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Robert Ludlum's (TM) The Utopia Experiment (Covert-One series) Hardcover – March 26, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mills offers an interesting new premise for action-adventure...[and] rockets the action around the world."—Kirkus Reviews

"Ludlum fans will enjoy the familiar frantic pace and dramat ic shifts in plot they have come to expect from this series."—Fredericksberg Free-Lance Star

"Fast-paced and action-filled, with iconic characters and contemporary themes . . . Fans of Ludlum . . . thrillers will find The Ares Decision right on target."—Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star on The Ares Decision

"A tight and tense pageturner."—Booklist on The Ares Decision

"Freveletti turbocharges tension to nonstop levels in this Covert-One thriller."—Kirkus Reviews on The Janus Reprisal

"Fast-paced, exciting . . . a winner."—Booklist on The Arctic Event

"The cinematic chase through changing landscapes and mounting body count gives the book its rapid pace, while insider politics, tradecraft, and technical wizardry lend an extra kick."—Publishers Weekly on The Cassandra Compact

"Packed with all the classic Ludlum elements . . . the intricately engineered plot thunders forward at breakneck pace. Bottom line: Perfectly executed."—People on The Altman Code

About the Author

KYLE MILLS is a New York Times bestselling author of over 10 novels including Rising Phoenix and Lords of Corruption. He lives with his wife in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where they spend their off-hours skiing, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

ROBERT LUDLUM was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 225 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum passed away in March 2001. To learn more, visit www.Robert-Ludlum.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: Covert-One series (Book 10)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (March 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780446539890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446539890
  • ASIN: 0446539899
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kyle Mills is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve books, including the latest in Robert Ludlum's Covert-One series, The Ares Decision.

Growing up in Oregon, Washington, DC, and London as a the son of an FBI agent, Kyle absorbed an enormous amount about the Bureau, giving his novels their unique authenticity. He and his wife live in Wyoming where they spend their off hours rock climbing and backcountry skiing.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on April 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It's a whole new world. Christian Dresner is a former German captive during WWII who was forced to help the Nazis perform horrific experiments on human beings in an effort to create the "perfect athlete." After his escape, he has seemingly dedicated his life to improving man's lives by creating remarkable vaccines to wipe out diseases and incredible prosthetics for amputees. Now he has created the Merge, an electronic device that allows users to control their Internet actions with their thoughts and can access web pages almost instantly. Incredibly sophisticated Apps are being developed all the time to work with the Merge units.

The unit is small and can clip onto your belt. Users must either wear a headset, which is bulky and cumbersome, or have small metal studs implanted in the skull just behind the ears to activate it. The added bonus of the studs provides a sleep function that rivals any pill or other sleeping aid, and it also corrects vision problems. Units are selling like hotcakes, and the majority of users are opting for the studs. When the studs are used, each Merge is made to adapt to only one user's brainwaves, making that Merge virtually useless by any other user and largely eliminating the temptation to steal someone else's unit.

There's a Merge version for civilians, as well as a much more advanced one for the military. Dresner made a deal to sell the units exclusively to the US Military, but other countries are trying to get them as well. The military-style Merges give soldiers unprecedented advantages on the battlefield with their high level of technical sophistication. An opposing soldier without a Merge becomes a non-threat; a soldier armed only with the civilian version isn't much of a problem either when up against the Military Merge.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Suzette A. Quesnel on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
my how technology has changed since I started reading Ludlum's book
this is a book you do not want to go to bed as you want to finish it
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read the Covert One series for a while (since Gayle Lynds) and am not really a fan of this faction of the adventure genre. But I am a huge Kyle Mills fan so I had to pick it up.

And I'm glad I did!

Even though a series, this book could easily be a standalone, which is I suppose, the idea of Covert One of late. I understand the necessity for Ludlum's name being on the cover for commercial reasons, but really, Mills could have pulled this off without the help. Change the names of the main characters and you would have a great, modern-day thriller.

I loved the in-depth technology info but Mills is known for that. The book is fast paced, full of action (as the genre demands) but is by no means pure adventure. There is a great plot, a supurb premise (which would make most Bible-thumpers panic in their boots with its resemblance to 666 theories), and decently broad characters.

A Steve Jobs-like entrepreneur has developed the next stage of computing called "The Merge" which is a small ipod-size computer that fits in your pocket but is merged with your mind via either a headset or a tiny implant. The owner experiences an HUD in their vision with icons for software on either side of your visual screen. But the inventor has added a few lines of code that no one understands. What's it for?

Meanwhile, the entire world, including the military, have embraced the technology by the millions. Something nags though. What is that extra code for? When John Smith and his team find out the devestating purpose of the code, it's a race against time to save the world.... or at least 9 million people living in it.

The book is long (especially the audible version-13 hours) and it lagged a little but for the most part, the plausibility of the technology and constant action scenes kept it interesting. If Mills writes more of these, I'll buy them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. on April 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
More than anything else, The Utopia Experiment is entertaining. It's exciting too. One wonders why Kyle Mills didn't just put it out under his own name- it's that good. Taking a complex computer plan and creating a product that people would fall over themselves to get, the author had to show some real creativity, and no doubt people smarter about these things than I are tying to find every fault with the system he created for the novel. For me, I just enjoyed the story, and I recommend it unhesitatingly to others who enjoy a good tale full of surprises which doesn't insult you. You don't need to be a computer whiz to understand it, as my own enjoyment proves!
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Format: Hardcover
Science Fiction authors have been known to predict the future that is both technologically advanced and historical—for instance, in 1888, “Looking Backward” predicted universal credit before the credit card. In 1903, H. G. Wells predicted war machines in “The Land Ironclads” that eventually became the modern tank. The list of these science fiction predictions to be found in novels that came true is impressive.

But The Utopia Experiment deals with technology that’s called the merge—a form of control over the mind and body—and the Pentagon is interested in its ability to create super soldiers, but the merge poses a danger to humanity because once the merge technology is surgically implanted in the human brain, there is a dangerous risk involved that puts too much power in the hands of one man.

This is a chilling prophesy considering what’s going on in public education in the United States with the Common Core Standards and a UK company called Pearson that want to standardize what all children learn and then use standardized tests given only by computers throughout the year to not only rank and then yank teachers but to judge children as successes or failures at an early age while using this data to follow a child through life until death as an adult—thus giving a few billionaires way too much power over the rest of humanity.

I think we can learn from novels like this one and maybe use that knowledge to stop programs like the Common Core Standards and the standardized testing that will be used to judge children and ruin too many lives that are ranked as failures as early as kindergarten. I think The Utopia Experiment offers us a warning so we can avoid the dark side of computer technology.

I bought the unabridged audio of this book at Costco.
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