What if our civilization is more advanced than we know?
The New York Times best-selling author of Daemon - "the cyberthriller against which all others will be measured" (Publishers Weekly) - imagines a world in which decades of technological advances have been suppressed in an effort to prevent disruptive change.
Are smartphones really humanity's most significant innovation since the moon landings? Or can something else explain why the bold visions of the 20th century - fusion power, genetic enhancements, artificial intelligence, cures for common diseases, extended human life, and a host of other world-changing advances - have remained beyond our grasp? Why has the high-tech future that seemed imminent in the 1960s failed to arrive?
Perhaps it did arrive…but only for a select few.
Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they've been working toward for years: A device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics - the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel Prize. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring. This Bureau of Technology Control uses the advanced technologies they have harvested over the decades to fulfill their mission.
They are living in our future.
Presented with the opportunity to join the BTC and improve his own technology in secret, Grady balks, and is instead thrown into a nightmarish high-tech prison built to hold rebellious geniuses like himself. With so many great intellects confined together, can Grady and his fellow prisoners conceive of a way to usher humanity out of its artificial dark age?
And when they do, is it possible to defeat an enemy that wields a technological advantage half a century in the making?
©2014 Daniel Suarez (P)2014 Penguin Audio
I don't re-listen to books, so no
Very good narration, good pacing
The first part of the book was terrible. Was like the author was just randomly throwing out words to sound technical (which was funny, because a character in the book actually accuses another of the same). Almost made me turn it off. By chapter 3 it was a lot better, and the concept of the book took off.
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
Grab this if you are hankering for a tightly paced scifi thriller that is heavy on the technology and science speak. Parts of this book (particularly the beginning) reminded me of the work of Robert Charles Wilson, with science ideas coming so fast and furious that some readers might feel overwhelmed.
Some of the information covered is current and factual, such as the main character’s special way of perceiving numbers as colors. His diagnosis of “grapheme synesthesia” separated him from other children, but also propelled him to become a scientist. A quick Google search reveals that this is a real life experience for some people.
The fictional science comes in when the protagonist invents a “gravity mirror.” This part of the book should please physics majors as it gets into some pretty specific details about how the mirror is not the same as anti-gravity. I got a bit lost but still liked the science-y feel of these passages.
There are also plenty of action sequences worthy of any summer blockbuster. In particular, I thought the torture scenes were among the most terrifying I have ever seen. The interrogator is an AI (artificial intelligence) which has infinite patience. As the protagonist tries to hold onto treasured memories to get himself through the torture, the AI deletes those memories one by one, eventually deleting his memory of how to resist pain. How could anyone resist under those circumstances?
I know I would not be able to resist if Influx were to come to a multiplex near me.
[I listened to this as an audio book performed by Jeff Gurner. At first his voice sounded like any one of a dozen audiobook narrators. But as the book went along, I began to appreciate the way he was able to change his voice just slightly and become a completely different person. He gave some characters accents with a very light touch, not clubbing the listener over the head but just enough so that you always knew who was talking. There were other little touches, such as giving the head of the CIA George Bush’s voice, adding humor where appropriate, and terror when the going got really tough for the protagonists. Basically, his narration was so excellent that I got completely wrapped up in the story and could see it playing out before my eyes. Too bad he can’t play all the parts if they make this into a movie.]
Say something about yourself!
I'm at a crossroads with Daniel Suarez. The comparisons to Michael Crichton are intriguing. But the one talent that Crichton excelled in comparison was dialogue. In INFLUX, you have an imaginative book with a clever premise that just falls short on the dialogue. Wooden exchanges, cliched comebacks, etc.. take quite a bit away from the story. In fact, i was torn whilst listening. chapter after chapter it was 'yuck' then 'more please' . It might have been the narrator contributing to this, but i found him to be quite tolerable. So in the end, i've come to the conclusion Suarez makes up with his imagination what he lacks in storytelling strength. Crichton was able to somewhat merge the two masterfully. Despite all shortcomings, I have become somewhat of a fan of Suarez in hopes that he can evolve.
I'm a high school English teacher, partner, mom, daughter, sister, and adventurer.
If it were 100% better quality of writing and more adherent to Suarez's previous style. I excused a lot of the quality of his writing before due to my interest in his vision of future technology. However, Influx is inexcusable.
I began the Suarez collection with Daemon, followed that up with Freedom, and backtracked to Kill Decision. I enjoyed all those books because (as Suarez readily admits on his Google talk) he had always written about technology that's on the brink. This made the stories have an air of realism, futuristic possibility, a vision of a potential world. However, with Influx, he ventures into "deeper" sci-fi, but in such a way that feels like a caricaturization, rather than a serious undertaking.
The dialogue is staid, names are inert, and action scenes are indulgent. I'm so disappointed that I highly doubt I'll return to any future Suarez novel.
The beginning of the novel was good because I thought it was going to be like his other novels. Once I discovered that Suarez has journeyed into so much sci-fi that it's almost a caricature of sci-fi, then I lost interest.
Anger that I wasted my time.
I forced myself to finish the novel but hated every minute.
I loved the first 3 Daniel Suarez books. This one however seemed to take a reach too far in the story line. The story telling like all of Daniel's books is exact and exceptional, I just never really bought into the premise of the story.
Well, if they were into this sort of speculative/action thrillers. It's not a book for everyone?
Yes, Gurner is one of the best Audible performers, and he does an outstanding job on this one. Top 10 of his work, without a doubt. In general, Audilbe performers are getting better, and Jeff is one of the best. He does Suarez well.
The last 1/4, with lots of action and resolutions, was damn interesting.
This book grows on you.Lots going on, and some complext story lines that weave around. Admittedly there is alot of action, and some of it is abit gratuitous. That said, i enjoyed it greatly,although it is abit light , it is enjoyable. Recommended.
Daniel Suarez' Influx started with an engaging concept that a secret government agency, the BTC, has been withholding major scientific breakthroughs to prevent inevitable social disruption. The plot centers on a physicist, Grady, who develops a gravity mirrors. What follows is an adjustment bureau like scenario. Grady resists and must endure torture and imprisonment until rescued by other inmates in the prison who cannot escape. Grady is released to assist BTC, but manages to escape and attempts to take them down.
The sci-fi elements are a combination of physics, biology, and computers, although nothing novel or unique. The story construction is a bit awkward with some detailed infodumps, such as learning how to use gravity boots, occurring late and out of place. The BTC splinter groups were thrown in, but hardly used. Ultimately, the BTC devolving into an organization run by a megalomanical lunatic with a sadist for their only henchman who has been cloned, a professional thief who understands advanced science better than most, and only one female enhanced for maximum pheromone release just made little sense. Grady also possessed an interesting brain in the way he saw colors and numbers, but this was rarely used to advance the story. Combined with the senseless killing of solid supporting characters and the cheezy end homecoming scene, the story simply doesn't live up to the potential of the plot resulting in the feel of poorly made for TV movie.
The narration is quite respectable with a solid range of voices and good pacing.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
Daniel Suarez knows some science, but his plot could have been written by a 12-year-old.
The story opens in an interesting way, but soon goes off the rails with some ridiculous choices by the author:
1. The bad guys are too evil. This is a common problem in storytelling, and it makes for a boring plot that lacks nuance and creativity.
2. For all his knowledge about science, Suarez demonstrates absolutely no understanding of how scientific discoveries and applications come to be, As a result, he imagines that one laboratory full of people can advance science in 50 years as much as the entire planet could in maybe 150 years. They are magically able to capitalize on every scientific breakthrough they find, and in months or years they've developed them to their logical end.
This story takes so many liberties that it's impossible to suspend disbelief. Suarez's plot never even comes close to the realm of plausibility, even if you accept his moronic premise.
This book started out interesting, then got weird, then got unbelievable, then got really good! You have to turn off your reality filters for this one though. Suarez goes way more sci-fi than he usually does. Once you accept this it is a fun read!
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
This a a good story that actually ends at the end of the book. There will be no sequel (Although wasn't that what George Lucas said about Star Wars until Disney bought him out.) It ends with a certain sense of finality. I can't imagine how the author will try to extend this series. I have listened to many books recently that actually don't end. The author just wants to make you buy the next book. Charles Dickens actually wrote his novels as a "series" but each book stood on its own. This a good one book thriller/SciFi novel that is an enjoyable listen. One book in and out. Done.
This is the first time I've written a review. After listening to this book I simply had to say, this is one of the best and most well researched stories I've heard.
"Amazing story and acting."
The story was fantastic. Being someone who mostly reads/listens to sci-fi books that are based hundreds of years in the future this was quite refreshing. Some of the ideas in this book are pretty terrifying, I think I know what my own version of hell would be now!
Thoughts on future tech, ideas around what could happen.
He does an excellent job with the main character, outstanding job with everyone else too! He really brings an extra sense of atmosphere.
Hybernity (Think that's how it's spelled!), and some parts towards the end.
Without meaning to cause offence... the whole experience was much better than I had expected!
"Exciting story, but relies too much on exotic tech"
I have enjoyed all Daniel Suarez's books, and I think that Jeff Gurner does a fantastic job narrating the story. The main ideas in the book are plausible and disturbing, but I wish that the story didn't rely so much on exotic technology relating to gravity. It got a bit much after a while. Still, I enjoyed the book and found it absorbing and thought provoking.
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