Amped by Daniel H. Wilson explores the potential backlash and misuses of biotech to improve the human experience. Owen Gray is a teacher, and an amp; he has a device in his head to control his epilepsy. That's what he's been told but he's forced to re-examine the truth after one of his amped students commits suicide at the school.
Her death comes on the eve of sweeping regulations that criminalize the use and possession of amped technology. Citizens, including soldiers who were amped in the service of their country, have their rights removed and they are rounded up and shipped to concentration camps. It sounds preposterous but we've done things like this before — to the Japanese in WWII and to numerous native American tribes/nations. Let's also not forget our history of slavery or the current political climate in which there is a war on women and as well as on gay marriage. Amped is social commentary in the proud tradition of H.G. Wells and George Orwell.
As it's more parable than post-apocalyptic horror, it comes in a hundred pages shorter than Robopocalypse and is in its structure, a more straightforward story. It does, though, share some of the same world building (automated cars, for instance). I don't know if the two are in the same universe or not — but they do share some technology.
I found Amped as compelling, entertaining and thought-provoking as Robopocalyse. I also found the book a quicker read. Wilson clearly understands the conventions of the different genres he writes for and can craft well told stories to work within those tropes.
Read via NetGalley