"I'm gonna hunt you down like a rabid dog, Sloan." Albert Marrano clenched his teeth on an e-cigarette as he concentrated on a tiny screen.
As Influx begins, we are introduced to a young scientist who has just made a terrific discovery - a gravity mirror that can not only reverse but actually control gravity. On the cusp of this breakthrough, though, Jon Grady finds his lab attacked by a religious fanatic. A bomb is placed, he is tied up and a white light flashes...
What may seem like the end, though, turns out to be only the beginning as Grady is introduced to the world of the BTC - or Bureau of Technology Control - the secret agency to end ask secret agencies, charged with controlling the course of human innovation. Fusion generators, disintegration guns, gene manipulation, robotics, the cure for cancer, even immortality - they are all invented and utilised by the select few, who keep these technologies out of mankind's hands in order to 'protect' us.
I came across Influx on a blog list of upcominge novels a few months ago and was immediately attracted to the cover, as well as the quote on the front calling Daniel Suarez a “legitimate heir to Michael Crichton”. Although I’m not sure, based on this, that the quote is valid, I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of advanced technology, secret agencies, government conspiracies and chaos.
An obvious homage to the Count of Monte Cristo, Influx takes place over a few years of time, allowing the characters to learn and change without either of those actions seeming forced. Mr Suarez does a good job of creating rounded characters and even the villains are developed to a point where they do not seem like card-board cutouts or moustache-twirlers. One of the “villains” in particular has a really interesting character arc that takes her to some interesting places as she begins to question where her loyalties truly lie.
The stakes gradually get higher and higher and the dangers more and more real, allowing our hero Grady to rise to the occasion as he needs to. The advanced tech allows for some pretty impressive action scenes, especially towards the end. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but if you liked the physics-defying fights of Matrix or Inception, you will love what they do with Influx.
One place where I can definitely see the comparison to Michael Crichton is that it is impossible not to imagine Influx as a summer blockbuster movie. The book practically begs to be adapted and I for one would be queuing up for tickets to see it.
Although the epilogue was a little bit of a let-down for me – I would have preferred for it to delve a little bit more into the larger consequences of the climax rather than giving us a coda to the characters – overall the book really worked. More of a sci-fi adventure than a Michael Crichton-esque thriller, it was still a rollicking read that I really liked. I gave this 4 shattered gravity mirrors out of 5.
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From the Blogosphere:
As A Matter of Fancy
Kayla's Reads and Reviews
From the Author's Mouth:
Interview (and review) at Geek Dad