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Crux [Kindle Edition]

Ramez Naam
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The stunning sequel to NEXUS  

Six months have passed since the release of Nexus 5. The world is a different, more dangerous place. 
In the United States, the terrorists - or freedom fighters - of the Post-Human Liberation Front use Nexus to turn men and women into human time bombs aimed at the President and his allies. In Washington DC, a government scientist, secretly addicted to Nexus, uncovers more than he wants to know about the forces behind the assassinations, and finds himself in a maze with no way out.

In Thailand, Samantha Cataranes has found peace and contentment with a group of children born with Nexus in their brains. But when forces threaten to tear her new family apart, Sam will stop at absolutely nothing to protect the ones she holds dear.
In Vietnam, Kade and Feng are on the run from bounty hunters seeking the price on Kade's head, from the CIA, and from forces that want to use the back door Kade has built into Nexus 5.  Kade knows he must stop the terrorists misusing Nexus before they ignite a global war between human and posthuman. But to do so, he'll need to stay alive and ahead of his pursuers.
And in Shanghai, a posthuman child named Ling Shu will go to dangerous and explosive lengths to free her uploaded mother from the grip of Chinese authorities.
The first blows in the war between human and posthuman have been struck.  The world will never be the same.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Upgraded | Closer Than You Think | Upload | Civil War ]

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Naam’s follow-up to his sterling debut, Nexus (2013), continues the story of Kaden Lane, creator of a revolutionary mind-linking software called Nexus. Set about six months after the first novel, this one is at least as action-packed, but with its political commentary and dystopian elements ratcheted to higher levels. The author briskly catches us up with the characters introduced in Nexus; Kade is on the run, trying to find his friends Ilya and Rangan, who are being held captive by the American government; Su-Yong, the Chinese expert on transhumanism, exists now as a “software being,” her mind uploaded to a computer after the death of her body; and the agents of the ERD (Emergent Risks Directorate) are desperate to find the source of Nexus and to eliminate the software once and for all. Meanwhile, the Post-Human Liberation Front is using Nexus to turn ordinary people into assassins, threatening to throw the world’s governments into chaos. The book would have benefited from a “previously on . . . ”-style prologue to remind readers of the story and world introduced in Nexus; those unfamiliar with that book will be utterly lost here (especially when it comes to the software itself). Those who’ve read the first book, though, should have no trouble picking up where they left off. A strong, exciting, and intellectually stimulating sequel. --David Pitt


Praise for Book 1: NEXUS:
"The only serious successor to Michael Crichton."  
- Scott Harrison, author of Archangel
"Good. Scary Good." 

"One of the Best Books of 2013"

"Provocative. A double-edged vision of the post-human." 
The Wall Street Journal
"Starred Review. Naam turns in a stellar performance in his debut SF novel. What matters here is the remarkable scope and narrative power of the story." 
"A gripping piece of near future speculation... all the grit and pace of the Bourne films." 
- Alastair Reynolds, author of Revelation Space
"A lightning bolt of a novel, with a sense of awe missing from a lot of current fiction." 
-Ars Technica

"A rich cast of characters...the action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing." 
Publishers Weekly 

"Read it before everyone's talking about it." 
John Barnes

Praise for Book 2: CRUX:
"A blisteringly paced technothriller that dives deeper and even better into the chunky questions raised by Nexus. This is a fabulous book, and it ends in a way that promises at least one more. Count me in." 
- Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother
"Nexus and Crux are a devastating look into the political consequences of transhumanism; a sharp, chilling look at our likely future." 
Charles Stross 
"Smart, thoughtful, and hard to drop, this richly nuanced sequel outshines its predecessor." 
Publishers Weekly
"A heady cocktail of ideas and page-turning prose. It left my brain buzzing for days afterwards." 
- Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Quantum Thief 
"Highly recommended for preparation of the future revolution." 
- Harper Reed, Former CTO, Obama for America 

Product Details

  • File Size: 712 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BO4GE8S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,951 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Age Cyberpunk August 27, 2013
REVIEW SUMMARY: Frighteningly plausible cyberpunk.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Following the events of the first book, Kaden Lane is on the run with bounty hunters in hot pursuit. Sam, having gone rogue, has finally found inner peace in the presence of special children born with Nexus connection. The Post-Human Liberation Front has found a way to weaponize Nexus in a frightening way and the United States government is taking drastic steps to fight such emerging risks.


PROS: Expands on the foundation of the original in a big way, continued character development, lots of character diversity, super-cool tech, moral ambiguity, intense action, lays the groundwork for future entries without coming across as filler.

CONS: A lessened presence of the Buddhism I found so cool and interesting in the first novel.

BOTTOM LINE: A worthy sequel that reads like a mash-up of Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy, Naam's cyberpunk thriller is even better than the original.

I loved Ramez Naam's Nexus, an amazing science fiction novel that bombards the senses with espionage, philosophy, action, and a frighteningly plausible future. It's a novel that got me considering the implications of trans/post-humanism in a way I never have before. Fortunately for me, I did not have to wait a second to get started on the sequel, Crux, because I missed reading Nexus at its 2012 release. I started into Crux with a level of apprehension I reserve for sequels of books that I love. Would Naam be able to deliver a novel as exceptional as the first or would he fail to rise to the challenge? I need not have worried, as Crux is every bit as compelling as its predecessor and then some.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful Thriller August 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
In his first novel, Nexus, Ramez Naam burst onto the science fiction stage with a terrific book filled with credible augmented humans set in a fascinating future. Nexus was a thoughtful thrill-ride that came to a very satisfying, action-packed conclusion. In his latest novel, Crux, Naam takes his readers further into a world changed by Nexux, the mind-linking, mind-enhancing technology combining nano-technology, pharmacology and software.

Crux is a thoughtful thriller. While the book is filled with gunfire, assassinations, fist fights, carbon fiber and nano drones, once again it is the very human struggles that propel the story. Crux is fundamentally a story about power, the powers of the government and the powers of the individual.

The events in Crux take place six months after the events that made up the story in Nexus. Naam vividly describes both great good and great evil made possible by Nexus enhancement. Some people are empowered, some are addicted, some are enslaved. Naam is very good at writing conflicted characters, showing how evil can come from good intentions, how good people can fail and how hard choices can be.

Naam never lets philosophy get in the way of a good story. While his characters do battle with their consciences, they are mostly busy trying to stay alive and the story zips right along. Naam does manage to find the time to add small bits of humor to his tale, including a great scene where an enhanced Chinese clone and a grizzled CIA operative compare battle scars. Another great running joke are the repeated scenes where the reader is shown that running Bruce Lee software in your head doesn't make you Bruce Lee.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much action comes at a price December 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Nexus, and was eagerly waiting for this sequel. But while the result is pretty decent, it doesn't quite measure up to the original, and Naam made some disappointing decisions.

In particular, I think Crux may have been the victim of its predecessor's success. Nexus was praised for its thrills and action, and I believe the movie rights have already been sold. Naam seems to be trying to be trying to build on this, and as a result Crux reads like a screenplay draft for the kind of action movie that gets reviewed as an "edge of your seat thrill ride," where the action cuts rapidly between scenes and things like "THE WHITE HOUSE -- 18:30 GMT" are displayed in a quasi-military font at the bottom of the screen.

That's fine as far as it goes, and obviously the other reviewers here love their suspense, but it comes at a cost. Most of Nexus's subtleties have been smoothed over to keep the action pumping. All governments are corrupt and evil, the villains are unsympathetic caricatures, and philosophical differences are most often resolved with missiles. It's really a shame: one of the more intriguing subplots made it seem as though the CIA was trying to save Kaden from the less trustworthy branches of the DHS. Since the CIA in popular fiction is almost always a bunch of scheming lunatics, giving them the moral high ground would have been a nice touch. Unfortunately, Ramez Naam has already written a novel in which much of the U.S. government is corrupt and evil, and the easiest way to ramp up the suspense is for the entire government to be evil. So it turns out that, of course, the CIA was just plotting to control Nexus like everyone else.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This will be part of the sci-fi canon!
This book digs even deeper into the moral and political implications of the near-future technology imagined in Nexus. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Antoun
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thoughtful projections of post human struggles to come. ...
Very thoughtful projections of post human struggles to come. Highly realistic commentary on social, cultural, religious, scientific and political forces likely in play as strong... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Karl Syndulko
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent series... Loved it!!!
Published 3 days ago by Julie A. Grimme
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
Awesome book,fast paced, knowledgeable and fantastic characterization.
In its own way it's as good as Red Rising.
Published 6 days ago by paul
4.0 out of 5 stars I like that most of the action in this book is ...
This novel crackles along. It was hard to put down, and I'm looking forward to the last novel. It was somewhat longer than it needed to be though, and that's perhaps because it... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Martin E. Kobren
5.0 out of 5 stars A hypersonic thrill ride
In the realm of techno-thriller Ramez Naam is a genius. There's really no need to mince words about it. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Dark Moon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best sci-fi novels of the last years. I'm desperately looking forward to the 3rd book.
Published 27 days ago by Gabriel
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening entertainment
Among the finest sci-fi stories I've read. Intertwines cutting edge science with realistic political interpretation. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Richard Haller
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent singularity book
Well maybe not the Singularity but real close. These books read fast. The science and the fiction remain consistent. Already pre-ordered the third book.
Published 1 month ago by Matthew
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent read. Looking forward to the next book.
Published 1 month ago by igons54
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More About the Author

Ramez Naam was born in Cairo, Egypt, and came to the US at the age of 3. He's a computer scientist who spent 13 years at Microsoft, leading teams working on email, web browsing, search, and artificial intelligence. He holds almost 20 patents in those areas.

Ramez is the winner of the 2005 H.G. Wells Award for his non-fiction book More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement. He's worked as a life guard, has climbed mountains, backpacked through remote corners of China, and ridden his bicycle down hundreds of miles of the Vietnam coast. He lives in Seattle, where he writes and speaks full time.

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