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Amped (Vintage Contemporaries) [Kindle Edition]

Daniel H. Wilson
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse creates a stunning, near-future world where technology and humanity clash in surprising ways. The result? The perfect summer blockbuster.

As he did in Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities—and rights—of "amplified" humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world—or destroy it.

Once again, Daniel H. Wilson's background as a scientist serves him well in this technologically savvy thriller that delivers first-rate entertainment, as Wilson takes the "what if" question in entirely unexpected directions. Fans of Robopocalypse are sure to be delighted, and legions of new fans will want to get "amped" this summer.

Editorial Reviews



“A fast-paced narrative, not too far away at all from everyday experience, that treats an unsettling question: How long will tolerance last once you can buy a better brain? Mr. Wilson recognizes that, in the modern world, the battlegrounds would be legal and political, not just physical.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Wilson’s latest novel is AMPED, a post-apocalyptic high-tech apocalypse set in the same mold as his spectacular debut, Robopocalypse.  Wilson is a roboticist by trade and he combines his background in space and engineering with a knack for fast-paced narrative.  Wilson has done a very good job with AMPED.  [He] taps into something primal with AMPED, some of the deep questions about medical ethics, the social effects of technology, and the way that class and politics make technological questions much harder to resolve.”
Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

“With AMPED, Wilson has taken another step to claiming the late Michael Crichton’s crown as the public’s sci-fi thriller writer of choice.  Wilson hits all the notes in the right order and the book’s pace is relentless.  And perhaps best of all, he leavens his cautionary message with good-sized dollops of fistfights and gunfire.  AMPED might have a commendable message about tolerance and civil rights, but Wilson doesn’t let the message get in the way of our fun.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Fast-paced…fascinating…for hardcore sci-fi readers, AMPED offers plenty of juicy details to savor.  As he showed in his bestselling thriller Robopocalypse, Daniel H. Wilson can write.  The Carnegie Mellon-trained roboticist has a voice and style very much like Stephen King.  But unlike King, Wilson also has the chops to base the weird beings in his stories on hard science. “
Wired’s Geek Dad

“Entertaining…propulsive… AMPED [is] a gripping story of a community of Amps trying to make it in the middle of a prejudiced Oklahoma, where regular humans strike back at anyone with a telltale port on their temple.  A piece of trenchant political science fiction about how we mistreat those who are different. “
The Onion A.V. Club

“Thrilling…First he gave us helpful advice for the robot uprising, then he wrote the robot war novel Robopocalypse.  Now Daniel H. Wilson is turning his attention to the plight of cyborgs and posthumans with his dystopian new novel AMPED.”

“Wilson’s newest novel, AMPED, shares with its predecessor [Robopocalypse] a solid basis in current scientific technology – in this case, neural implants that treat a variety of conditions.  AMPED imagines a not-too-distant world, when these ‘superabled’ people – made stronger, smarter, faster by the devices in their heads – are perceived as a threat to unaltered or ‘pure’ humans. “
Tulsa World

“A fast-paced, futuristic thriller that’ll make you think, especially about the dangers of us-versus-them demagoguery.”
Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star
"This is a terrific book on any number of levels, doing what sf has always been able to do best: showing us a possible future so that we can not only attempt to avoid it, but we can also look at its echoes as they already exist in our own time."
Fantasy & Science Fiction

“Wilson keeps the action and fear-based prejudice ever-present without sacrificing depth.  The story’s heart is the moral quandary Owen faces once he knows his implant only responds to his deepest thoughts, keeping the reader wondering how far he will go and how much he is willing to sacrifice.”
Publishers Weekly
“Provocative…A thoughtful, well-written novel which deals with the often tense interplay between machines and humans.  Wilson, whose prose is always a step above the norm, is at his strongest creating amp augmented action sequences and in conjuring situations which explore the boundaries between humankind and its technological creations.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Absorbing…Wilson is no stranger to exploring the intersection of technology and humankind.  In AMPED, certain individuals have technology embedded under their skin.  These humans are smarter and faster than norms – and because most of the federally funded upgrades went to the needy, the formerly dumb and afflicted ‘amps’ are scaring the ‘pure’ humans.  The not-so-distant future is a hotbed of class war and civil unrest.”
Portland Mercury


Raves for the New York Times Bestseller

“An ingenious, instantly visual story of war between humans and robots.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“It’s terrific page-turning fun.”
—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

Robopocalypse reminded me of Michael Crichton when he was young and the best in the business. This novel is brilliant, beautifully conceived, beautifully written (high-five, Dr. Wilson) . . . but what makes it is the humanity. Wilson doesn’t waste his time writing about ‘things,’ he’s writing about human being— fear, love, courage, hope. I loved it.”
Robert Crais, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Robopocalypse will grip your imagination from the first word to the last, on a wild rip you won’t soon forget.”
—Clive Cussler, New York Times bestselling author

“The parts of this book enter your mind, piece by piece, where they self-assemble into a story that makes you think, makes you feel, and makes you scared.”
—Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Robopocalypse is . . . a gripping, utterly plausible, often terrifying account of a global apocalypse. . . . [The novel has] heart, in the form of character arcs, wherein heroes learn and change and grow, and we get to root for them.”
—Cory Doctorow,

“An Andromeda Strain for the new century, this is visionary fiction at its best: harrowing, brilliantly rendered, and far, far too believable.”
Lincoln Child, New York Times bestselling author of Deep Storm

Product Details

  • File Size: 1542 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00GPRV5GU
  • Publisher: Vintage (June 5, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006L7CJ6O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,843 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 70 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No real substance April 29, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's a quick read, but it won't be long until you realize it's a story you've heard's sort of like eating a rice cake. No real substance. It struck me as the sort of novel written for the sole purpose of being turned into a movie. Though unlike Robopocalypse, there's nothing remotely fresh about the premise of Amped. In fact, it's like reading a book about superheroes where you don't care about any of the superheroes.

Owen thought he was an ordinary guy who had an implant to control his epilepsy. After Owen's father's research is seized by the FBI, he learns he's not just an amp, he's a ~special snowflake~ super amp. He goes on the run, and thus begins his journey. The plot is fairly predictable and so is the premise. You've seen it in X-Men and every other movie/novel that pits superhumans against normals.

As far as the writing style is concerned, I didn't care for Owen Gray's voice. It's an awkward blend of narration and description, blended in a way that doesn't quite work. Descriptive in the way an author would think so it never jives with Owen's voice. As it's told in first-person point of view, it should've invested me more in his character. Instead, the novel relies heavily on the plot so character development is almost nonexistent, one of Wilson's major shortcomings.

Given the lack of character development, it should come as no surprise that the romance feels contrived. And it makes no sense that Owen somehow is better at combat than guys who were in the special forces. Oh wait, it does -- he's the self-insert Marty Stu protagonist. That would explain why we only ever learn a few things about him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect and rushed March 3, 2013
By jtk
If you're a fan of the modern sci-fi genre and not too terribly particular, Wilson's amp is a reasonably decent escape. The premise is not a too terribly unthinkable if unoriginal one. In the future, people are obtaining small implants in their temple, complete with a maintenance port, that help them overcome disabilities, physical or mental. These modifications for some however, provide superior mental and physical ability that those without implants find unnatural if not unfair. Discrimination and physical altercations grow between the "amps" and those without any modification, the latter resembling a sort of right-wing religious hysteria. The story builds towards an apocalyptic showdown between the two classes.

The protagonist, an amp who for most of his life believes his implant is to simply to overcome a debilitating physical condition learns from his scientist father, just before his untimely death, that he has something special and a little extra. The narrator/amp then sets out in search of discovering what is inside him, with the reader fully expectant that it will eventually be activated when the time comes and of course it does.

The story ascends as an ambitious "pure pride" senator and an equally determined, if not slightly unhinged, amp face off to reorder humanity in their image. The narrator plays his part, but how will he influence the eventual showdown?

The story moves along quickly, but it felt too rushed or incomplete at times, as if the author finished it to meet a deadline or get it out the door in time for the start of a movie production. Once it gets going it seems to miss some of the luster that might have made it a more thought-provoking human modification story it.

Amped is OK, but if this is your first time coming to the author, Robopocalypse is probably the better one to start with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and action packed, but something is missing January 31, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging read.
The story moved quickly to a satisfying conclusion.

Once committed to the read, the narrative carries you along, playing the "what if" game with a plausible extension of... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Trubie L. Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great writing and series novel. I will buy anything Wilson writes from now on.
Published 1 month ago by Always Already
4.0 out of 5 stars Three and a Half Star Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic tale
This is a dark, and entirely convincing post-apocalyptic sci-fi piece, which is probably why I didn’t like it as much as Robopocalypse. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dean
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost gave it less than 3 due to writing style but the plot saved it.
The book has an interesting premise and an engaging plot. I wanted to completely like it but Wilson's style in this book made it hard to read because it annoyed me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by gotomikem
5.0 out of 5 stars a great example of man versus the technology he has created
A thrill ride from begining to end! A must read! a great example of man versus the technology he has created.
Published 1 month ago by ambervampyre
2.0 out of 5 stars Main Character a Moron
1. I am probably not the ideal reader of this book. If I was 13-17 I may have found a way to like this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Douglas J. Debner
3.0 out of 5 stars Read like a first-person shoot'em'up
Started very well. Too much an action novel rather than an exploration of the social issues. Read like a first-person shoot'em'up.
Still worth getting.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Well, although, it may be sci-fiction there seems ...
Well, although, it may be sci-fiction there seems to be a reality in it as we see humans trying to enhance themselves. It's well written and thought out.
Published 3 months ago by Ralph Baker
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick guilty-pleasure read
Owen Gray is an "amplified" human, meaning he has a technological implant meant to control his epilepsy. Or so he had been told. Read more
Published 3 months ago by avanta7
3.0 out of 5 stars For a book about neural enhancement Amped failed to provide ...
For a book about neural enhancement Amped failed to provide any significant intellectual stimulation. Read more
Published 4 months ago by ocjacob
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More About the Author

Daniel H. Wilson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Tulsa. After earning a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, he moved to Portland, Oregon where he has authored seven books.

You can visit his website at

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