Change Agent by Daniel Suarez
|Change Agent by Daniel Suarez|
|Category: Science Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: Kenneth Durand is an agent who becomes the victim of the genetic manipulation he is investigating in this action packed science fiction novel that could have spent a little more time on the science, rather than the action.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: April 2017|
|Publisher: Dutton Books|
|External links: Author's website|
I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I had blue eyes, I wish, I wish, I wish. In the genetic lottery that is our lives we are given a selection from our mother and our father to work with. However, although they may be over six foot, you could still end up being shorter. You can't currently choose what coding you get, but what if you could cherry pick the best aspects of your family traits? It would be a great way to save people from hereditary disease, but would we end up with a world full of identikit humans all following the latest genetic fashions? In the future someone would need to be in charge of stopping science going too far.
In the year 2045, Interpol Agent Kenneth Durand is one such person. His computer analytic skills have allowed him to pinpoint where illegal genetic labs are and he has managed to close hundreds down. Unbeknownst to him, his success has been noticed by the shadowy Huli Jing cartel who are willing to splice Durand's very DNA if it will stop his work. With Durand no longer living in the skin he was born with, will anyone believe that he is not a ruthless gangster, but the missing agent they are looking for?
Science fiction is often a genre of ideas, but you need to blend these with a compelling narrative. Daniel Suarez has a history of some great ideas; an evil scientist downloading his mind into the internet, or a prison made up of people who invented things that the government did not want to announce. However, he also has a spotted history when executing these ideas in a way that does them justice. Whilst Influx was intelligent and action packed, Daemon was just action packed. His latest effort, Change Agent tries to balance the two sides of the author, but does not quite succeed.
There are some great concepts in Change. The world building is effortless and in no time you are in a believable world in which the richer middle classes will gladly go to illegal gene banks to improve the chances of their child. This seems all too believable in today's world of paid schools that this could happen. All the elements on genetics and computer algorithms are treated intelligently by Suarez and make for compelling reading. Why then does he decide to make the book descend into a series of worldwide chase scenes?
The book stops exploring what it is that makes us human and becomes a sort of action packed sequel to Face Off. Durand runs from country to country, leaving dead bodies in his wake, just hoping to get home to his own body and family. His character is very odd; one minute a sensitive family man and computer engineer, the next the ex-Navy knife expert. It is almost as if Suarez realised that his mild mannered hero was too soft for all the action he wanted, so sellotaped some military background onto him.
Action should be a force for exhilaration and fun, but often in book form it is just empty hyperbole. That is the case here. When the book slows down it improves. We glimpse moments of intelligence and a future dystopia that is worthy of reading about. However, Suarez is bent on throwing the reader around in yet another empty headed action sequence as if he had the movie rights in his mind when putting pen to paper. There is an excellent science fiction book trying to escape Change Agent, it's just that the author drowns it in action.
You can read more book reviews or buy Change Agent by Daniel Suarez at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Change Agent by Daniel Suarez at Amazon.com.
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