I’m going to cut to the chase and say it out-right, I liked this book – a lot.
The year is 2045 and Kenneth Durand, an Interpol agent, works diligently to protect the world from genetic crime. Durand’s existence however poses a threat to the worlds largest criminal genetic cartel, the Huli jing and their leader sets out to stop him by transforming Durand into the leader of the Huli jing, Marcus Demang Wyckes.
The ideas explored in this novel are, essentially, the reason why I enjoyed it so much. The action sequences were appropriate, however what I enjoyed most about this book was it’s speculative science that, quite frankly, isn’t far off. This book isn’t set in a dystopia or utopia, it is simply a world in which technology has out grown it’s restraints.
Where the book succeeds is in it’s ability to ask questions without trying to moralize with answers. Durand, who is quite hard-lined against genetic manipulation even begins to shift in his views as he see’s that there are benefits that go along with the negatives – even if those benefits aren’t technically legal in the world he lives in.
The book also delves into the meaning of identity, asking where does true identity lie – in our physical appearance or somewhere deeper. But at the same time, it examines how our physical appearance does have an impact on our ‘deeper’ identity – that who we are is the result of both our physical appearance and also what is commonly thought of as our soul.
There is a lot going on in this book on numerous levels, and quite honestly I am unaware why this book is receiving such bleak reviews from people. I did not find the book ‘preachy’, nor did I feel that the action was slogged down by scientific explanations.
Whenever I go into a book, my desire is to get something out of it – basically, to be entertained is NOT my first motivation when going into a book. If pure entertainment is the goal of a reader, then I could understand why the hard science in Change Agent might be a chore to get through.
I absolutely loved this novel and highly recommend it.
☆☆☆☆☆ – Change Agent by Daniel Suarez