If the events of Nexus and Crux seem intense and complex, Apex takes them up to and over the edge. Everything has been destabilized — the issues of Nexus are bigger than Kade and yet he and his team are in the center of it all.

“A million minds. What could you do if you could connect a million people together?”

China is losing control over information flow, and the US is losing control over politics. There are protests worldwide, and these two superpowers are pushing each other toward the brink of nuclear war while Kade and his friends are fighting, in different ways, against the abuses of Nexus.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Apex is third book in the Nexus series, coming after Crux. Ramez Naam is deeply involved with technology, including nanotechnology research and that is reflected in these hard science fiction books focusing on neurotechnology and artificial intelligence.

After reading Nexus and Crux, Apex is nearly required reading.

Rating (4 stars)

The previous books in this series, Nexus and Crux, are required reading before picking up Apex, but once there, this book wastes no time in widening the scope of the issues at hand. Nexus, the drug, is less important in this novel than the geopolitical posturing (and clandestine cooperation), espionage, political protest, education, personal safety, and power struggles of its characters.

It is simultaneously a book where two world super powers are pushing each other to the brink of nuclear war and a book where a few dozen children are led to safety by fleeing the country. It’s a book about artificial intelligence, friendship, and loyalty. It is a political thriller, military science fiction, hard science fiction, and straight-up drama.