“Amped” is the second book of a two-part series titled Wired. The series is written by Douglas E. Richards and it is narrated by Peter Berkrot. If you read the first book in the series titled “Wired”, the second is much of the same when it comes to writing style and narration. Not only does this book close up a few of the previous books loose ends, it adds a few new twists, turns, toys, tumults, and turmoil. Although the first book, and this book, could be read as standalone stories, Amped continues by following many of the first book’s main characters; while adding a few new ones to the mix. This book takes place many years in the future, from the first, and the author does a good job of including a preface giving the reader some insight if they had not read the first book. Similar to the first book, I did not feel this book was extraordinary, however it was quite enjoyable. Enjoyable enough to complete it and make sure all the open plots were wrapped up. If you read the first book in the series, would say you will not be dissatisfied with the second. If you did not like the first book, I cannot recommend this one as it is more of the same.
What do you get when you blend the ability of a newly discovered drug that can make you have an IQ of 1000+ when a normal IQ is in the 100s? You get a blending of “A Beautiful Mind” with a bit of “The Matrix” along with a few out of this world aspects; you get Amped. The book has a lot of action and intrigue, much more then I remember from the first one. It is really a technology thriller with a few added revelations that take the story in a few different directions. At times, I found it difficult to follow them all, and it seemed the author was unsure of where he wanted to take them, but in the end, I think it all came together. This book provides the reader with more technology, more science, and more romance. All of this adds up to more fun, more physics, and more excitement. As with the first book, if you can ignore the theological research and interpretations by the author, you will enjoy the book more. Some have stated they did not like the ending of the book. Stating that it was way too far-fetched or unbelievable. It was out there and beyond what I had anticipated myself, but we have to remember this is a piece of fiction and not every aspect of it needs to fit into our current understanding.
I enjoyed Amped more than the first book as it contained more science fiction aspects for me. The writing also seemed to be more focused and directed from the first. The best way to describe it would be to say this book was more complex than its predecessor. Wired seemed to be more focused on the character development and technology setup, whereas Amped was more an action thriller one would expected from this genre. There were more points in this book where I was shocked or surprised by some of the events and how they unfolded, it was more unpredictable than the first book. I was also happy that the author included a prologue for people that compressed many of the events from the first book, and also there were some flashback along the way that filled in some of the knowledge gaps. Once again, we are given the standard stereotypical tropes of a contemporary sci-fi story, we see the heroes, villains, mercenaries, black op government agencies, and the buffoon style local services; police, fire, etc. I had to laugh when the answer at one time was to explain away an event as a “gas leak”. That seems to always be the reason for just about any unexplained strange behavior by government. I laughed out loud when I heard this was going to be used.
The first book had some light usage of vulgar words along with some graphic violence. However, the author seems to have integrated both of these aspects more heavily in this book. The violence can be understood due to the increased action taking place, but the use of vulgar language was unnecessary to this story and often undervalued the speaking of these top scientists for me. This book also contains romance and some discussions containing topics of a sexual nature. If any of this type of content offends you, I would not recommend you listen to this book.
The narration by Peter Berkrot was done in the same style and voice as Wired was. If you did not mind his narration in that book, you will not have an issue with him in this one. Like with the first, I would have liked to have had this book paced a bit faster, but again this is a very subjective item easily taken care of by the application. I did not notice any audio artifacts (swallows, pops, clicks, page turns, etc.) during my listening of this book, and no edits were noticeable. There were some struggles with voicing the female character at times, but again this is something you can get over rather quickly while listening.
In summary, if you listened and enjoyed the first book in the series, I would recommend you continue the journey by picking up this book. If you found the first book not your cup of tea, then you may want to also stay away from picking up this one as it is much of the same as you would expect from the first book.