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Influx | [Daniel Suarez]

Influx

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Craig Seattle, WA, United States 05-15-14
    Craig Seattle, WA, United States 05-15-14

    I teach. I Listen. I trust your judgment as a fellow listener.

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    "Solid to Silly to Inane"

    At the opening the premise was solid; there is a secret government organization responsible for monitoring and controlling global technological innovations. It is very powerful and deeply off the books. Then, just when you have bitten a big bite of the apple, enter the dark forces that mimic the evil characters in a Marvel comic sans the mutant superpowers (our antagonists use technology to that end).

    Eventually the entire sic-fi thriller degrades into silly dialogue and revenge-driven mania.

    This audiobook should only be downloaded in those desperate moments (from your Wish List) when you are late for work and your iPod is empty. If you have the time, search around for a more viable futuristic battle of good vs. holier-than-thou-technocrat.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sterling Okura Salt Lake City 02-24-14
    Sterling Okura Salt Lake City 02-24-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Entertaining Physics SciFi"

    Influx is a fun read, though not as gripping as his Daemon series. The first half of the book is slower paced with a lot of technical information, but the pacing picks up in the 2nd half with the exciting action we've come to expect from Suarez.

    The world of Influx is not as strongly developed as the augmented-reality gamer paradise of Daemon, and as another reviewer noted, the suspension of disbelief is more difficult with this story. However, the humor and lighter tone helped me to just go with it and enjoy the fun, silly ride.

    Even though the beginning was slower paced, I found the scientific explanations of new technology and the psychological explorations of futuristic interrogation quite interesting.

    Things really get fun when the action turns on. I loved the manipulated-gravity combat tactics that took Ender Game's "the enemy's gate is down" concept to entirely new levels.

    While the story is about a secretive and ruthless government division suppressing miraculous breakthroughs in physics and technology, Suarez continues to acknowledge his gamer geek cred with a shout out to Leeroy Jenkins, and a nod to the greatest first-person-non-shooter (that would be Portal of course). One of the many enjoyable characters was a GladOS-like female AI that ran a secret facility and tried to kill people while cheerfully engaging them in friendly conversation. She even used laser-turrets for security.

    The story ties up neatly, but there are rogue AIs left that could make for an interesting sequel (please).

    As a big Suarez fan, I pre-ordered Influx and started listening within minutes of it being available after midnight. While it was different than his other books, I was definitely not disappointed and eagerly look forward to his next release.

    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph SAN JOSE, CA, United States 02-21-14
    Joseph SAN JOSE, CA, United States 02-21-14 Member Since 2002

    JRJ

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    "An excellent book well read"

    Influx is not quite as interesting as Suarez's first work, Daemon (and Freedom tm, which was really just the second half of Daemon rather than a second book) but I enjoyed it more than Kill Decision.

    The characters are nicely drawn, the story never lags. Definitely a page-turner... and Suarez is never afraid to dip into "hard sci-fi" levels of technical descriptions that are the result of copious research.

    The best part by far is the scene in which the main character is being interrogated. I don't want to spoil anything, but it is a brilliantly conceived bit of drama that there's no way to describe without spoiling. Suffice it to say that it alone justifies reading the entire book, and it is beautifully written.

    If there is a single problem with Influx it's that it requires a greater level of suspension of disbelief than the closer-to-current-reality books that precede it. Daemon and Freedom were almost as far-fetched, but they baby-stepped you towards accepting each new piece rather than demanding you to accept everything all at once. Influx throws you immediately into a universe that's far removed from our current levels of technological achievements without giving you time to adapt. However, the concepts are so well researched that they still feel real, and if you can suspend disbelief on some of the more exotic technologies presented (which, again, Suarez explains expertly) you're in for a great ride.

    Daemon (and its sequel Freedom) stands as my favorite fiction book in the last 20 years. Influx doesn't quite reach that bar, but is close... and is a fantastic book.

    Also, worth mentioning that the narration by Gurner was excellent as always. I wound up reading about a third of the book and listening to ⅔... I found that when I was reading I was hearing Gurner's voices. He's a great narrator.

    24 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robert 03-28-14
    robert 03-28-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Disapointed"
    Any additional comments?

    Daniel Suarez's previous works were amazing. This feels like something written much earlier (like High School) and published now due to the success of his other books. The story was terrible.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 03-10-14
    Chris 03-10-14
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    "Don't give up on this book!!"

    I loved all of Daniel Suarez's previous books. They were brilliant techno-thrillers based on technologies that are not far removed from reality. Anyone who enjoyed "Daemon" now looks at Google Glass from a different perspective. He's a brilliant author. That's why I was worried when "Influx" was too techie for me, a 30-year veteran of the high-tech industry. Suarez introduces the technology in his story with a degree of accuracy and information that can overwhelm the casual reader or listener. DO NOT LET THIS TURN YOU AWAY!

    Very quickly, the engineering lesson is over and a first-rate thriller emerges. This is a very entertaining story if you can get past the initial lecture. I feel this story will not be as popular as his previous books because some people will be turned off by first few chapters. That's too bad, because "Influx" has all of the brilliance we've come to expect from Daniel Suarez.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Torrance, Ca USA 04-09-14
    Cindy Torrance, Ca USA 04-09-14 Member Since 2013

    I'm a high school English teacher, partner, mom, daughter, sister, and adventurer.

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    "Influx is so bad, I want to cry..."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    What was most disappointing about Daniel Suarez’s story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger that I wasted my time.


    Any additional comments?

    I forced myself to finish the novel but hated every minute.

    15 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 03-04-14
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2009
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    "That whole "future techy" thing will to ya!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Well, if they were into this sort of speculative/action thrillers. It's not a book for everyone?


    Would you recommend Influx to your friends? Why or why not?

    As above.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff Gurner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The last 1/4, with lots of action and resolutions, was damn interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred 02-24-14
    Fred 02-24-14 Member Since 2010

    That's Me

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    "Never really bought into the story."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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.


    Do you think Influx needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No


    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith LIVERMORE, CA, United States 02-27-14
    Keith LIVERMORE, CA, United States 02-27-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Enjoyable!"

    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!

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 08-31-14
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 08-31-14 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Guy Can Fast Forward Tech!"

    Daniel Suarez and Neil Stephenson are two master fishers in the same sociological pond. They both are masters of social science as well as hard science fiction. They effortlessly toss-off ideas about the post-tech world with a scary competence. Their nonchalant attitude toward the inevitability of whole lines of tech and cultural evolution are wonderful.

    While they each detest capitalism, neither seem confident about its evolutionary successor. In other words, they swim in the deluge that they predict will follow our moment in time.

    And each author is intoxicated with the space between illustrated novels and film. They are entirely visual in their technique. No surprise that their fans beg for novels like Influx to become BIG BIG BIG blockbuster summer tentpole flicks.

    In an odd way, this book's a logical extension of Tom Clancy's techno thrillers. Suarez understands that lots of male readers are gear-heads like me. Maybe a lot of women are too, but it looks like they're a smaller part of this audience. And the tone-deaf way that Suarez deals with girl/boy relationships probably won't sweep a lot of female readers into his fandom.

    Regardless, his two dimensional characters are fun vehicles to race us through books like Influx. While my recent boredom with Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and Quicksilver's kind of dashed my interest in his efforts: Influx, and it's totally competent interpretation by Jeff Gurner will keep me reading more Daniel Suarez.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 106 results PREVIOUS1211NEXT
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  • Chris
    OXFORD, United Kingdom
    3/3/14
    Overall
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    "Fantastic!!!!"
    If you could sum up Influx in three words, what would they be?

    Absolutely bloody brilliant


    What other book might you compare Influx to, and why?

    Non,


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    To many to list, on the edge from beginning to the end.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    In Hibernian prison.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to any one who enjoys futurism, Daniel Suarez wrote this in a marvelous way that brought vivid images through out. Jeff Gunner as narrator made the book come alive and his reading skills are second to none.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • adam
    Par, United Kingdom
    5/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Zapp Brannigan reads a book..."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Different narrator


    What was most disappointing about Daniel Suarez’s story?

    Didn't make it past first chapter ! He speaks like he's reading a bunch of 'bullet points' ! Really bad and un-listenable. Think Zapp Brannigan from futurama trying to read you a book !


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Zapp Brannigan from futurama really detracts from the book


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tim & Tracey Cheetham
    5/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What audiobooks ought to be"
    What made the experience of listening to Influx the most enjoyable?

    A brilliant story, around a great idea, read superbly.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The whole story has a very cinematic feel but without losing the beauty of a book.


    What does Jeff Gurner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Jeff Gurner is a consummate reader and performer, pitching the delivery perfectly. He really adds to the already 'action movie' feel of the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Has everything you need for a ripping escapist yarn.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
    5/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sadly, a genuinely disappointing effort"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    More depth to the characters. Less predictable and simplistic.


    What could Daniel Suarez have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not spend hours describing theoretical physics in an attempt to provide realism to a ludicrous storyline.


    What three words best describe Jeff Gurner’s voice?

    Pleasing, limited and naive.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    Daniel Suarez started brilliantly with Daemon, and its sequel, FreedomTM (neither of which are available in the UK on Audible!). His follow up Kill Decision was just ok but this book is probably the poorest book I have listened to in several years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steven
    4/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beware the Bureau of Technology Control."

    This is a good dystopia story with good characters and a plot that is well-paced and enjoyably narrated. I listened to it over three days and it kept me interested throughout. The descriptions of the new technologies are engaging without being too detailed, which is important as they are integral to the book itself.
    The AI character in the BTC reminds me of VIKI, the central computer in the movie 'I Robot'.
    The 'baddies' are bad and the 'goodies' are good, just as they should be without being too predictable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    Urmston, United Kingdom
    3/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant! Exciting! Very Compelling Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It is a techno-thriller, with brilliant characters that you care about. The narration and production is superb and easily some of the best I've every heard from Audible.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Influx?

    John's time in Hibernity, talk about powerful! Those images will stay with me for a very long time! I'll say no more, lest I ruin it.


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Gurner – was your favourite?

    John (obviously), but Morrison and Hedrick were brilliant.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed (William Gibson)


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot recommend the audio book highly enough! It is a fantastic story that keeps you hooked until the very end. There is a solid story-arc that ends in a satisfying way. Unlike many books of the sci-fi thriller genre it doesn't fall foul of its own premise. A thoroughly good read/listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    Poulton-le-Fylde, United Kingdom
    3/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb SciFi"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    Cardiff, United Kingdom
    3/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing story and acting."
    What made the experience of listening to Influx the most enjoyable?

    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!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Thoughts on future tech, ideas around what could happen.


    What does Jeff Gurner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    He does an excellent job with the main character, outstanding job with everyone else too! He really brings an extra sense of atmosphere.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Hybernity (Think that's how it's spelled!), and some parts towards the end.


    Any additional comments?

    Without meaning to cause offence... the whole experience was much better than I had expected!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Donn Edwards
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    3/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Marlow, United Kingdom
    3/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "In the end, I didn't care"

    Getting past the fact that the narrator has a very annoying voice and reading style, by about 3/4 of the way in, I just didn't care what happened. I predicted what would happen and then ramped the playback speed up to x1.5 to get it over with.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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