I found this one by circumstance. Not too long ago I was at my used book store and saw this one on the shelf and was intrigued by the title. I had not heard of it before and it sounded interesting. So what I normally do if I find something that peaks my interest at the book store is Google the title and see what the reviews are like. This one had some very good reviews and the cover says that it is not only a NYT Bestseller but also a USA Today Bestseller, so with those type of credentials I had to purchase it.
Douglass E. Richards is quite the accomplished individual from Cincinnati, Ohio. He has a degree from OSU, a masters in molecular biology from Wisconsin, and he also has a MBA from the very prestigious University of Chicago. That is a lot of lernin’! He has published quite a few books, but rather than me trying to tell you about Mr. Richards very interesting background, I will let him tell you. Check out my interview with the best selling author here.
The story opens up right into the action of a girl named Kira Miller who is using an alias, trying her very best to stay off the grid and well hidden. In the opening scene her high paid body guards attack her because one has figured out who she is, or at least he thinks he knows who she is. From there Kira is on a journey to clear her name as she is accused of countless murders, treason, and a plot with terrorists to release a genetically engineered Ebola virus on the world. She is being hunted because of a secret she has created. She has created a formula in pill form that can increase a person’s intelligence to “savant – like capabilities.” As the story progresses we see that Kira is a brilliantly gifted genetic engineer who has the capability to accomplish all the evil things mentioned. Soon a retired Special Forces commando, David Desh, is asked to hunt her down and bring her in. But as the story progresses it is difficult to tell who is on the right side and who is telling the truth, and most impotently who is being manipulated.
I loved this story, and as of today is certainly the best book I have read in 2016! It is fully of action and excitement right from the get go. To me it read like an action movie full of twists and turns along with some real mystery as the whole time you, as the reader, are trying to figure out who is telling the truth and who to trust. This is one of those books that I literally could not put down as at each stopping point I wanted to continue reading to find out what happens next.
I loved the plot in this story and on the surface it may seem simple, but what I think I liked most is the philosophical and meaning of life discussions that take place while still moving the plot forward. The story does not stop when these discussions come up, but they are still incorporated in a way that is near perfect in my opinion. To me there was just enough time spent discussing them that a reader that would not be interested in these aspects would accept them and or easily set them aside and keep reading. While someone, like me, who is very interested in these topics still got just enough stimulation from these ideas to really open up some very deep philosophical thinking. So no matter your preference there was something for both types of readers.
To me this story has merged two different genres, which the two that I am going to mention barely belong in the same sentence. The book mixed action adventure and some very deep and complex ideas such as philosophy and physics. So it is an action/philosophical thriller if that makes any sense? One minute the characters are fighting their way out of a nasty situation using guns, explosives, and a variety of special combat training. While in the next they are discussing the meaning of existence and whether or not there is a God or an afterlife. It may seem strange, but it is beautifully crafted so this transition is painless and even normal given the strange set of circumstances that take place in the story.
Of course everyone always loves action, but I think what truly makes this book awesome are some of the deeper more complex ideas that are glazed over during the course of the story. If you come to my site often in am sure you are aware that I love philosophizing and thinking about bigger things, and I love these similar ideas that are presented in the story. I will also say that Richards takes a few pages at the end to almost put in an essay about human existence that is very interesting from just a standalone point of view, but again he had brilliantly inserted this into the context of the story and it makes sense. This is hard to do in my opinion and shows the skill Richards possess as a writer. I will say that I obviously not ready every novel ever created, but I will say that I have read enough that I have not seen anything quite like this out there. This book is truly unique in the ideas, action, and the style in which it is written.
I must also admit that when I was about 100 or so pages into this book I honestly thought the book was heading in the direction of the movie Limitless, which is based on the book BLANK. But I could not have been more wrong. Both of these books share a few common themes, but overall they are very different and have their own personality.
While reading this book I realized something about myself as a reader that I had never realized before. I like books that are dialogue heavy. To me they seem to flow better and are somewhat easier to read in my opinion. Long paragraphs of description of setting and what not gets old to me and can easily be overdone as I have said before, there is a very fine line that can easily deter readers like myself. I also think this type of writing keeps the reader wanting to read more and keeps them engaged in the plot and what is going on.
There is a sequel out there to this one called Amped, that I will definitely check out some time soon. In my interview I talk with Richards about the sequel and if there will be a third. Check out the interview for his response.
All in all I cannot recommend this one enough. It has something for everyone! It has some of the most unique mixing of writing style, action, and ideas that have ever seen. This story has the perfect mix of a thinking man’s literature as well as the blow shit up attitude that anyone can enjoy. You need to check this one out if haven’t yet. Great read!