In a near-future America, technology that can artificially enhance the abilities of people with intellectual and physical disabilities is also used to amplify the abilities of some individuals far beyond un-augmented intelligence and skill. When a beautiful young student with amplified intellectual abilities jumps to her death, teacher Owen Gray comes face to face with the implications of his own device, implanted by his father ostensibly to control Owen's epilepsy.
After his father is killed in a bombing by anti-amp terrorists, Owen searches for his father's old medical partner, tracking him to a segregated trailer park where he lives surrounded by non-augmented humans with guns. As Owen settles into the park, making it his new home, he learns that his implant is far more than a simple control device.
The novel veers through themes of discrimination, disability and assistive technology with flair. As all good science fiction does, Amped asks tough questions, filtering them through intense action and human drama. At what point are we enhancing people to an unfair advantage? Is it jealousy or fear that motivates hatred and discrimination? Does technology of this type deny us our basic humanity? How do we cope with such advantages as a society and a species?
Daniel H. Wilson (Robopocalypse) does a fine job of posing these questions to readers without answering them himself. Amped is an action-focused, character-driven tale of technology and the human mind, enhanced or not. --Rob LeFebvre, freelance writer and editor