Daniel Suarez's latest ripped-from-the-headlines technothriller is the fast-paced read you've been looking for!
New York Times bestselling author Daniel Suarez delivers an exhilarating sci-fi thriller exploring a potential future where CRISPR genetic editing allows the human species to control evolution itself.
On a crowded train platform, Interpol agent Kenneth Durand feels the sting of a needle—and his transformation begins...
In 2045 Kenneth Durand leads Interpol’s most effective team against genetic crime, hunting down black market labs that perform "vanity edits" on human embryos for a price. These illegal procedures augment embryos in ways that are rapidly accelerating human evolution—preying on human-trafficking victims to experiment and advance their technology.
With the worlds of genetic crime and human trafficking converging, Durand and his fellow Interpol agents discover that one figure looms behind it all: Marcus Demang Wyckes, leader of a powerful and sophisticated cartel known as the Huli jing.
But the Huli jing have identified Durand, too. After being forcibly dosed with a radical new change agent, Durand wakes from a coma weeks later to find he’s been genetically transformed into someone else—his most wanted suspect: Wyckes.
Now a fugitive, pursued through the genetic underworld by his former colleagues and the police, Durand is determined to restore his original DNA by locating the source of the mysterious—and highly valuable—change agent. But Durand hasn’t anticipated just how difficult locating his enemy will be. With the technology to genetically edit the living, Wyckes and his Huli jing could be anyone and everyone—and they have plans to undermine identity itself.
Advance Galley Reviews
Kenneth Durand works for Interpol tracking down illegal genetic labs. Millions of migrants are fleeing crop failures, there are civil wars and rising ocean levels. The gene revolution has bypassed America because of its backward anti-science ways and so Singapore has become the center of the new technology. (The author is a little heavy handed with his social commentary.) Genetic engineering is restricted, but an unscrupulous company has devised a way to completely replace the DNA of an adult human. They inject Durand with the change agent and he awakens in the hospital as an exact copy of Marcus Wyckes, the head of the company. What follows is a very prolonged chase scene, with both Interpol and Wyckes trying to capture Durand (who Interpol thinks is really Wyckes - it's complicated).
There's a lot of world building, in fact there was too much for me and I wound up skimming. To me, a lot of this was just technobabble (like "photonic computing clusters" and "synbiotoxins"). There are also many intriguing details. "The car was a two-seater, a popular low-budget model called a Shrimp (because the body was grown from the same chitinous material as shrimp shells)." Meat is lab produced. Tattoos come and go. However, there was no character development and the only plot element is that Durand wants to get his own DNA back and to keep from getting killed in the process. This book was just OK for me.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
This was a fun, fast-paced techno-thriller. The plot was very interesting and I could tell the author must have done a good amount of research on several topics like biology, gene therapy and technology. The imagery was on point and I had an easy time picturing all the characters and events. I'd love to see this made into a movie (and I don't say that often)! I had never heard of this author prior to reading this but I definitely plan to pick up some of his other works.
As a biology nerd, I loved this book. The author clearly did their research, as some technologies currently used in the field were mentioned by name. This made my inner nerd very happy!! I loved the imagery used in this book, and picturing a world run by a genetic black market in the future. I certainly hope our world never comes to this! Thanks for a great read.
"Change Agent" is exceedingly well researched and plotted, with a very interesting and detailed premise that goes well beyond simple plastic surgery. The story moves along at a good pace, with many characters straddling the line between "good guys" and "bad guys." The technology is the author's strength, and it shows well in the way the world of Southeast Asia in 2045 is built plausibly but radically, with numerous touches carried over from the 2010s and with a larger global context that we can already see coming.
If this is what Science Fiction stories in the future are going to be like, then we are in for something good. I enjoyed how Suarez used gene therapy techniques and made it into more advanced technology. DNA is a complex thing that will constantly amaze and this story proves that point. I am glad I had the opportunity to read this science based thought pervoking story.
I received an advanced reader copy for my review, and can I just say how glad I am to have been chosen for this phenomenal book! It was my first read by Suarez, but after reading Change Agent I want to pick up his other books! I finished Change Agent in about a day and a half since I could hardly put it down. I was even reading it while in line at Disneyland... A brilliant futuristic techno-thriller, it had great character developments and a story that was easily plausible. I felt connected to Kenneth Durand and even rooting for Bryan Frey. I loved the exploration of Asia and the descriptions of "older villages" that were set in our current time.
Daniel Suarez hit it out of the park with Change Agent. This technological thriller grabbed me at the beginning and didn't let go. Mr. Suarez provided highly believable, rich detail of technological advances in the not too distant future. Technology is rapidly changing and this book is a first rate fictional example of how technology can be misused to the detriment of the individual and society. Can DNA be manipulated to eliminate the uniqueness of an individual? If so, should it be? This is one of those books you just can't put down until you know how it ends. I was chosen to read an advance copy of this book as part of the First to Read program. The opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
Techno-thrillers are always treading a fine line between the "techno" and the "thriller," and this latest from Daniel Suarez finds the sweet spot. From the description, I wasn't sure if I was going to buy the central premise of one man being turned into another man, right down to the DNA, through a change agent, whatever that would turn out to be. But Suarez grounds his near-future world in some scarily realistic uses of genetic tinkering, and the combination of the book's technological explanations and my scientific ignorance carried me along. With that out of the way, the book is a satisfying thrill ride. The inevitable movie script will write itself. The characters are well-drawn enough and the chase scenes nick-of-time enough to make for an excellent beach read. We also get some disturbing implications to ponder--for society and humanity--of the coming convergence of genetic modification, government surveillance, and corporate greed.
This si-fi thriller is well thought out and developed. The main character, Ken Durand, is especially easy to connect with as you hear his thoughts and feel the emotions. The supporting cast is given much more than a quick description and faster exit after serving a purpose. There is enough time and depth given to even minor characters that you care what happens. The time spent adding color to the various landscapes as the story moves around Southeast Asia lets you feel the extra dimensions, beauty and struggles the plot suggests. Mr. Suarez presents a plausible future with cultural, social and scientific details that are easy to imagine and accept. Our hero may have been allowed a couple extra too slick get always/near misses but this is forgiven as you root him along. Thanks for the great read!
Thanks to receiving an advanced reader copy of this book, I discovered a great author. Although the book is set in the future, it was evident there was a lot of research to develop a very believable scenario. I was drawn into the story. Mr Suarez will definitely be on my list to follow. I highly recommend Change Agent for a disturbing look at the future.
Daniel Suarez is one of my favorite authors when it comes to writing reality-based technological fiction (that may sound like a back-handed compliment, but I assure it's not). More than most authors, he writes with a confident understanding of the issues at hand without sounding like he swallowed a textbook (lookin' at you, Tom Clancy's explanation of martial arts).
Change Agent posits our biological future, where electronic technology is cheap/disposable and the real money gets made through the hacking of DNA and various synthetic forms thereof. Though the book may leave you thinking it's a first draft of a screenplay (with the predictable every-10-minute action scene to keep the moviegoers interested), it manages to keep its pacing and come up with interesting situations to keep the plot moving.
I received an advance reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review via first to read. It is an enthralling and riveting fast paced thriller with plenty of twists along the way! To imagine if the things written of could actually happen is terrifying!