Apex (Nexus, #3)

Write on: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 by  in Archive Read 3593

4/5 stars.

Apex is a great conclusion to the Nexus trilogy, a cyberpunk science fiction that blended thought-provoking social commentary with relatable characters and emotional resonance.

Imagine having the internet, a virtual reality platform and personal hard drives hosted in the brains of thousands or millions of the human race.  And it's an open shareware where anyone with unlimited connectivity can freely contribute any application.  This, in essence, propagates a single vast mind which is greater than the sum of its parts.  That is what Nexus is capable of accomplishing.  Take one step further to host Nexus in a quantum mind and you will get sentient artificial intelligence.  Upload this onto a human clone and a post-human is hence created.

Amazing.  Beautiful.  Frightening.

After the ending of the previous book, I expected a nightmare of artificial intelligence dominance and destruction to descend upon the world.  While it certainly did, it was not entirely in the fashion that I’ve anticipated.  The story took a bit longer to engage me than the previous two instalments, as many new characters were introduced to demonstrate the greater proliferation of Nexus and its implications – both good and bad.  In the end, even though there were a lot more new characters, it was necessary to serve the plot towards its denouement.  A concatenation of events led to an ending that was akin to watching an imminent train wreck of massive proportions in slow motion.  It was nerve-wracking and intense!

All politics is personal. It turns out all policy is personal, too. She’d thought once that policy was a rational thing. That it could be decided based on logic and analysis, optimized to maximize the likelihood of best outcomes, either for the world, the nation, or at least for one side or the other. But no. None of those could compete with the personal experience of one man.

As with the first two books, this one continued the series' thought-provoking narrative. Of governments and policies being an extension of personal agenda and experiences of the leaders. Of the simple iteration of Prisoner’s Dilemma between the major forces in the world and the annihilation that can ensue.  And how violence necessarily begets violence.  

I recommend this series to fans of near-future science fiction.  The books were not without its flaws as there were times where I found it repetitive.  Regardless, with a highly engaging story and great characters, it is definitely worth reading.

Last modified on Thursday, 14 September 2017 13:37

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.