with Nexus, you can watch another person s memories as if they re movies But memory is unreliable and also disjointed It wouldn t work like this But I m willing to overlook it for the sake of enjoying a fascinating book.
In short, an amazing, powerful, exciting read If you have any interest in the premise, I d advise you to give it a try.
This reminds me of the book REAMDE by Neal Stephenson, which is excellent and another book I would highly recommend.
This also reminds me of the following movies MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE starring Elizabeth Olsen, which is a good movie, if a bit dark.
And the excellent, amazing film THE EAST starring Brit Marling and Ellen Page I highly recommend this film to anyone It s really stayed with me and I usually forget movies right after watching them.
I m disappointed that this book isn t available in Spanish it would be amazing in Spanish.
S In both this book and book 2 Crux, I really appreciate Naam s messages about consent He does a lot of work and moral questioning on the subjects of free will, slavery, and rape, and I love the conclusions he comes to and his reasoning for getting there Great job, Ramez Naam.
There is a war coming A world war Not between China and America Between humans and posthumans You see it all around you The humans are doing everything they can to prevent the posthuman transition from occurring While we are struggling to be free of their controls I think that sums up Nexus reasonably well, though this book does not depict armies of humans and posthumans going at it The war is basically between The Emerging Risks Directorate ERD , a section of Homeland Security and Kade Lane, the protagonist of the book Kade is one of the inventors of Nexus 5, a nanomedicine that facilitates mind to mind communication and linkages of multiple minds to form a hive mind It is also a brain computer interface, an OS residing in the brain that and can run software applications that give the host special abilities while the app is running and also to control or operate computers via neural commands The ERD wants Kade to work for them to give them control of Nexus 5 and also to spy on Su Yong Shu, a female scientist who they suspect of being a posthuman Kade accepts the job under duress and he is dispatched to Bangkok to attend a nanotechnology conference where this Su Yong Shu is expected to attend In Bangkok Kade finds the ERD to be ruthless and operates with little regard for innocent civilian lives, so he tries to get away from them and allies himself with Su Yong Shu The ERD are not having any of that and Kade is not having any of them, much violence, losses of lives and limbs, and high tech warfare ensues Nexus is a high octane post cyberpunk sci fi espionage thriller, it is fast paced and seldom stops to take a breath It is also notable for being the second sci fi book I have read that is mainly set in Bangkok, my hometown the awards winning The Windup Girl is the other Near future Bangkok 2040 is an interesting setting but it is also distracting for me because I kept trying to find faults in the author s portrayal of the Thai culture I did find a few and have made some notes about them in the Notes section of this review, so you can easily ignore them if you are not interested As a spy thriller Nexus is like the TV series Chuck than James Bond that said, it is not a comedy like Chuck, it just has several similar plot elements I like the Chuck like role reversal where Kade is protected by a transhuman girl Samatha Cataranes who is much stronger than he is and trained for combat, she even carries him on her shoulder when he is injured Ramez Naam s characters do not have a lot of nuances but they are fun in what they can do I like that Naam makes a distinction between transhuman and posthuman , basically a transhuman is an enhanced human whereas a posthuman is so highly modified they are no longer human Naam s prose style is nothing to write home about and can be rather clunky at times He tries his best with characterization but they just drive the plot without coming across as real people The science is fascinating and believable, Naam s background as a computer scientist stands him in good stead There is a very interesting Afterward at the end of the novel where Naam discusses the real world scientific developments which inspired the Nexus series Nexus is a highly entertaining sci fi thriller and highly recommended for fans of books like Neuromancer and Snow Crash this is an excellent start to a trilogy which I look forward to coming back to soon.
Notes Bangkok in 2040 does not seem to be much different from Bangkok today, it even has the same traffic problem What No flying cars Very Hot weather at 11 PM seems unlikely, so many hours after sundown is not going to be that hot One character saysAwesome thing happening in the Kok tomorrow night Kok is not a thing Generally, Ramez Naam seems to be familiar with Bangkok though.
Quotes War between those who accept the limitations of humanity and those who embrace the power of the possible is inevitable Input spiked at Nexus nodes attached to neurons in the speech centers of his frontal and temporal lobes Nerve impulses raced outward from speech centers to motor cortex, and from there to the muscles of his tongue and jaw, his lips and diaphragm A fraction of a second after he d heard the girl speak, those muscles contracted to produce his response War over the human condition War for the right to change oneself War to create humanity s successor species War to usher in a utopia Shu caught the thrust of his thoughts This is directed evolution, she sent How many generations would this take natural selection Millions The faster we uplift ourselves, the fewer who need die Join me Help move the work forward.
I have nothing bad to say about this novel I was forced to stay up very late to read this, and I ducked out of other entertainments just to finish it Did I get sucked into the idea of a transhumanism emergence I think so At least with Nexus, it s definitely my favorite Linux distro I ve got about a dozen ideas for apps that I d like to write If I can t find it in open source, of course.
I want my new OS As for possible complaints about evil governments Come onAnyone read history Ideas and backlash through coercion abound everywhere It always has Now, I don t really know if this might spark a resurgence of telepathy in SFF lit, but I hope so People might have gotten burned out on stories like that, but this novel feels fresh Ignore 30 years of SF that has resurfaced these ideas across the board, of course That doesn t matter When a novel reads well, has excellent rounded characters, absolutely fucking fantastic pacing, I m not only willing to run with the novel I m willing to shout it from the rooftops.
The story is Damn Good The respect for Taiwan cultures propelled the undercurrent of themes so well as to make it inevitable The expressed deep heart made me stare at the corner of my desk for half an hour and made me cry, especially when everything came to fruition.
You know, now that I think about it, the many fight scenes actually continued to develop the characters The undercurrent of themes, as well They were memorable and emotional I can t often say that about fight scenes in writing Maybe just a handful of books I m very impressed.
Absolutely nothing was wasted.
I m putting this in my fanboy collection Seriously I m shocked.
Well, that was funFor about three months I ve been looking for a book that was fast paced, action packed, and preferably had lots of gun fights and hand to hand combat This is the book that fulfills those hopes There were a couple of things I didn t like but overall it was just good fun It was also extremely difficult to put down because the action and or suspense never fully let up Now I must find time for the sequels
Nexus is now my go to for whenever I have to recommend near future SF.
Imagine a computer that integrates directly with your brain Imagine if this computer was open source and you could modify hack patch it as you wished Imaginewell, let s stop there Ramez Naam has imagined all of this, and wrote a brilliant novel to share it with us.
There s good reason it s on the John W Campbell ballot this year, and among such top calibre authors like Max Gladstone, Sofia Samatar, and Wesley Chu.
It s not just the ideas behind the book which just may be the best SF I ve ever read the writing itself supports them well Not flowery, but technical in a way that makes it clear that the author knows what he s talking about when it comes to computers programming technology, but not enough to make it seem like bragging.
The chapters are short and punchy, and the story simply doesn t let up even for a second John Barnes explained it best with Any old writer can take you on a roller coaster ride, but it takes a wizard like Ramez Naam to take you on the same ride while he builds the roller coaster a few feet in front of your plummeting car And that s exactly what it feels like The world opens up in front of you as you fall deeper and deeper into the story Honestly though, the part of the book that sealed the deal for me was the discussion on morality It gets into issues of personal freedom, what it means to be human, and information technology being available to the public for societal good, even though some may use it to cause harm.
But the best part is that it never gets preachy or didactic It s a complicated issue, and the author presents both sides of the argument in a favourable light, leaving it up to the reader to decide how they feel about the morality of it all.
And before you think, I guess this is a cool story, but that s it, just a story wait until you get to the back matter This technology is right here, right now, and the future in this book is a lot closer than we d like to admit.
In short, go read this book right now You ll fly right though it and barely have time to even thank me before you pick up the sequel.
Executive Summary Fascinating, enticing, thrilling, terrifying.
Audio book It s Luke Daniels If you don t know that means it s a good audio book without me saying, you ve been missing out This book has been on my radar for awhile, and I already owned the ebook The fact that Luke Daniels did the audio and that there was a cheap whipsersync upgrade got me to finally pull the trigger Yet another reason to thank Luke Daniels Full Review I wish there were books like this It s totally in my wheelhouse Not quite Cyberpunk, but close Sci Fi that is smart, plausible, and not overly dystopian And it s well written, with interesting and well developed characters It s hard to believe it s a debut novel.
This is one of those books that I kept thinking about even when I wasn t reading it The ideas here are so thought provoking.
I ve wanted to have the internet in my head for at least 15 years Maybe longer Instant access to all the information in the world I mean smart phones are great and all, but the interface is clunky Just think it and bam Programming your brain Where do I sign up Except Opening yourself up to cyber viruses, brain hacking, or even just internet trolls Frightening Everything here is pretty grey Is Nexus OS good Is it bad It seems to have both positive and negative potential Some of those in favor of it appear to have the best of intentions Yet at the same time, some of those opposed to it, do as well Whose right Should the government block certain research and technologies for good of it s citizens And at the core of it all, Nexus is a drug I ve never been a drug user I don t think I ve even been drunk in over 10 years So the idea of needing drugs is a big turn off to me personally My main disappointment in this book is the general lack of consequences of the technology.
I don t mean the possible bad things that someone can do to you your brain What does Nexus do to your brain Is it addictive What are the long term effects of constant use Hopefully these things will be explored in the later novels.
Apart from that though, this book was really great I was always eager to pick it back up I ve already jumped right into the second book and have blown through it pretty quickly.
If you want a smart, well written, thought provoking sci fi novel, definitely give this book a try.