Book Review: “Nexus” & “Crux” by Ramez Naam
by Ramez Naam
5 out of 5 stars
Something I’ve said a few times lately is that all the hot action in sci-fi these days seems to be going on on the Young Adult section. Not really a complaint per se, more of an assessment of the situation. I’m actually quite glad to see the YA writers up their game from the mostly-drivel available when I was in my early teens. But I have wondered if all the Sci-Fi writers have moved to Hollywood and Burbank to write scripts instead of novels. So when “Crux” was offered to me for advance reading, I read the blurb and took a look at Naam’s Goodreads ratings, and said what the hell, send it over. Picked up a copy of Nexus direct from the publisher, The Robot Trading Company and dove in. After all, it’s no fair to review a second book without reviewing the first. So you guys get a double header.
In an utterly compelling mix of Sci-Fi, Action-adventure and spy genres, Nexus simply up and blows you away. Our heroes have upgraded a mind enhancing Nano-technology drug into something that can not only interface with the human mind, but can allow you to program it. It runs a micro OS that allows interfacing with other minds also running it, and downloadable apps for your brain. Including one that directs your body in bad video game Kung-Fu.
But the Government doesnt approve of this kind of enhancement. It’s illegal in the U.S. And the Feds are banging on the door.
I honestly dont want to give any more of the plot away. You guys need to pick these up and read them for yourselves.
“Crux” is due for release on the 27th of this month, so you’ve got a bit of time. This is one author that doesnt suffer from sequel sickness- the second in the series is just as strong and powerful as the first. Expect to want to read it immediately after finishing the first.
The writing itself is smooth and crystal clear. Naam’s writing reminds me of Neal Stephenson’s earlier works, particularly “Snow Crash”. But don’t be daunted; these are not as heavy or wordy as Stephenson’s more recent novels, though no less enjoyable. These are the kind of page-turners that will keep you up way past your bedtime, and will appeal to a wide variety of readers, from Dan Brown and Robert Ludlum fans to lovers of hardcore sci-fi.
Overall, if I had to choose the book most likely to be made into an awesome film or television series this year, these are the books I’d be pointing to. Yes, please!