*Starred Review* Naam, an expert in new technologies and author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement (2005), turns in a stellar performance with his debut sf novel. Nexus is a nanotechnology that allows human minds to link up. But rogue scientists are using it to turn ordinary people into killers (shades of Richard Condon’s classic novel The Manchurian Candidate). The American government recruits—in other words, blackmails—Kade Lane, a grad student who’s been known to tinker with Nexus, to get close to the suspected leader of the mind-control program. But, as Kade soon discovers, one man’s villain is another’s visionary, and he’s forced to choose sides in a hurry, before someone else decides he’s too dangerous to stay alive. Naam has set himself a difficult challenge here: he’s telling a story in which much of the action and dialogue takes place inside the characters’ minds. But he succeeds admirably: one scene, in particular, in which a character races to make changes to the Nexus system by reprogramming it inside his own head, is nail-bitingly tense, when it could easily have come off as preposterous. The dialogue might be a bit raw in places, and there might be a slight overuse of exclamation points, but those are minor rookie mistakes. What matters here is the remarkable scope of the story and its narrative power. --David Pitt
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Any old writer can take you on a roller coaster ride, but it takes a wizard like Ramez Naam to take you on the same ride while he builds the roller coaster a few feet in front of your plummeting car... you'll want to read it before everyone's talking about it. - John Barnes, author of the Timeline Wars and Daybreak series. "An incredibly imaginative, action-packed intellectual romp! Ramez Naam has turned the notion of human liberty and freedom on its head by forcing the question: Technology permitting, should we be free to radically alter our physiological and mental states?" - Dani Kollin - Prometheus award winning author of The Unincorporated Man
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