Nexus by Ramez Naam
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
DISCLAIMER: I received Nexus as a publisher ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
This review can also be found at The Title Page
Rating: 2.5 Stars
I’ve read a fair bit of Angry Robot books lately, the publisher really knows how to find amazing sci-fi work. I eagerly applied for the ARC for Nexus on NetGalley and added it to the top of my to-read pile.
There were plenty of reviews present before I read it and I really thought I would enjoy the novel based on them. Unfortunately, I’m just not seeing why people think this novel was so amazing.
It wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t amazing.
The book dives right in to the science as if the reader has a standing expertise in technological programming. As you go through the novel, the technological lingo starts to make more sense, but in the beginning I was obtusely confused. I work with computers and technology in both of my jobs and I was still immediately lost.
The explanations of how Nexus works, and plenty of other programs, were not simply given to us. They were mixed in as interview transcriptions and discussions. A daring angle for the author to make, but one that, sadly, felt short. By reading transcriptions, the reader is completely separated from any emotional attachment the character had to their work. These characters are supposed to be completely involved in their life’s work and be deeply attached to it, but I just didn’t get that feeling in reading the novel.
The character’s were boring and unobservant. For people who are supposed to have a deep understanding of the technological underworld of the future, they seemed overly idiotic. They had issues putting two and two together, and I feel like the author did this to help the reader figure things out for themselves. It left me feeling like the author thought I was stupid and needed a fun little detective game to keep me interested.
There were two redeeming qualities of this book, the plot and the antagonist.
The plot was very intriguing. Technological genius turned double agent in a battle for his friends freedom. We follow Kade as he struggles to figure out what is right or wrong, and Sam who has an equally powerful struggle against what she’s always been trained to believe. While both main characters were annoyingly dry, the plot was able to string them together enough to make a respectable attempt.
The antagonist in this novel is up to the reader. You decide who’s side you are on, because it does bring up some very good points for either side. The main characters’ internal struggles accent the debates against right or wrong in this novel.
Having the ability to communicate with other humans through only the connections in your minds, it can be used for a plethora of good in the world. The danger is the misuse of the technology, to control people and bend their will. Is it worth the risk?
Favorite character: Sam
Least Favorite Character: none, no clear antagonist
Recommended for: Sci-fi fans with a basic understanding of computer technology
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