Review – WIRED by Douglas E. Richards

(Note: I received a copy of WIRED via the LibraryThing Member Giveaways promotion. It is available from Amazon. The author’s website can be found here.)

There’s no two ways about it – WIRED is fun. After a slightly rocky beginning with a bit too much exposition and dialogue that didn’t quite click, the story really takes off at approximately chapter 3. Our hero, David Desh, is retired military. Wouldn’t you know it, he gets called up for one last mission before he’ll be given all the money he needs to disappear forever.

Once we get into the plot itself, the story becomes a freight train attached to a rollercoaster track that speeds dizzyingly toward the conclusion. There were a few plot twists that actually took me by surprise, as well as a wealth of action-movie tropes that don’t seem stale at all when Richards writes them. There’s the occasional supervillain monologue, the super-elite military team framed for crimes they didn’t commit – really, this reads like a James Bond novel, or a long-lost episode of 24.

Being that I’m the kind of person who actually watched all 8 seasons of 24, I really enjoyed this book. I noticed scatteringly few editing mistakes; only the occasional typo slipped through to the final product.

Desh and the mysterious woman, Kira Miller, are actually quite well-realized characters. I was also particularly fond of the Matt Griffin character, the good-hearted hacker who looks like a bear. The core science is obviously well thought-out, and the central message is well-communicated. The plot only occasionally seems contrived, and no more so than your above-average action film.

Overall, WIRED ranks among the better books I’ve read so far this year. Highly recommended for fans of action films, thrillers, and those who enjoy when science is extrapolated and used as a vessel to examine what it means to be human.

Final Score: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. Definitely recommended.

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