KayKay #CRB5 Review #47 Crux by Ramez Naam

crux

**SPOILER ALERT**

My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement.  Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers.  Continue on at your own risk!

Nexus is one of the best books I read this year, so good that I pre-ordered Crux (I normally will wait to buy until I read the sample).  Did Crux live up to the first novel?  Or does it make my list of disappointing second installments? Here is what I thought….

Characters and Relationships

Kade- I’m on the fence about Kade, I wish he was becoming more confident, but on the other hand, his nerdish fumbling is more realistic.

Holtzmann- he is the reason I gave this section a 2.  As much as I am unsatisfied with Kade, he is MUCH better than Holtzmann.  He was a completely unlikeable weak character who didn’t even step up until Kade influenced his mind to action.

Characters Score: 2/5

World Building

It seemed to me that this book took a huge leap in technology.  Instead of Nexus just being a software that can connect minds, it becomes something that other people (if they have the ‘back door’) can use to control your body.  Kade, with no medical knowledge, is now able to enter peoples minds and tie their basic human instincts (for violence or sexual arousal) to nausea, anxiety and pain.  At another point in the story he pairs his brainsteam to Holtzmann.

World Building Score: 2/5

Plot

Nexus has been released, Kade is on the run, Sam finds the Nexus orphans, then losses them.  Kade is eventually caught (and escapes), Sam finds the orphans again.  Ilya dies instead of giving up the codes, Rangan gives up the codes, then finds out Kade changed the codes.  Rangan also escapes with another group of Nexus children.

Plot Score: 2/5

Life Lessons (fka Bigger Meaning)

I had initially scored this area a little higher, because this book carries the theme of how to handle terrorism without restricting freedom (in the case scientific freedom).  But when I sat down to write this section, I felt as if the life lessons /themes were a side note to the convoluted plot.

Another theme- group consciousness- is not one that I necessarily agree is good.  I believe more in the power and importance of the individual.  I do think that in some cases a group coming together and being able to build on all their strengths is a good concept, but what if the weaknesses were shared and not the strengths?

Life Lessons Score:  3/5

Style

Since I loved Nexus so much, I thought this would be a ‘read every word’ type of book, as opposed to a ‘skim read’.  I was wrong.  I started out in the reading every word mode, and almost gave up reading the book all together.  Instead, I decided to employ skimming technique.  I made it through the book, but barely.

I read the book on my Kindle app, and there were times when there was a perspective switch inside a chapter, but with no extra return or anything separating the two stories.  This was very annoying.  I’m not sure if the physical book had more indication between these types of changes.

Style Score: 2/5

Final Thoughts?

Disappointing second installment

This book lacked the coding excitement in the first book

Total Score and Recommendation

11/25- I’m on the fence about whether I would read any further installments, and I wouldn’t recommend reading this one (unless a third one comes out that it just fantastic and this is needed as a bridge).  But Nexus (the first book, should definitely be read).

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