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May 09

Change Agent – Daniel Suarez

About the Book

On a crowded train platform, Interpol agent Kenneth Durand feels the sting of a needle— and his transformation begins. . . . 

In 2045 Kenneth Durand leads Interpol’s most effective team against genetic crime, hunting down black market labs that perform “vanity edits” on human embryos for a price. These illegal procedures augment embryos in ways that are rapidly accelerating human evolution—preying on human-trafficking victims to experiment and advance their technology.

With the worlds of genetic crime and human trafficking converging, Durand and his fellow Interpol agents discover that one figure looms behind it all: Marcus Demang Wyckes, leader of a powerful and sophisticated cartel known as the Huli jing.

But the Huli jing have identified Durand, too. After being forcibly dosed with a radical new change agent, Durand wakes from a coma weeks later to find he’s been genetically transformed into someone else—his most wanted suspect: Wyckes.

Now a fugitive, pursued through the genetic underworld by his former colleagues and the police, Durand is determined to restore his original DNA by locating the source of the mysterious—and highly valuable—change agent. But Durand hasn’t anticipated just how difficult locating his enemy will be. With the technology to genetically edit the living, Wyckes and his Huli jing could be anyone and everyone—and they have plans to undermine identity itself.

416 pages (hardcover)
Published on April 18, 2017
Published by Dutton Books
Author’s website
Buy the book

It’s no secret that I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk recently. I’ve been reading a bit of this and that, but man has it been hard to find a book that I really, really find appealing.

The other day I went to the library and saw Change Agent sitting on the shelf. I picked it up and read the inside cover and figured that this was probably the exact thing I’ve been looking for. It’s a near future SciFi, sort of down the rabbit hole type mystery and I was instantly engrossed.

I’ve never read anything by Daniel Suarez before, and I think I waited too long to introduce myself to his work. I love this kind of stuff. Suarez envisions a near future world, and he sets his books in them. I really enjoy books that deal with how the future could end up, how our technology grows and evolves, and the like. This book dealt heavily with technology, massive migrations, global warming is addressed a bit, and so much more. The scary thing is, the way that Suarez portrays all of these events is totally believable.

This is a mystery, and while I didn’t think the root mystery (a man waking up essentially in another body) was too terribly unique, the execution was very well done, and the story quickly veered into uncharted territory, the characters taking readers on a rather unexpected romp through this near-future world.

The world was just as textured as the future that Suarez dreamed up. This is a place where technology rules, and genetic modifications are everywhere. Suarez doesn’t skimp on the implications, either, from the annoyance of advertisements, the marketplace, how various law enforcement organizations operate in the face of all of these advances.

The story of a man who is basically robbed of his own body is an interesting one, and as things expand and the mystery really gets rolling, all sorts of implications hit readers, from the politics of this futuristic world, to the personal plight of one Kenneth Durand, who has to not only find the people (organization) who did this to him, but also figure out who he is, when everything about him is fundamentally changed.

This is a rip-roaring adventure through almost surreal and diverse countries, and plenty of underground organizations, people, and situations. This is the world that Kenneth Durnad lives in, once the above-board world has turned its back on him. He is a man who has lost everything in a few seconds, and now he has to work to clear his name and find who did this to him. It is nothing short of riveting.

Hard science fiction may or may not be your bag, but if you’re one of those readers who wants to read a book that is not only engrossing, but absolutely thought provoking with a hook that hits you from the first page, then this is the book you want. It is absolutely perfectly paced, wonderfully planned out, and fantastically well written. Change Agent is a book really hit it out of the park for me, and that’s during a time when pretty much nothing was doing that. It’s subversive, thought provoking, and completely mentally engaging. Change Agent is everything I wanted to see in my science fiction.

 

5/5 stars

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