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Influx Hardcover – February 20, 2014

429 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Jon Grady, a mostly self-taught particle physicist, is on the verge of perfecting an invention that will change the world when a group of radical terrorists break into his lab, destroy the place, and kill everyone within—except not really. Grady isn’t killed; instead he’s spirited off to the top-secret headquarters of the Bureau of Technology Control (BTC), a clandestine U.S. government department devoted to identifying and controlling new technologies. The BTC offers Grady the opportunity to work for them, developing his ideas for the benefit of the BTC, but Grady refuses—and is promptly whisked away to a BTC prison, where an artificial-intelligence inquisitor inflicts a variety of tortures on him, trying to force his cooperation. And that’s just the beginning, the set-up, really, of this high-flying (literally) sf adventure. Further story developments should probably be left to the author to reveal—let’s just say readers familiar with The Count of Monte Cristo will spot some key thematic similarities, and the book’s denouement involves some of the most imaginative plot contrivances you’re likely to encounter. But it is safe to say that the book is extremely well crafted. The characters (even the not-strictly-human ones) are vivid, the pacing is perfect, the villain is capital-E evil, and the author’s near-future world is so well developed that you completely buy even his wildest speculations. A tour de force of speculative fiction. --David Pitt


Praise for Influx

"You'll hear a lot of reviewers compare Suarez to [Michael] Crichton, including me for his previous book Kill Decision. And Suarez deserved the honor in the truest sense...he had achieved a truly Crichton-level of storytelling. But with Influx, Suarez becomes the master, and Crichton is the one who is honored by the comparison." - Stephen L. Macknik, Scientific American
"[Influx is] done with the dazzling sophistication, the play of ideas, the hints of a new understanding almost within our grasp that characterize sci-fi in the cybertronic age." - The Wall Street Journal

“With this terrifying thriller, Suarez provides further support for the proposition that he’s a worthy successor to the late Michael Crichton… Suarez once again mixes science and fiction perfectly.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The characters (even the not-strictly-human ones) are vivid, the pacing is perfect, the villain is capital-E evil, and the author’s near-future world is so well developed that you completely buy even his wildest speculations. A magnificent tour de force.”

"Influx is's fun...and it's a thinker. Just what I've come to expect from Daniel Suarez." - Geek Dad

"Influx as a whole is riveting. Fans of science fiction and thrillers will enjoy this engrossing combination of both genres." - ShelfAwareness

"It's a delicate balance, but one that Suarez manages with the skill and audacity of Philippe Petit. Don't know that name? Petit is the only tightrope walker ever to cross between the Twin Towers. Like the daring Frenchman, Suarez goes higher and takes bigger risks than many of his contemporaries or predecessors. It's a technique which allows and enables his work to stand out." - SF Site

Praise for Daniel Suarez:

“This is the kind of mind-expanding novel that uses entertainment to make powerful, important points about alarming current trends; the novel as cautionary tale has rarely been better executed. . . . Highly recommended.”
—Tim O’Reilly on Kill Decision

“Perfectly blending nail-biting suspense with accessible science, bestseller Suarez (Daemon) establishes himself as a legitimate heir to Michael Crichton with this gripping present-day thriller.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Kill Decision

“Greatest. Techno-thriller. Period. Experts have long feared the Internet doomsday scenario. Daemon is arguably more terrifying.”
—William O’Brien, former White House director of Cybersecurity and Communications Policy, on Daemon

Daemon does for surfing the web what Jaws did for swimming in the ocean.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Suarez’s fiction is closer to reality than most people think.”
—Chris Anderson, author and editor-in-chief of Wired, on Kill Decision

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton; First Edition first Printing edition (February 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525953183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525953180
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (429 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DANIEL SUAREZ is the author of the New York Times bestseller Daemon, Freedom™, Kill Decision, and Influx. A former systems consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, he has designed and developed software for the defense, finance, and entertainment industries. With a lifelong interest in both IT systems and creative writing, his high-tech and sci-fi thrillers focus on technology-driven change. Suarez is a past speaker at TED Global, MIT Media Lab, NASA Ames, the Long Now Foundation, and the headquarters of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon -- among many others. Self-taught in software development, he is a graduate from the University of Delaware with a BA in English Literature. An avid PC and console gamer, his own world-building skills were bolstered through years as a pen & paper role-playing game moderator. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 100 people found the following review helpful By H. J. Spivack VINE VOICE on January 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have had experience with Mr. Suarez' novels before. I read Daemon and Freedom and thought both were excellent reads, full of fantastic ideas and executions that went deeper and further than I had any reason to expect. Kill Decision was not one of my favorites, but I was hopeful for Influx.

Influx has a lot of big ideas. At its core, and as in his previous novels, the notion that technology advances can be disruptive and destructive prevails. In the novel, Influx, the BTC (Bureau of Technology Control) keeps a firm hand on new, distruptive technologies. When a new technology is discovered, its inventor (along with us, the readers as witnesses) is pulled into the BTC's orbit. These are not spoilers, there is nothing here that is not revealed on the back of the book. But there are intricacies within the plot and the same kinds of twists and turns as in Daemon and Freedom.

There are some great ideas at the heart of the novel, but the execution could use work. Some of the dialogue contains some howlers (the use of 'my dear,' probably sounded patronizing when it was in common usage (which was when, exactly?) but there is a character that uses this many times. I lost count at 12 and then another character started doing it too). To me, the test for dialogue is to read it out loud. If you can make it fit in your mouth and sound good, it works. One author that really gets it right is Stephen Gould with his Jumper series, real emotions, real dialogue, real characters. And he makes the villians work too.

The comparison on the cover between Suarez and Crichton is probably worthy, but Suarez' novels suffer from the same problems as Crichton's. The villians are wooden, moustache twirlers, the heros are clueless until they're not and then they are cardboard cutouts.
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41 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Silea VINE VOICE on January 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the kind of book that keeps you up half the night turning pages until you finish it, but the next day you've mostly forgotten it. It's a pretty good techno-thriller, but it relies pretty heavily on the tropes of the genre. There's the brilliant-but-different scientist, the evil head of a government organization that wants to use him, the smokin' hot young female assistant, mysterious agents trying to aid the scientist who may or may not be working toward their own ends, etc etc.

The action is tense, the descriptions of combat detailed enough that i had a sense of what was going on without it getting dreadfully technical or wallowing in the carnage.

Oddly, the technology was somewhat under-described. The effects got their share of ink, but the devices were often mentioned only in passing. And given the premise of it being way beyond what we consider 'modern', the only thing that makes this Science Fiction instead of Fantasy is that the narrative insists that it's scientifically derived. Plenty of 'modern fantasy' books have nearly the same results, but instead of turning on a deflector machine that miraculously protects the wearer from bullets, in the Fantasy version they wave a wand or recite a spell.

But that's not the point, really. It's a David vs Goliath affair, our differently brilliant scientist going up against technology decades or centuries beyond him. And while the means by which the story progresses did surprise me a few times, the overall arc of the story was a copy of many others in the genre.

So four stars for being a good, engaging read. I enjoyed it. I might even recommend it. But it's entertaining the way an action movie is, you just shut your brain off and go for a ride.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Influx" is a smart, fast-paces thoughtful techno-thriller with large doses of science fiction and enough action to feel like a movie. The premise is simple - for 50+ years a secret extra-government agency (think S.H.I.E.L.D. crossed with Men In Black) has acted to control advanced technology by kidnapping geniuses and putting them to work in secrecy - or eliminating them. Originally charged with preventing social disruption from advanced tech, this agency, the Bureau of Technology Control (BTC) has mutated into a bunch of self-absorbed "gods" who live up high and exist only to perpetuate themselves while enjoying the advanced tech (fusion, immortality, etc.).

Into this comes Jon Grady, a physicist who is kidnapped after developing some advanced technology that can control gravity. Rather then work for the BTC he resists, and is imprisoned and tortured. And, I must stop to avoid any spoilers, but suffice to say, you, the reader, will enjoy some rousing action sequences, daring escapes, awesome high-tech toys that would make Tony Stark jealous, an excellent villain, and some thoughtful ruminations on the nature of innovation and its role in a few set pieces that I cannot wait to see in the inevitable movie version.

A fun, fast read and highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Grist on February 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved Daemon and Freedom TM, didn't like Kill Decision, and am now thoroughly on the fence about Influx. I think it comes down to the AI.

Daemon and Freedom TM were all about AI, as created and designed by a dead genius. Brilliant. I loved how the AI developed, loved how it was changing the world. All the people were but pawns of the AI, which was a pawn of a nutcase genius, and that is crazily interesting.

There was no AI of interest in Kill Decision. And as you may be able to guess, my favorite bits in Influx were with the AI. Suarez gives more character to these implacable friends/foes than to any of the humans in the book. The humans are basically, beyond Jon Grady's early resistance, a bunch of bores. Let me sum up the novel in note form-

Beginning- utterly off-putting tech-splurge, overkill even for me and I like Neal Stephenson and to be inundated with unfamilar terms. but too much.

First third- everything with the AI was brilliant. Disturbing and excellent.

The rest- everything that followed was Deus ex Machina. People popped out of the woodwork to help Grady, and their plans became more important than his. Pretty much everything was him just tagging along. He's supposed to be a genius but when faced with a seriously smart enemy with everything on the line, he does literally nothing smart or intelligent himself. He only survives because others take pity on him and help him.

That really disappointed me. I want my good guys to be victorious because they are so innovative and bad-ass that they overcome an implacable foe, not by softening the implacable foe so much that they can just be stepped over.
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