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Crux Paperback – August 27, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857662961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857662965
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Review

“Potent like Naam’s vividly imagined nano-drug Nexus, Crux is a heady cocktail of ideas and page-turning prose. It left my brain buzzing for days afterwards.”
Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince

“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 probe into the political consequences of transhumanism; a sharp, chilling look at our likely future."
– Charles Stross, author of Halting State and Singularity Sky

“Smart, thoughtful, and hard to drop, this richly nuanced sequel outshines its predecessor with a wide cast of characters and some complicated, uneasy questions about power, responsibility, and the future of humanity.” 
Publishers Weekly

“Highly recommended for preparation of the future revolution.”
– Harper Reed, former CTO of Obama for America

“A brilliant book, full of mind-blowing tech drawn in highly believable fashion. Naam’s action sequences carry a brutal intensity, and every time you think he’ll finally let you breathe the stakes rise even higher.” 
Jason M. HoughNew York Times best-selling author of The Darwin Elevator

Crux is an outstanding speculative fiction adventure … in the same league as Michael Crichton and Daniel Suarez. Put it at the top of your summer reading list!”
Scientific American 

“Sublime. This book is speculative fiction at its finest.. Mr. Naam masterfully mobilizes the zeitgeist of contemporary political and tech culture.. Tempts readers with equal parts dread and optimism. This is not a book to be missed.”  
– 
Page of Reviews 

“Readers of Ramez Naam‘s techno-thriller Nexus will not want to miss the awesome sequel,Crux.” 
Kurzweil AI

Crux does the work of great science fiction. It makes the reader look closely and critically at what kind of world we’re building here and now.”
– Kent Peterson

“Naam’s writing is always strong, fluid and sure. With gripping, heart-pounding action scenes and muscle-binding tension normally reserved for horror stories, Crux is a book you don’t want to miss.”
Allways Unmended

“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.”
– SF Signal

“I found myself tearing through the pages as chapters flew by from different characters’ perspectives until the final pieces fall into place.If you enjoyed Nexus you will absolutely love Crux.”
– My Bookish Ways


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.

Customer Reviews

Interesting concepts and great paced action.
Amazon Customer
I loved Ramez Naam's Nexus, an amazing science fiction novel that bombards the senses with espionage, philosophy, action, and a frighteningly plausible future.
Nickolas X. P. Sharps
Crux is a terrific follow-up to Nexus, building on the plotlines, action, character development and moral dilemas from book one.
Art

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Nickolas X. P. Sharps VINE VOICE on August 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
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.

MY REVIEW

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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Bustanoby on September 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am 10% into the book and am very bothered by the terrible Kindle formatting. Chapter breaks are non-existent. Many paragraphs lack indentation at the first sentance. Breaks in the story that would be marked by blank lines or starting new ideas on the next page in a paper book just don't exist on Kindle. These are not rare occurrences, but are found at least every few pages. They make it difficult to tell when characters or settings change. It makes for a very frustrating read. Not worth the kindle price for such poor quality formatting. These problems exist on kindle or ipad and have been reported by multiple friends reading the book!so it's not just a corrupt copy. Please fix this, Amazon! It's embarrassing for you and the author alike.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By molly on August 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this sequel to the widely-acclaimed "Nexus", Naam explores a world struggling to incorporate the widely available (if still very illegal) nanodrug Nexus. As the population using Nexus grows, so does the cast of characters - including Kade's friends Rangan Shankari and Ilya Alexander, a transhumanist terrorist, autistic children, and a government scientist increasingly addicted to the Nexus in his brain.

It's a gloriously dark tale where no one is safe, and no one is right. It's obvious Naam is an optimist, but reality keeps getting in the way. Characters you love make bad decisions for noble reasons, while characters you want to hate compel you with their tortured humanity. It's a fast-paced action thriller that will leave you giggling, crying, and begging for more.
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