If you are looking for a technology thriller book containing savants, survival and saviors, with a smattering of romance, you may have found it in “Wired”; book one in the series having the same name. The book series consists of two books, the second one is titled “Amped” which is also available in audiobook format. Both books in the series were written by Douglas E. Richards and the audio narration was performed by Peter Berkrot. The book is a bit predictable and leverages many of the stereotypical tropes found in the thriller genre such as: the brains, the brawn, the Black Ops and the bully seeking to kill our heroes in an attempt to gain their secretly held knowledge. But, there are a few surprise twists and turns which I did not expect while listening. If you enjoy stories including technology and human modification, I think you will enjoy this book. At times, you will need to suspend belief and just enjoy the story. Do not attempt to diving too much into the futuristic toys, if you can get past these, the story is quite enjoyable.
The tale weaves a fine line bridging discussions involving human evolution, religion and its purpose, along with debates including altruism; such as self-sacrifice, unselfishness, philanthropy, etc. If human evolution is focused on survival of the fittest, the best option would be to rid the world of those who would compete with one’s needed resources. What it mainly comes down to is finding ways of enhancing one’s intelligence (a super savant) which also heightens one’s senses and memory. Although I felt the technology was well researched, along with some of the medical aspects, I felt the theology research was lacking. I thought the book contained a good balance of story and technology.
A note to younger readers or parents, this book contains some strong language and graphic violence. Language is heavy at times, but it is something that the author does not appear to use for shock value, but more sprinkled throughout and often in times of expression. In a similar fashion, the book does contain some scenes of graphic violence, but these are also not as frequent as other books I have read in the genre. Just be aware that both are found in this book and if this is something that easily offends you, you may want to look for a different book.
Even though the audiobook had some issues with volume consistency in areas, I thought Peter Berkrot in general did a decent job narrating the book. I felt that Mr. Berkrot read the book with passion and excitement. His narration of the main female character could have been better, but I have heard worse from other narrators dealing with a main female character. It is often difficult for a male to voice a female character expertly, so I can often filter this out in my mind. I liked that he did not use falsetto for female voicing. I would have liked the book to have been read a bit faster than it was, but this also is more a subjective criticism.
In summary, if you like technology thrillers with a decent story line and super human capabilities, have a listen to Wired. Expect the standard characters found in a book of the genre and you will not be disappointed. I will be listening to the second book in the series, and a review of it should be released shortly.