Daniel Suarez is a writer of pretty great promise. The first two of his books that I tackled delivered extremely well, and considering that I picked his books up from an offhand recommendation, I was pretty satisfied. I now pretty constantly look forward to reading more of his books. When I saw a copy of influx, I didn’t hesitate to pick up a copy.
Influx has a pretty interesting premise: it takes the William Gibson quote “The future is already here, it just isn’t evenly distributed” and asks what if there was a conspiracy to hoard new technology and not release it to the public? Those doing the hoarding would obviously be in a position of supreme power, and would be a force to be reckoned with around the world. Of course, the hoarders would be just deluded enough to think that they were doing it for the good of the public that they are hiding things from.
For the most part, I don’t believe in grand conspiracies. I can’t imagine what the point would be. It often doesn’t even make for all that interesting reading, as the genre of conspiratorial stories has always felt a little stale. Once the book got going, I had some reservations that this distaste for that subject matter would effect my reading, but it did not, and I can write this up as part of Suarez’s skill as a writer. Much like he did with Daemon, Suarez managed to write the situation in a way that never did feel ridiculous, and always seemed just plausible enough. This time there seemed to be a little bit more hard sci-fi technology in the book, but considering the quote the book began with, it seemed pretty acceptable. Towards the end, much of this technology accumulates to seemingly very over-powered characters, but I never broke my suspension of disbelief over it.
Suarez also wins all the internet points for putting in a “Leroy Jenkins” reference in this book.
By the time we reach the novel’s end, it has become a full on pot-boiler. Again, I don’t think this is a bad thing, and much in the same way that after I finished reading Daemon I wanted to know a lot more about what was going to happen in that world, by the time I got to the end of this I was much more interested in the implication of the actions I was reading about than the actions themselves. How would the world at large continue, considering how the book ended.
This book was the weakest of the ones I have read so far, and I can say that it was still very enjoyable. I think the real conspiracy is how Daniel Suarez continues to write books that I so willingly spend money on.