Today’s team review is from Sean, he blogs here http://ebookwormssite.wordpress.com
Sean has been reading The Happy Chip by Dennis Meredith
This book started with a bang, and the pace didn’t let up all the way through. This is a real sci-fi thriller book, emphasis on the sci. There is no Magic, no hi-tech cars becoming submarines or jet fighters, the only way time travels is either forward, or in parallel with the rest of the story. The sci is all about nanotechnology, something that most people (and definitely the readers of this genre) have heard about, and its application (happ-lication??) to enhancing the human life experience. It’s a believable base for a storyline, then you add in the “if something seems too good to be true, then it usually is” plotline.
There is quite a cast of characters on show here, from the bad Corporate multi-millionaire who just wants more, to the giant Russian and his crony army who plays both ends against the middle (at least initially), the CIA and local police show up, China and its underground criminal scene, and a potentially damaging international crisis. The main character, freelance writer Brad Davis, is the quintessential good guy, dedicated family man struggling to pay the bills, but supported by a loving wife. They both have ex-Afghanistan military experience, which comes in useful later on!
Essentially, Brad gets a big break to write the memoir of the guy who brought nanotechnology to the masses, the technology being the eponymous Happy Chip. Through various meetings and encounters, he gets his journalistic 6th sense telling him something is “off”, he does some initial sleuthing, and the game in on!
The pace of the book is fast, the read enjoyable, even though I found the characterisation a bit too predictable, and some things just seemed to happen/turn up at just the right time. However, it is fiction of course so its allowed.
It is an entertaining read about something that could happen in the near-future, it is completely escapist, definitely movie-material, and you can easily see Meredith aiming to become the Dan Brown of the genre.
Overall, a three-star, for while the premise is good, the writing fluid, for me it is not a riveting, stay-up-all-night-to-finish read, which draws me to this genre. Its an enjoyable piece of holiday escapism.
You feel ecstatic! Until you kill yourself.
The Happy Chip is the latest nanoengineering wonder from the high-flying tech company, NeoHappy, Inc.
Hundreds of millions of people have had the revolutionary chip injected into their bodies to monitor their hormonal happiness and guide them to life choices, from foods to sex partners.
Given the nanochip’s stunning success, struggling science writer Brad Davis is thrilled when he is hired to co-author the biography of its inventor, billionaire tech genius Marty Fallon.
That is, until Davis learns that rogue company scientists are secretly testing horrifying new control chips with “side effects”—suicidal depression, uncontrollable lust, murderous rage, remote-controlled death, and ultimately, global subjugation.
His discovery threatens not only his life, but that of his wife Annie and their children. Only with the help of Russian master hacker Gregor Kalinsky and his gang can they hope to survive the perilous adventure that takes them from Boston to Beijing.
The Happy Chip, an edge-of-your-seat thriller, spins a cautionary tale of unchecked nanotechnology spawning insidious devices that could enslave us. It dramatically portrays how we must control our “nanofuture” before it’s too late.
Dennis Meredith brings to his novels an expertise in science from his career as a science communicator at some of the country’s leading research universities, including MIT, Caltech, Cornell, Duke and the University of Wisconsin. He has worked with science journalists at all the nation’s major newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV networks and has written well over a thousand news releases and magazine articles on science and engineering over his career.