This young adult dystopian novel has all the elements you would expect from the genre: an advanced society with different classes of citizens, limited education, a highly regulated and tightly controlled life style with limited personal freedom, and a protagonist who begins to discover that what they thought was a pretty good life is not as it seems.
The world of The Amplified is one where at a certain age people have the right to become Amplified by a small plate fixed to their brain behind their ear. When they give it instructions, this device amplifies their abilities making them almost super-human, but, as in any good dystopian novel, amplification comes at a price. There is a device that overrides individual instructions and makes the person follow orders that are supposedly only used when the protection of the realm requires a co-ordinated effort that is beyond what could be taught and perfected in the time available. It sounds like a valid reason, but it makes our protagonist Mari uncomfortable—with good reason. Can she trust the Govenor to only use it for good? Would you?
Dystopian worlds invariably have the masses compliant, unquestioning and uncreative, and the protagonist is always someone who thinks for themselves. This is the value of the Dystopian genre. It shows how important creativity, ethics and critical thinking are.
15-year-old Mari Quillen is about to become invincible. Just like everyone else.
For years, Mari has been anxiously awaiting the day when she will receive her Amplifier; a small device implanted behind the ear that gives someone limitless capabilities through verbal commands. But once she finally becomes Amplified and begins mandatory Training with the rest of her peers, she begins to see that her natural ability to resist and act for herself brings dangerous consequences, as well as unwanted scrutiny from Governor Plenaris, the Community’s most revered official. She grows increasingly wary of the Amplifiers as she watches how they affect her friends and brother, constantly wondering if Amplification is really as fantastic as she thought it would be. Sure, she can perform elaborate acrobatics and recall obscure information, but how can she be sure the Amplifier isn’t controlling her?
Perfect for those who enjoyed Divergent and The Hunger Games, The Amplified is the first in a three book series that explores a society where no one has to make any effort as long as they know the right thing to say.
This book is another excellent indie read. I give it 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who likes the Dystopian genre. It’s suitable for both teens and adults and is a clean read.