Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Amped, Daniel H Wilson, Doubleday, 2012

Owen is your average high school teacher, with a neurological implant in his head to control his epilepsy. Thousands of people have such implants in their heads to eradicate learning disabilities and reduce the severity of neurological problems.

In a landmark court case, the Supreme Court declares that "amps" are not entitled to the same legal protections as everyone else. This unleashes a national wave of harassment, beatings, martial law and being forced into resettlement camps (think Nazi Germany) for all amps.

Just before he is killed by an anti-amp mob, Owen's father, who implanted him, tells him to find a man named Lyle, who is living in a trailer park in middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma. Lyle was part of an amped military unit, which was disbanded when things got out of hand. The trailer park has become an amp sanctuary, even though it is surrounded by anti-amp zealots, who seem to enjoy harassing the amps, fueled by large amounts of beer.

Lyle tells Owen that he does not have the average implant in his head. He is carrying some high-class, military grade software in his head. Owen learns how to turn it on and off, and has several chances to use it against the anti-amps. It sure looks like America is headed for a second Civil War. Is there anything that Owen, or anyone else, can do to stop it?

This is an excellent near-future thriller. It is very plausible, and it is very easy to read and understand. It is also nice and high-tech, and it is very much recommended.

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