Nexus – Ramez Naam Review

Nexus (Nexus, #1) Mankind gets an upgrade

In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link human together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.

From the halls of academe to the halls of power, from the headquarters of an elite US agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath a top university in Shanghai, from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok, from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand – Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion.

Wow. It’s hard to know how to describe this book. It’s hard to know how to write a review for this book. It’s even hard to discuss the technology for this book because it’s so incredibly over my head. Maybe I’ll just launch into what I liked and what I didn’t like about it.

I’m a tech girl. Even though it’s my background, it’s not my passion, but this book made me passionate about the possibilities of technology. The idea of Nexus, a drug that creates mind-to-mind interactions, that allows knowledge to pass between people effortlessly, that can educate people in a heartbeat, is exciting. I want it. The crux of this novel revolves around this drug. The question becomes whether it’s worth it to have Nexus released to the general population or whether more people will use it for evil than good. I think that’s why this book is so interesting. There are many layers to Nexus, morality being one of them.

So the thing I liked the most about this novel? You see everybody’s point of view. It’s hard to make a decision about whether Nexus should be legal or whether it should be outlawed because there are some good arguments for both sides. It forces you to think about how technology is used and the scariest part of all is that makes you question where our dependence of technology can lead us.

There’s only one thing I didn’t like about this book. The mind-reading. I know that seems like a silly thing to dislike about a book, but I can’t stand the idea of someone knowing what I’m thinking. Thoughts are private and for someone to have access to your thoughts in order to have mind-t0-mind interactions turns me off.

Having said that, this book is great and I definitely want to read the sequel, Crux, coming out soon. I have a feeling this series is going to be addictive.



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