Friday, 4 January 2013
Book Review: Human+ by Martin Higgins
by Martin Higgins
A finger is pointing through the screen of reality ... David yearns to change the world, but he is only a struggling artist - struggling to pay his rent, struggling with drug addiction, struggling to stay sane amidst a gathering storm of demonic visions and dark precognitions.
Adrift on the streets of New York, he is led by a bizarre vision to follow a mysterious young woman who introduces him to a charismatic psychiatrist and his network of revolutionaries, known as The Company. Recognising David's budding psychosis as prodigious psychic potential, The Company fast tracks him through their own secret training program to self mastery.
Transformed, David soon finds himself centre stage in a genuine plot to change the world. But, he soon wonders if, rather than offering salvation, The Company's technological ambitions might be about to damn mankind. And he realises his life may be in danger when he discovers others who fear the same.
Inspired by U.S. psychic spying research, emerging technology and the transhumanist movement, Human+ examines important questions that are just around the corner for all of us and, potentially, human evolution itself.
As someone who can't even take ibuprofen, I wasn't sure how well I would be able to relate to a main character who was a drug addict, but David was such a sympathetic character that it was easy to warm to him. This book defies genre, there's elements of quite a few different ones in here: sci-fi, horror, paranormal, conspiracy thriller, but the author has blended them all into a cohesive whole.
The whole book is told through David's eyes throughout and you are never quite sure whether David is really experiencing all the things he does or if it's just seem weird dream or drug-induced hallucination, which keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next.
It's not an easy book to read, there are some confusing things in there and at times I was as much in the dark as David as to what was going on. Some sections felt more like lectures rather than narrative flow, but it is a very interesting read. Can the things in this book really happen with the technology we have today? I have no idea, but it is an intriguing thought. It's a book that makes you think long after the last page is turned.
Reviewed by Annette Gisby
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