Advance Galley Reviews
Change Agent is one of the most interesting stories I've read in recent history. It's fast paced, exciting, and unnerving all at the same time. Such an amazing world was built, and it made me excited for the future ahead! Even though this is a work of fiction, everything felt so real and lifelike, almost as if the events could potentially happen in the near future. There were enough details to make the events feel real, but not too many that it slowed down the story (although it did get a bit too technical in some sections).This book has opened my mind to the possibilities of the future, and the moral questions we must ask ourselves as we head into it.
Interesting read! I enjoyed this techothriller. I liked the scifi elements and thought the plot and characters were compelling. Would recommend.
I found this book to be a truly interesting read. It was a different genre for me, techo-thriller, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this. The idea of having your identity just digitally stolen, like you can today is a huge enough hassle, but to have your identity be not stolen but transformed, is it's own kind of hell. Change Agent picked up almost immediately, and provided a deeply troubling glimpse into a possible future in a possible universe. The only thing I found particularly jarring was a part near the end, some references were made to actresses who are "it girls" today, and that took me out of the book's universe for a second since the book is supposed to take place ~30 years from now. I am most likely going to buy the book now that it's out because I do want to read it again with a physical copy.
Overall I found this enjoyable. I haven't read a novel like this in awhile so it held my interest pretty well. It wasn't lovable though I don't think it had anything to do with the book. Just in a little reading slump and exhausted lately. Will definitely give the corrected, published version a read later on.
I really enjiyed reading this sci-fi techno-thriller. It was about a man, Kenneth Durand, in charge of a team to stop genetic alteration crimes. It was quite interesting. I would reccommend this book to anyone that likes a thrilling scientific mystery.
Very creative plot and characters. I loved it and highly recommend it.
Change Agent is a faced paced and gripping techno-thriller. The setting is a fascinating future where our current tech industry is replaced by genetic engineering and biotech. The main character is compelling and his experiences draw you in, making this book hard to put down. The future itself is scarily realistic and leaves the reader with an impression similar to that of 1984 when the book was first published.
Overall, this is a good book and I would recommend it to sci-fi reads or readers interested in technology's impact on our future. At times I got lost in the writing- it was so fast paced that I lost track of where I was, what I was reading- but that is probably the only complaint that I have. The book is full of adventure and the reader never knows what is going to happen next. Throughout the book I never felt like Durand's future was guaranteed beyond the next page, and that kept me turning! I personally have a soft spot for dystopian future stories, as my mind often wonders what technology might get us into, so this book was definitely appealing to that part of my interests and would be for any readers that enjoy the topic. I would read the book again and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something different to read.
I should probably start off by mentioning that I am a huge fan of Daniel Suarez. I have read all of his previous books, a few of them more than once. He definitely has a great "not too distant" future sort of style that comes off as very plausible in his Sci-Fi Techno-Thriller novels. While I wouldn't rate Change Agent as his be best work yet, I still give that to Daemon, it's certainly not on the bottom of my list. They all rank pretty high in my opinion.
The general plot follows Kenneth Durand, who has been genetically altered via a Change Agent, sort of a DNA virus, to have the form of the wanted criminal Marcus Wyckes. A large proportion of the story follows Durand as he travels through Singapore and Thailand to try to find a way to return to his former self. He meets a variety of folks along the way good and bad, and must deal with some inner turmoil in the concepts of what truly makes a person who they are. Much of the near future aspects of this revolve around the concept of genomic manipulation primarily, but other more familiar concepts such as the mass use of drones and AR/VR style interfaces for technology.
The core story is well done and there is a nice sense of urgency along the way to Durand's mission, mostly from the constant pursuit by the authorities. The main areas where it falls apart is the periphery. Some of Durand's colleagues are involved in the pursuit of Durand/Wyckes but they don't really seem to every question the possibility of Durand being anyone except who he appears to be, despite the world around them. There also isn't a much done with Durand's family, which is his entire motivation, beyond surface level exposure. Meanwhile many of the people Durand meets later feel like they don't really have any good reason to trust him yet they often do explicitly. The subplot involving (the real) Wyckes' henchman never feels quite fully explored either.
These sub plots could have been fleshed out a bit further and could have helped the story feel more complete. The core plot works regardless, though there are some parts that felt like they dragged a bit early on and around the three quarters mark. The real fun, like all of Daniel Suarez's books, comes from the "what if" world that is presented. Daemon and Freedom looked at the web and AI, Kill Decision was AI and drones, Change Agent looks at genetics and technology overexposure.
If you enjoy the writing style of Daniel Suarez or similar authors such as Neal Stephenson, John Scalzi, or William Gibson, you'll probably enjoy Change Agent.
I enjoyed this techno-thriller. It was a great Sy-Fy cop chance with a driving force to it that made it hard to put down. Focusing on accountability and synthetic biology it is a man hunt but not just for the bad guys but for himself. It brought up a lot of issues not only with ethics but greed in genetic manipulation. Genetic editing is a big thing in the near future of this story. As economies start to collapse and more synthetic science is developed to support the population people begin to chose to edit their embryos. Not only do people edit out disease, abnormalities, and disabilities but for the right price they can change their child's looks, memory, intellegence, agility, strength and more to give them an edge. This of course is illegal and must be policed. Our main character is the best at this Ken Durand is an Interpol agent whose responsible for finding these clinics and those responsible for them and shutting them down. The problem is he is far to good at his job. So the enemy inject him with a serum that genetically changes him to look like his number one target. The injection was suppose to kill him taking the heat off the Emmy and getting rid of him but when. It doesn't the chase is on. In a world completely change by science and technology Ken is forced to evade his team and the police who think he is the enemy he looks like, while exposing that it is possible not just rumor that a live adult can be altered genetically which is why they can not find their target, and stop the enemy while he gets his own body and identity back. He is torn ethically as he is forced to use means he would never have before to stay alive and achieve his goals. He has to face ethical, and moral questions and situations as well as many dangers along the way. This fast paced scientifically charged book brings up many hard topics about how far is too far, can such changes be policed, should they? In trying to correct suffering are we doing more harm? Why is it once the governments get involved in the science it goes sideways and can never truly be cleaned up? Why does politics always make it worse? How can people be so greedy and self absorbed?
If you love science fiction, are not bothered by the science, interested in genetics, synthetic biology, thrillers or just a good cop chase with lots of action and twist then I highly recommend this book. It is a very interesting take on what our future could look like.
Change Agent by Daniel Suarez is a very exciting techno-thriller set in the near future about the consequences of synthetic biology on identity and accountability.
Interpol agent Ken Durand finds himself the victim of genetic editing by the gangs of illegal genetic editing firms he hunts down in his work. If he is ever going to return to his rightful life he must hunt down and make these gangs pay. How far is one man willing to go to get back his identity? He faces some tough decision and life-threatening and life-changing situations in his quest to regain his identity.
This is an edge of your seat, page-turning thriller with some really thoughtful questions about identity, biology, and morality and what it really means to be at the end of your rope.
I enjoyed this book! It was like a Dan Brown thriller meets Orphan Black. It was just reasonable enough at times (like just slightly out of the realm of possibility) that it made one think about the consequences of our progress in the scientific world.
There's a lot of world building and technobabble within this. I like that most things were explained but it didn't detract from the story. However, there was a lack of character development. I wanted more insight into Durand but his only driving force is that he wants to get his own DNA back and to keep from getting killed in the process. I thought they would do more with character development with Marcotte and was happy when she showed up again midway through the book but honestly felt like they just let her drop off the face of the earth after her one shining moment.
I enjoyed the plot and all the action, but the lack of character development is what made this a 3.5/5 star read for me.
I enjoyed Change Agent by Daniel Suarez. It was a fascinating subject and fast-paced. Some parts were predictable if you read or watch a lot of action thrillers, but it did not detract from my enjoyment. The science was interesting, but sometimes went a little too technical for me. What I really liked about this book was the way he went into depth regarding futuristic technology development, how police and political structures were changed by these, and the socio-economical structure.
Unfortunately I just could not into this book. The writing its fine but the story line did not keep my interest. Honestly could not even finish it.
I was very impressed with Daniel Suarez Change Agent. I received access to the galley for free through the First to Read program. I read this book and it really made me think not about the future, but what may be closer to our own reality than we may want to think about. While this book takes place in 2045 it seems like it is something that could be happening even sooner than that. This book really challenged me to think what might be in the near future and what is morally and ethically right. With the technology breakthroughs that are happening all the time with genetics and gene splicing, what if it was possible to be able to change and alter the DNA of humans. Is it right to make genetic modifications to embryos to help their chances at a more successful life? If we could take out all the possible negative parts of our DNA and implant more positive ones, would it be right to do so? These are some of the questions that I kept asking myself over and over while reading this book.
The action in this book was also non-stop. From the very beginning, it grabs you and does not let you go. When Interpol agent Kenneth Durand wakes up from a coma and realizes that he has been the recipient of a change agent the action is ramped up ten-fold. There were good times and heartbreaking times. This book had a great balance of everything.
If you are looking for a fast-paced, sci-fi read where the science is not too far off from what is the reality we live in then I would strongly recommend this book.
I was given the opportunity to read Change Agent, and I must admit that it was a rough start. I attempted to start reading this several times, and I just couldn't get past the first page. I finally sat down and started reading, and I couldn't stop reading! I really liked this book. I honestly had never even thought about the premise of this story. It was very interesting. It kept me interested until the end. I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I really wanted to see how it would end. I would recommend this book to anyone. I think anyone could like this book if they gave it a try.
A Penguin First to Read ARC e-book in exchange for an honest review.
It is 2045 and the world’s economy has shifted to synthetic biology and Singapore is the leading nation while United States has fallen to third world status.
Genetic modifications are growing in the black market. While it is okay to make some modifications to rid ones children and future generations from disease/mutations that handicap it is illegal to change things like height and intelligence.
Durand is a researcher that is recruited by Interpol to hunt down the illegal labs and find Wyckes, the leader of the most dangerous and fast growing genetic cartel that is exploiting human trafficking to grow his list of genetic alterations. Before Durand is able to act he is injected with something while standing in a crowd and wakes from a coma weeks later. Durand doesn’t wake up as himself though, but as a physical doppelganger of Wyckes, the most wanted man in the world.
This book sucked me in, but then again I’m a sucker for “innocent men on the run trying to right the wrongs done to them and get back to their family” plots.
It is an interesting future that the author creates. Can you imagine that your couch was grown? That the meat you consume is deathless? That almost everything is biologically created? That bio-terrorism is built so specifically that a poison can be engineered to exploit your personal DNA weaknesses?
How far will science take us? Or more importantly, where will greed and exploitation take us?
I've read quite a few Daniel Suarez books and love how he extrapolates current technological breakthroughs into possible disaster scenarios. Change Agent was a great book to expand on the idea of genetic mapping and manipulation into a future where humans can re-make their own DNA. I loved the fast-paced storyline and the interesting cast of characters. Ken Durand is a great protagonist and had plenty of depth and internal struggle. He is intelligent, dedicated, and has a strong moral compass that drives him in his role in Interpol. Unfortunately, he has been injected with a "change agent" which alters his DNA to give him the appearance and abilities of one of Interpol's most wanted, Marcus Wyckes. This new DNA change agent breakthrough is unknown by Interpol, so his own team wants him to pay for the crimes of the man he now looks like. The bad guys expected him not to survive the process, providing a corpse that will conveniently stop the hunt for Wyckes. So, essentially everyone is out to capture and/or kill him. He ends up enlisting the help of smart geneticists who work in a "grey area" outside the law, but at least are willing to accept that he has been changed as well as help him for their own gain. There were other issues brought up, such as the effect of new technology on the economy, the collapse of industries, the widespread migration and exploitation of refugees, and new ways that the few with money and resources can further distance themselves from the rest of the populace. The story was scary and also a bit hopeful, and it was definitely a thriller that will keep your interest, especially if you like some science in your science fiction!
Fast paced thriller! The future looks bleak as this book portrays the future. The time frame of this book is soon enough, giving a lot of food for thought. It seems the author did a lot of research on the technology that could be developed. The book is very detailed which makes it seem real or plausible. The ability to chose genetics is quite thought provoking. I am not a fan of sci-fi, but this is a great read!
I absolutely loved this book. It had just the right amount of science to go with the fiction. It takes place just near enough into the future that it gives me the creeps. The technology at the center of this story DOES exist on some level. CRISPR is real and exciting for what good it can do, but terrifying as well because of the potential consequences, i.e. the events of Change Agent.
I especially admire that this technology wasn't the only thing new touched on in this very probable future such as self-driving cars, AR (Augmented Reality, think Pokemon Go x infinity) and god the ads. I think that is the most likely thing to drive me crazy if this comes true. But, I think that the fact that the book recognized that should technology get to the point of editing people's DNA after birth, the rest of the world's technology should reflect similar or equal advances. Just makes it more realistic.
This is my first experience with Daniel Suarez, but I will be on the lookout for more of his books!
Change Agent was a futuristic thriller that has had me thinking about the consequences of a world gone awry by 2045. Ken Durand,
Is an American expat Interpol detective seeking to combat genetic editing in designer baby labs. He becomes the target of a rogue group he has sought to stop. He is violently changed through a new radical change agent into another wanted man, and he doggedly travels throughout Southeast Asia in search of those who can restore himsto his original DNA.
His pursuit of the black market lab takes him on an extended and harrowing journey through a world turned upside down. The underworld and the corrupt rule, slavery exists, war is everywhere, poverty and hunger are expanding, and victimized children are the new norm.
I do admit I loved all the creative uses of technology Daniel Suarez imagined. However I wished his journey was just a little shorter!
I really enjoyed this book. It was both fascinating and horrifying at the same time. Set in the not so distant future where gene therapy is a big black market money maker one agent gets stabbed with a "Change Agent" which makes him look like the wanted leader of a major gang. Wanted by the very people he works with and by the gang leader that wanted him dead, he tries everything he can to find a way back to being himself. I couldn't put this book down. It was well written with a story that could be true in the future but we sure hope won't be.
Not bad. The intriguing, unique story set within a plausible near future is what drew me to this title despite not dabbling much in science fiction. Suarez has done a fantastic job creating the universe in which his tale takes place, although occasionally the intricate details drift into technobabble. Unfortunately, the characters on these pages lack this careful attention, and as a result feel bland and stereotypical. The straightforward plot of Durand's quest to recover his DNA boils the book down to a fairly standard thriller about an individual on the run, and while this was entertaining, I wanted more given the promising setup. I appreciate the research that Suarez put into writing this book, and the ethical questions that are raised regarding genetics give readers much to ponder.
A fast-paced, thoughtful, slightly-terrifying piece of speculative fiction! A nice mix of near-future technologies and world that felt detailed enough that it wasn't just a magic button to create friction but also didn't get hung up on the details so much that you get bored. Reminds me in many ways of a more action packed William Gibson in the Blue Ant series. Great fun without feeling too fluffy, I'll be grabbing more books by Daniel Suarez.
I loved this book. The author paints a picture of a future world, but with believable tech. I think it was a tad longer than it needed to be but it was still a very fun ride and definitely 5 stars. The pacing was strong and it had a solid flow of action throughout. I definitely will be reading more from this author.
Change Agent took me a little while to get through. If you like medical thrillers this would be a perfect book for you. I just felt like it took too long to get to the climax and fix Durand.
I received an advanced copy of this book in electronic format from firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review. This review also appears on goodreads.com
This is the fifth Daniel Suarez book that I've read. I love how he explores the future of technology from both the good side...and, the evil! This book was no different. This time he educates us on genetic technology and how it can change the world, dramatically. The comparisons to the late Michael Crichton are valid!
The main character, Kenneth Durand - a caring, family man who is also a lead investigator for Interpol - is transformed in his own world, turned from good to bad, not of his choice. His pursuit to make the wrong right is the journey of the book. Along the way, he encounters situations and people he never thought he would and acts in ways that defy his own integrity & beliefs. All to right the wrong done to him and return to his family. A definite page-turner.
The only reason I gave this book four stars instead of five is that I think DS could've been challenged more by his editor to flesh out his characters, especially during intense scenes; give us a more in depth look at how the main character was battling his inner demons while acting in ways that defied his character. Sure, it would've made the book longer but I think it would've added so much more layers to the story & characters. DS has the science & the action locked but could become legend if he could develop characters in the same manner as Justin Cronin.
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.
Daniel Suarez bringing "I woke up list this" to a new level!
This is my first time reading a futuristic sci-fi thriller and thanks to Suarez's intricate writing you are sucked into the current times hot topic, genetic altering, and the many issues it's brought forth to human kind. Kenneth Durant, Interpol's lead agent against genetic crime, is injected by a change agent, turning him into his most wanted suspect, Marcus Wyckes. Durant's journey to return to himself and his family takes him to unimaginable illicit places prompting him to make decisions that as a man of the law never thought he'd have to even ponder. Throughout the fast paced writing you can't help but be engrossed by Durant's endless struggles, compelling characters encountered in the journey and action packed scenes. A must read that will definitely keep you wanting more!
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!