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am 30. August 2017
aber die Story ist ein wenig an den Haaren herbei gezogen. Es gibt in der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung den Witz, dass wenn man 13.000 richtige Einzelteile in die Luft wirft die Wahrscheinlichkeit, auch wenn sie sehr klein ist, besteht, dass ein ein VW Golf daraus entsteht. Dieses kann man sehr analog zur Story sehen. Die Personen sind dazu sehr einfach skizizert und deshalb gibt es nur 2*
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am 21. Januar 2013
normally I don't write up books because literary tastes are so personal. and one does not expect very much from a mainstream bestseller - a good read on the train, mostly. but this book sucks so seriously that I have to warn you: don't buy it, don't read it - a waste of time and money. why? rampant scientific idiocy for one. time limited gene change - really? in a gell cap - what? then there is the moronic way this is built into the plot - the supposedly super clever female character "changes" herself multiple times (and then stops because she is afraid for her humanity) and does not see the final twist - the male character "changes" just once and sees it all down to the core - and plans ahead accordingly(the science fiction variety of the tired old deus ex machina). what does this mean: females are too sentimental for real intrigue? or men are just that much more wired to real insights? but most probalby it just means that the author has got lost in the thicket of his own silly story and handed himself a machete to cut his way out. and just don't get me started on the cheesy pop philosophy... seriously: hands off!
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HALL OF FAMEam 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.
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am 21. Dezember 2015
Ich habe das Buch nicht ablegen können. Es ist interessant geschrieben - und so nahe an was ich als Kind vermutet hatte. Fiction - aber sehr spannend geschrieben. Ich verrate lieber nichts vom Inhalt. Ich bin nicht so eine Science Fiction Fan - aber dieses Buch hat mich gefesselt.
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am 20. Dezember 2012
non stop action from the beginning to the end with interesting plots and storyline. i would definately recommend reading it!
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am 21. Februar 2014
TL;DR: Tension is built nicely, the story is intriguing and you don't want to close the book at any point (until the end). I like the main characters and their motivations, which are described beautifully, but the end is where it all goes wrong: Far-fetched plot twists negate all work that has been been done before in the story. And all that in the last twenty minutes of reading. If you hated the ending of LOST, you will have problems with that book.

I've been so satisfied with the story at the beginning. But I'm not. Not anymore. What started as a great technothriller turned into a bunch of -- let's call it -- incomprehensible twists and a lot of sighing in the end. And a dazzling overuse of the word 'wryly'.

The premise is intriguing: Some Einstein level brilliant female microbiologist seems to be in the cahoots with evil terrorists and tries to destroy Amerika with a virus that encodes the Ebola virus into the human DNA, ready to be triggered by the consumption of pork. That's right, you eat your evil anti-Islam morning bacon with your eggs and you will liquify into a puddle of yummy vanilla pudding. Yet the whole fun already goes wrong if you read the inside jacket text: She's not a terrorist, she's invented a drug that enhances your human mind to a level that can't be measured by any test any human can even think of. Some very powerful people are framing her and so she teams up with an ex-military guy to save the world. Sorry for spoiling the last part, but in my defense: If you consider buying this book you wouldn't be able to come around that spoiler, it's everywhere, in any brief description!

At the beginning everything goes really well. The novel is consistent, the pacing is nice and it has a way to keep you reading on slow parts by mixing in some really well-written scenes describing the effects of the enhancement drug or some twists you didn't expect. The characters have nice one-liners, seem authentic and are a lot of fun to read. Considerations are described thoroughly in a way you get the feeling you understand every important train of thought the main characters may have. You get more background delivered by dialogue than you'd normally expect in the genre and that is, at least for me, a very strong point of the book. Given that the author chose a very complicated topic that is particularly destined to fail he does exceptionally well for the whole book until at about 90% when the big revelation takes place. Normally I'm not one for hating books/movies/TV shows for their endings but the one we're talking about messed up royally...

This is where I'm going to rant a bit, using some more <SPOILERS>: The whole revelation at the end is always a big problem. LOST did extraordinarily well in ruining everyone's day by not solving its big mysteries. Richards chose to reveal everything. While the whole book seemed to be very well thought-out the end more or less ruins every feeling of a great scheme you'd expect. Explanations are very far-fetched and everything is explained in a "Well, I can't even think of comprehending my thoughts when I was enhanced by the drug but now I know this is the safest way to capture you" kind of way. Some parts even seem to be written into the novel afterwards, e.g. my most hated example in any book: The romance. While it is mentioned in the beginning that the male main character is really, really, attracted to the scientist (for no reason but 'she was exactly his type' which he gathers from one picture) this takes no part in the book whatsoever. It's mentioned once again after about 60% into the novel in a by-the-way manner, just to bring it up in the end again as the main motivator to even have the ex-military soldier in the story at all. As a character I would be furious about the grand mess presented in the end. Oh, and while we're at it: Big revelation at 90%, then everything gets turned over again at 95% with "Yeah, right, while [the good guy] was enhanced I figured out your whole plan and developed a counter-measure. Psyche!"

All in all:
I needed some of my self-discipline to read those last thirty minutes. Trying to keep my mind away from that I had a very nice experience reading the book. The character development was nicely paced, although I felt a little of a hurry in the writing with the ex-military guy trusting the (at that time) evil terrorist biologist. The tension builds steadily and some scenes are zapping you out of your life so you completely loose track of time. The big villain should be a bit more of a villain than just giving me "smug comment" and "broad grin" at any line he talks but then again it somehow knits itself nicely into the story, looking back at it. The side characters are shallow which brings focus and contrast to the more complex main characters and that is a move that works surprisingly well for me.
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am 14. Dezember 2012
This book is amazing, the thrilling plot, combined with the great humor displayed is one thing, but the author actually manages to do a phantastic job using different ways of speaking. I can't even remember the last time that i was able to identify one of the main characters just by the way he uses words - something that works well with this book.
What shall i say, i fell in love with the book when reading it.
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am 17. Dezember 2012
love it and the ideas brought from science and science fiction making the friction of old ways and dogma something of a counter point to the run for the edges of human understanding.
Liked it enough to download the second book right away.
Well done.
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am 16. Dezember 2012
Could not put the book down. A fast thriller with believable characters and interesting science treats. The only downside was, that the ride ended so soon... :-)
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am 20. Januar 2014
Bis jetzt hatte ich noch nie ein schlechtes Buch von der New York Times Bestseller Liste gelesen! Die Perspektive wurde nicht ein Mal verändert, die ganze Geschichte wurde chronologisch erzählt, man erfuhr nichts über Gedanken und Motive der Charaktere. Es ist einfach schlecht erzählt und die Handlung nicht glaubhaft.
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