Wow. Just wow.

Written by
Ramez Naam in 2015

I will just say it here at the outset. Apex is awesome. But, in order to understand its awesomeness, you need to have read the entire trilogy, and be invested in the characters and the lore. If you like computer science, speculative engineering and artificial intelligence type stories, this is a good one to sink your teeth into.

Apex picks up immediately after the events of Crux, Kaden, Sam and a whole group of Nexused orphans, are escaping from the island where he was nearly killed by a mogul hellbent on using Nexus for his own ends (saving the world his way).

Meanwhile, half a world away, Suyong Shu, the brilliant computer scientist turned quantum supercomputer (yeah, you need to read the first two books) has gone mad and is out to conquer the world for all post-humans. Her plans are to sow chaos and discord across the entire world to hide her movements and ensure that nobody can react until it is far too late.

First and foremost, Apex and its predecessors deal with the themes of technology, trans and posthumanism. How will we deal with each other when we as a species can enhance ourselves simply and safely with technology? Will those left behind the changes have a chance, or will they just become detritus in the progress of humanity? Will the future human, armed with technology be empowered or enslaved?

None of these are easy questions to answer, and I suppose we all have our biases. What is really good about the story is the realism of everybody’s reactions. That things move slowly, things can stay the same, even after an existential crisis that nearly kills everybody.

Apex is a highly recommended book for all the non-space opera science fiction fans out there. It contains a well crafted story with fleshed out characters you could actually care for. Do enjoy it.

Rating

Top book. ‘Nuf said.

Read this if you…

Read Nexus and Crux and are salivating for more.

Don’t read this if you…

Haven’t quite freed your mind yet, Neo.

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