Apex by Ramez Naam
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This third novel is a serious departure from the first two. Global politics and truly high stakes action is involved, including several full-featured revolutions, the machinations of an evil world-mind, and a nuclear war. Sound pretty epic? It is.
And there was enough action and solid pace to make the introduction of many new characters worth continuing.
Don't worry, though! If you're worried that those surviving main characters don't carry over into this novel, rest assured. All of them have central roles, and it was satisfying enough to be a retelling of Siddhartha. (Although, to be perfectly honest, I much prefer this version. It's as accessible as only a transhumanist revolution featuring love and hate can make it.)
I always thought my idea of throwing thousands of poisonous snakes into a locked congress was a good idea, but Mr. Naam had a better idea. Read this novel and tell me if I'm wrong!
Did I think the novel surpass the first? Hard to tell. It's very different. The first novel was full of sympathetic and idealistic characters that I really latched on to. The second novel really departed from that, and so I was stuck in the pov's of morally ambiguous people who eventually redeemed themselves with their choices, or not. The third novel focused on anger and revenge versus redemption, but on a nicely grounded but still global scale, jumping from China to India, to the US, and back again.
One thing I really loved was the huge homage to Gibson's Idoru, made to serve an awesome purpose. I found myself cheering. :)
I still want to be a part of Nexus. I'd down the drug in a heartbeat. Maybe I have a lot of faith in humanity.
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