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4.5 out of 5 stars22
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on 4 September 2013
Book Review: Amped by Douglas E Richards
Reviewed by J Bryden Lloyd

Writing Style - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
It's not very often that a sequel is significantly better than its predecessor, especially so when Wired was an immensely popular best-seller.
Despite this, I found Amped to be a far more enjoyable ride. The flow is just as clean and good as the first book, but the tempo of the piece is much better. Add to this the excellent dialogue and powerful chapter structure, and this has all the hallmarks of another big success.

Character Development - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
In my review of Wired, I commented that the computer geek character was a little weak. What a difference a book makes! In this one, he comes into his own, and along with several new characters, he really does develop brilliantly.
Alongside them, our two main characters, Kira and Desh, really do run central to every plot and sub-plot, testament to some superb writing.
There were a few little `bugs' with the bad guy of the piece, who I felt was proven a little naiive, considering his supposed intelligence, and then suddenly goes in the opposite direction and becomes the cautious, calculating man we expect, when it's virtually too late.

Descriptive - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
Everything about the descriptive in this book is exceptional. The places, the characters, the suspense and the general feel of the work. The addition of a more sci-fi element did threaten to steal a little of the thunder, but even that was approached very neatly, and with the sub-plots dragging the reader in several different directions, it was the links between the narrative and the descriptive that pulled everything together.

Language & Grammar - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
This is a beautifully edited work, with exceptional use language and word selection. If I were to be picky, I did feel - once again - that one or two of the very minor characters had a limited range of dialogue, and although they contributed very little, it was noticeable.

Plot - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent) - MINOR SPOILERS
With yet another military officer on the heels of Kira Miller, you sort of expect more of `Wired', and although the basis was similar, I found that the sub-plots began leading me in entirely different directions.
The strong, but heavily twisted main plot is clever in the extreme - though potentially a little stretchy on the imagination. But this is one of those books which really does drag the reader in. The sub-plots feel separate and broken, the characters all seem to have very independent agendas. And yet, once again this author delivers an outstanding punchline.

General - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
A much nicer read than the first book, in terms of writing. Though I suspect there will be those who shy away from the more blatant use of sci-fi in this sequel.
My advice would be to accept the adjustment and read on. This really is an excellent book, and deserving of all the success of its predecessor, and more.
Very highly recommended. Five stars.
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on 26 November 2012
What I have discovered reading a book series is that you can love the original and the sequel(s) can be disappointing or less exciting, or vice versa. Yes, I do prefer WIRED, the first book, but AMPED is not disappointing, in my opinion it's just not quite as good.
At first, I was feeling a little let down. There was more action going on at this stage in WIRED, however getting into the second half of the book, the action certainly hotted up. It's all very highbrow and scientific, but there is something scary in that it could become possible in the future. Maybe not quite on this scale but in some form or other. Mr Richards is a clever author, so he knows a thing or two about the world of science, you only have to look at his credentials. But to weave this knowledge into a complex, and I mean very complex tale with so much going on is quite a substantial task. It could have been overkill and ended with a mess that was just too much to comprehend but the intricate plot does work very well.
The core characters are Miller, Desh, Metzger, Griffin and Connelly who run Icarus. They have recruited various scientists and we meet a couple of these during the course of the story. Several opponents are introduced including Jake who runs the black ops team and those who employ him. We have already met the team of five in the first book and the rest are new characters but we learn who they are and why they are on the hunt to destroy Icarus and it's leader.
A great storyline with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested and turning the pages. Strong characterisations, good descriptions and locational use.
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on 3 June 2012
I enjoyed Douglas E. Richards previous novel "Wired" which I read earlier this year. So I was really looking forward to reading its sequel, "Amped" which like its predecessor promised to be another fast paced sci-fi thriller. I was actually very curious to know where Richards would take the story as I actually felt that "Wired" had a relatively decent and complete enough ending.

The story follows Kira, David and the rest of the team who survived from the first book as they attempt to create a network of scientists that will use Kira's intelligence-increasing drugs to develop new ideas that will benefit humanity. However, even though they have been in hiding someone out there seems to be aware of their existence and is now trying very hard to locate them. As the tension mounts and the cat and mouse chase continues it becomes almost impossible to work out who is telling the truth and who actually are the good and bad guys.

I found that "Amped" felt very similar to its prequel both in style and plot which was fine by me as I did like "Wired" after all. Richards has once again written a thoroughly enjoyable novel that incorporates an incredibly fast pace with a thrill infused, roller coaster of a story that will keep most people glued to the book all night long. However, there is more than just action and thrills in this novel and I really enjoyed reading the conversations that occurred between the various individuals. These engaging and intellectual discussions could at times be quite enlightening as they covered philosophical, ethical, scientific and religious issues.

I feel that the biggest weakness of the novel is in regards to the similarities of the plot between "Amped" and "Wired". Once again the story revolved around a hidden mastermind trying to locate Kira and friends using governmental types that had been duped into hunting them down. The story also included the similar elements of mistrust between Kira, David, Matt, etc. I will add that there was a nice side story in regards to an alien encounter but I don't think there was much else new. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed "Amped" but most of it just felt like a re-hash of the same elements covered in "Wired" and therefore it didn't really offer me anything new.

Overall, whilst I found the plot to be a little bit too similar at times to "Wired" this is still a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting novel. The fast pace and action packed elements really complimented the various thought-provoking discussions that occurred between the characters and ensured the reader was both entertained and engaged intellectually. Both fans of the science fiction & thriller genre should find something enjoyable within "Amped" and I would therefore recommend that they add it to their library.
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on 4 December 2012
A sequel that was as intriguing as the first book. Which is usually hard to find. If I'm completely honest in places both this and the first book are very scientific and I found the technical sections to the book hard going at times, for those that like that amount of technical detail or if your into your biology or chemistry then you'll really enjoy it as it does make fascinating reading.

All this aside the storyline was what had me hooked and I found that I had to continue reading as the story was brilliantly written, it was one of those that you just couldn't guess what was going to happen and even the characters themselves aren't always aware or in the loop as to what's happening.

Having read the first book I was pleased to read about David Desh and Kira Miller in this sequel, I enjoyed reading about them, our two main characters who are brilliantly clever almost `superhuman' at times! Once again our main characters are being hunted down, by more than one enemy. It is fast paced and I found that I just wanted to carry on reading as I needed to see how it ended.
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on 5 February 2013
I don't know where to start with this book,so i'll refer to it as the 'prince', as it has so many devious characters in it. If you can get passed the 'crazy' moral philosophy rant between Kira and Van Hutten,and the occasional 'science' lesson,then this is a fabulously highly entertaining book.With many twists and turns,and a lot of exciting action.A real page turner.
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on 17 December 2012
Could do with some editing - the romance issues overwhelm some very good ideas. The villains are too simplistic - more cartoon than characters.
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on 1 October 2013
Not quite as enjoyable as Wired but still a great read. Worked out the plot much more quickly in this book
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on 11 June 2016
This sequel is a brilliant mix of action and cutting edge science extrapolated out into science fiction which feels within the reach of possibility. Intelligently and carefully written, without the typos and grammatical errors that seem to appear in so many kindle novels I've come across of late. Needless to say I will be ploughing into the other novels by this author.
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on 19 June 2013
I read Wired and Amped back to back in just a few days and thoroughly enjoyed them both.
The plots are so far removed from reality all you can do is strap yourself in and enjoy the rollercoaster. There are so many twists, turns, loops and thrills you won't know whether you're coming or going.
Utterly bonkers, utterly brilliant!
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on 5 April 2016
Dear Sir,
Douglas your two stories Wired and Amped do credit to your fabulous imagination. I couldn't put my iPad down until 5.30am this morning when I finished the both and at my age (74) next month that took some effort. Many grateful thanks.
Rob.Samuels
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