Amped by Daniel H. Wilson

Daniel H. Wilson arrived to the novel scene with last year's inventive tale, "Robopocalypse". Combining a well thought out story with factual information (Wilson has a PhD in robotics), Wilson debuted a highly entertaining novel that earned critical and financial success. The film rights to the novel were even obtained by director Steven Spielberg. With fond memories of my time spent with his previous novel, I began reading "Amped" with high expectations.

In this sophomore novel, Wilson imagines a future in which humans have used technology to enhance their physical and mental abilities, creating a multitude of amplified humans (amps). Owen Gray, a high school teacher, is a medical amp. He was implanted with a device at a young age to help control his seizures. While Owen is a pretty straightforward amp, other humans have been amped to such a high level that normal humans fear them. Fueled by the zealous persuasion of Senator Joseph Vaughn, the Supreme Court passes laws that differentiate the rights of Amps from those of regular people (Reggies).

We abruptly learn that Owen's father, who was a lead scientist in the development of Amps, added another element to Owen's implant, one that gives him superhuman characteristics of the highest degree. Set on learning more about himself and on helping gain equal rights for all humans, Owen heads to an Amp refuge in Oklahoma, where he is forced to decide which side of the battle to fight on, and to dig deep inside of himself for the sake of humanity.

I was extremely disappointed by this novel. At only 288 pages, the whole narrative felt extremely rushed, and the characters were not given enough time for development. I was reminded of a similar novel, "Toys" by James Patterson, in which a man finds out that he is not what he thinks and is thrust into a battle between enhanced and regular humans. I can't believe that I actually enjoyed the Patterson novel more that this one. Overall, "Amped" lacks the technical reality, emotionally drawn characters, and unique concept that made "Robopocalypse" a success. Without these components, we are left with a subpar story that moves to an inevitable ending.

For more information, visit the author's website,

(week 31, book 35)

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 and is filed under ,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

6 Responses to “Amped by Daniel H. Wilson”

  1. Dang, I've been given this but I really don't think I'll bother. Great review though.

    1. If you have it, it is a quick read. I just was wanting more from it.

  2. Books written by people who know the subject are generally well explained, but the rushed narrative doesn't sound too good.

    1. I agree. I would recommend reading Robopocalypse instead.

  3. I admire the gumption of rating a book just like we see it.
    Too many reviewers hesitate to tell it like it is.

    PS Please stop over and see my latest giveaway, it's a thriller I think you'd like.

    1. Thanks Mike! I think it is important to always write honest reviews, even if you really wanted to enjoy the book.


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