Thursday, January 31, 2013


Technology has advanced in the form of implantations that make people have super human strength, intelligence, and a slew of other abilities. The ramifications on society are widespread as discrimination and bigotry towards amplified humans grows because of religious fanaticism, outrage over stolen jobs and just plain hatred. Legislation is put forth to deny these people everything: jobs, homes, and even families. Owen Gray is amplified, but his implant only staves off his severe seizures as far as he knows. His life is upended when he finds himself without a job, a house, or any friends because of the Supreme Court ruling on one of the discriminatory laws. He is even more surprised when he sees his picture alongside wanted criminals considered a huge threat. He goes on the run with no other choices and ends up in a small amped town in a journey to find the truth about his amp and how to move forward. He ends up finding a group of the most amped people in the world that seek to change the world and Owen has to decide if he will work with them or against them.

Amped takes place in a near future version of our own world where implantations can cure anything from mental disorders to physical disabilities to chronic diseases. The people suffering from these and the military are the first to have them, but resentment, bigotry, and religious zeal of the vocal majority of unamped people relegated them to the status of objects or animals. One flaw of this world is that it felt like there was no build up to the opposition to amps. It felt like it kind of came out too fast. It might be because Owen is so oblivious to it all that it seems out of nowhere to him. In between the chapters are articles and documents to fill out what's happening outside of Owen's life in society. It gave a mixed media feeling to the book and filled in the blanks without infodumping. The plot is fast moving and interesting. After Owen runs away, things get crazy and it's all action and revelations.

Although I enjoyed the book, Amped didn't feel right to me. Maybe near the end there is too much action and not enough actual substance for me. It seems like it would make a great film, but it lacks a bit in character development and depth near the end. The very small romance that is present proves to be rather insignificant and hollow. It easily could have been removed to make room for more important things.

Amped is an enjoyable, action packed book and the writing makes it a fast read. If you want more than a summer blockbuster type book, you won't find it here.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

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