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4.2 out of 5 stars
27
4.2 out of 5 stars
Influx
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2016
Daniel Suarez is billed as the new Michael Crichton. While a few of his novels have come onto my radar, this is the first I have read. Based on this showing there's a great deal of promise, but the fairly derivative nature of the plot suggests that at least for now the pure inventiveness of Crichton has yet to be matched.

The basic precept is this: imagine that many of the key inventions we have been patiently awaiting for the last 50 years – controlled fusion, quantum computing, reliable cloning, a generic cure for cancer – have actually been found, but are hidden from the world at large. What warped power and societal structures would that drive? It's a great precept, although here it's turned into a recognisable and predictable plot, with a heroic inventor on the run, while dark forces try to suppress inventions on behalf of the status quo. In some ways it's reminiscent of Chain Reaction, and by pure coincidence I had also just read Catalyst by Boyd Morrison, which while markedly less futuristic tells a similar tale.

My other slight gripe is that this suffers in a few places from "techno-babble", short sections which appear to just be a dumping-ground for a large number of technical terms, which just about boil down to "magic". I know the author is trying to establish the BTC's technological superiority, but that's adequately done by the more detailed examples in the main flow of the text.

That said, this is a clever piece, challenging preconceptions and frequently, even literally, turning them on their heads. As a techno-thriller it's well written, keeping the reader's attention fully engaged from the first page, and I will certainly be reading more of Suarez's books.
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on 20 April 2017
Bit surprised about the number of 5 and 4 star reviews here. Daemon and Freedom were just about good enough to warrant taking a punt on this book and the good reviews were what finally convinced me.

Sadly, these proved to be very misleading. Premise of the book is interesting enough but execution is the author's main problem. The novice errors from the first 2 books are even more apparent here.

I don't know how long the author took to write this but it clearly feels rushed. The characters are paper thin and his treatment of the Alexa character in particular is pretty embarrassing - she's a genetically enhanced, super-strong, super-intelligent women but she seems to get most things done by being super-beautiful and fluttering her eyelids at weak-kneed "geeks". A real missed opportunity for a promising female lead.

If, like me, you're considering reading this book hoping for a progressive maturing of style that one can normally expect from an authors later work, then don't bother. You'll be as disappointed as I was.
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on 7 March 2014
I read Daniel Suarez's previous 3 novels and enjoyed them. Influx has clearly benefited from good editing - the story runs along at a great pace, the characters are clearly defined, and the plot is developed without any needless sidetracks.

There are some interesting ideas in the book - both big-picture and more technical. Is technological progress always good? Who benefits, who loses - and do those wins and losses add up to a net benefit? However, rather than explore the ideas, the book became a fast-paced techno-thriller. That's okay - it's what the jacket promises - but it leaves the book at "airport purchase", rather than something more engaging.

The characters are interesting - but again, the traits that made them interesting weren't really explored in any depth.

So, an okay book to while away a long flight, but I doubt I'll remember much of it in a few weeks time.
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on 8 June 2016
OK the premise is bonkers!! Mind blowing super technology is actually already here in our contemporary world but kept hidden by a secret agency as we are "not ready" for this technology yet. So every time a gifted scientist discovers game changing technology, this agency intervenes and kidnaps the scientist. The book is about said scientist Jon Grady who discovers anti gravity and is subsequently kidnapped. But he doesn't give up and fights back......its a high tech thriller, you get the rest. I enjoyed it, read his other books, they're good as well.
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VINE VOICEon 17 March 2014
I've read all four of Daniel Saurez's books to date and this is the first that doesn't make the grade for me. With his previous three books (Daemon, Freedom and Kill Decision) he combined an entertaining and well-planned plot with interesting characters and a writing style that sucked me in and kept me reading.

However the best way to sum up Influx is that it feels... rushed. The writing style is still there but the characters feel under-developed in comparison to his earlier books. I have to level a similar criticism at the plot too. This moves at an inconsistent (and sometimes much too rapid) pace and introduces several convenient twists that allow the storyline to be resolved in the way the author intended. However I was left with the impression that too many deus ex machina were harmed (OK, used) during the writing of this story.

The strength of Daemon, Freedom and Kill Decision is that they were all well researched, well developed, and based on technology that is only a generation or two away at best. Unfortunately Influx is none of these. I'm hoping for better next time.
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on 26 January 2016
I was a little bit disappointed by this book - it's not a bad book, exactly, quite an enjoyable read - but I was a big fan of his first 2 books, particularly Daemon, which was one of the better sci-fi/tech/post-cyberpunk books I've read. I just had the feeling that the author never quite finds the right voice I this one, and the result is a novel which doesn't quite have the quality of his earlier work. That said, it's not a bad way to spend a couple of damp/cold winter evenings.
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on 2 October 2015
I've read nearly all of Suarez's books, and this one is definitely amongst my favourites. I can't say that at all points I completely understood the science behind it but despite that it was the usual gripping, fast paced, inspirational read that characterises his writing and for me this book was a better piece of literature. I look forward with great anticipation for future works.
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on 8 August 2017
Another amazing and scary futuristic story from Daniel. A must read to everyone
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on 28 December 2014
This was my first Daniel Suarez read and I loved it. This is quite a technical book in some ways which is very interesting. The blend between science and fiction is seamless and the characters are mostly believable and engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it
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on 21 August 2015
An excellent read, not quite as good as daemon and its follow up novel. But still an exciting yarn. The next time you hear in the media that nuclear fusion is 25 years away, you'll remember this novel!
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