Crux (Nexus #2)

Write on: Fri, 16 Jun 2017 by  in Archive Read 4162

4/5 stars.

Crux was a satisfying, roller-coaster ride of a sequel that was intense.  Even though there were a bit less action scenes and the plot development a little slower, it was no less engaging than its predecessor.  

From the conclusion of the previous book, Nexus went viral. 

Nexus's ability to satisfy widespread human desires, combined with its innocuous perception, suggests that were the technology to ever enter the mainstream, the genie would prove very difficult to put back into the bottle.

As expected, the consequences of releasing Nexus were both good and bad.   It was beautiful in its ability to connect people and amazing in enabling accelerated group learning and development, especially in children.   And it was absolutely horrifying when employed to coerce  and control another human mind and body; it is even worse than rape.  

Are you wiser than all humanity?

What happens then when you have someone who has the backdoor or the key to stop these atrocities from happening; that one person who in essence can have absolute control over all who use Nexus or born with it.  All altruistic and good intentions aside, should a single entity in the world own such power? Would even a supposed saint turn into a tyrant?

As a wise person once said:

Power is always dangerous.  It attracts the worse and corrupts the best.

What I really liked about this series so far was how the messages stick with you well after you have finished reading the book.  A notable mention was the concept of terrorism.  All terrorism ever accomplished was to make the oppressors even stronger.  War and conflicts in all forms will always end up killing innocents and terrorism is probably the worst form of such.  Humanity is at the crux of evolution where overpopulation is probably the reason why calamities are ever on the increase.   On top of that, the creation of artificial intelligence may very lead to the advent of post-humans, and eventually dystopia.  All frightening thoughts because it doesn't seem so implausible even in this current day and age.  

While my review has so far seemed to be focused on the social commentaries, this does not mean the characters were not worth any mention.   I am not going to write a blow-by-blow character rundown, but it sufficed to say that it was through their experiences, thoughts, motivations and emotional conflicts which felt so real that the underlying messages come across really well.  Another great point of note is the racial diversity of the characters, from the white Caucasian to Hispanic, to a variety of Asians ranging from the South, South-East and the Far East.  The setting of the story spans the globe from the United States to Thailand, Vietnam, India and China, in a gripping plot as authorities and powers-that-be or want-to-be race to obtain control over Nexus and more importantly, the backdoor to the technology. 

The ending of Crux was climactic to say the least and it appears that AI hell is finally going to break loose.


Last modified on Sunday, 18 June 2017 01:07

A self-professed geek and proud of it, I started reading at a tender age and never really stopped until work got in the way for several years.  I regained my voracious appetite for books a few years back and then started to enjoy writing down my thoughts.  I am more of an emotional/instinctual rather than a critical reader. 

Aside from reading, I enjoy outdoor sports (running, hiking, cycling, an occasional frisbee game), photography and travelling.