“Wired” – by Douglas E. Richards

Cover ImageRetired special forces officer David Desh has been requested by his erstwhile commanding officer to perform one last critical assignment. This time the fate of the civilised world hangs in the balance.

With such a grand opening Wired is hardly likely to be pedestrian and most of the time, the book delivers at freight train speed. I don’t think anyone would have trouble getting into this story. We’re primarily in the head of David Desh and he’s not a bad character to take the journey with even if he is a bit of a Gary Stu. With him we track a dangerous criminal set to unleash a terrible fate on humanity. Kira Miller is Desh’s target and she is suitably brilliant – always one step ahead of Desh even with his special forces training. From here, you need to like action, twists, more twists, more action and a few fairly lengthy discussions on the nature of human evolution and development.

The characters are fairly interesting, but it’s all a bit “knights in shining armour” versus “minions/masterminds of unadulterated evil”. I prefer a few more shades of grey and definitely more dimensions. I can see how they help the plot run true to its own internal logic. However, it feels a little like taking the easy way out of a potential problem in the story. If this kind of thing is a pet peeve, then hopefully the plot will be enough and if you like twists, it will be.

The book starts with a conspiracy and twists and turns from there. Not all are unpredictable, but there were enough to keep me a bit unbalanced. The good thing is it all maintains a sense of logic even if sometimes the tenuous suspension of disbelief we often clothe ourselves with stretches a little. But it was all too much fun to be overly critical and I enjoyed the ride. It was unfortunate that there were several fairly long passages explaining “stuff”, but the author was quite ambitious in both the premise and the end-game so explanations were required. If the sacrifice is made to read through it, it adds rather than subtracts. But if it’s getting a bit much you can gloss over it a little and as long as you get the salient points, it shouldn’t damage your enjoyment too much.

The writing itself is great. It flows well and is error free, which is something I always appreciate. The action scenes are dealt with suitably; they give a sense of exhilaration and movement and avoid the trap of over-explaining every detail (it’s amazing how well the mind interpolates if you let it).

Despite my concerns on characterisation, I had a lot of fun reading Wired¬†and if action thrillers are your cup of tea, I can’t see any reason not to make the investment. It’s worthwhile to note that there’s also a sequel available. Amped was published a couple of months ago so if you like this novel, there’s no need to wait for the next fix. I already have it on my wish list.

Rating: 4/5

Price at the time of review: $2.99 US

Available: Amazon,Barnes & Noble

Author site: http://www.douglaserichards.com/
GoodReads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11849936-wired

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