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No Science Fiction and not very good
am 22. Dezember 2012
This book is listed under Science Fiction, so let's get this out of the way first. The Science Fiction element (genetically increased intelligence) is not explored except in the most obvious way. Even in the 60s, this would have been a poor treatment of the idea. See e.g. "Flowers for Algernon" (Daniel Keyes) on how to deal with this concept interestingly. For a recent (mediocre) variation, see the film "Limitless" with Bradley Cooper. In "Wired", it's a mere McGuffin to propel the plot. The epilogue might qualify as SF if it wasn't so preposterous. I won't even discuss it.
This leaves us with a thriller. That would be ok if it was written well. I enjoy a good read in any genre. But here we have cardboard characters, introduced almost in exposé form, with no development. The plot moves along nicely, but with all of the suspense being external (will he live or die? - will he get there in time? - will he find a way to escape?), this gets more boring by the minute. The first twist, ca. 20% into the book, was completely expected. The last twist comes so near the end it doesn't matter. It isn't helped by the fact that the exposed villain is given pages and pages of re-explaining the plot for us, before (Spoilers!) his quick demise.
What's worse: The underlying ideology is dangerously naive, painting the world (and the "War against Terror") in black and white. Military geniuses and brilliant computer hackers are just a step ahead to prevent the evil terrorists from destroying our (Western) civilization. A few American megalomaniacs are in cohort with Terrorists to gain wealth and power. But they didn't count on our Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon to step in (actually - Spoilers! - they did count on him but underestimated him). Never seen that one before...
I'm glad I picked this up as my first item of the Kindle rental library. I would be really sore if I had payed money for this.