Change Agent

Change AgentChange Agent by Daniel Suarez
Published by Dutton Books on April 18th 2017
Pages: 416
My Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Daniel Suarez delivers an exhilarating sci-fi thriller exploring a potential future where CRISPR genetic editing allows the human species to control evolution itself.

On a crowded train platform, Interpol agent Kenneth Durand feels the sting of a needle— and his transformation begins. . . .    In 2045 Kenneth Durand leads Interpol’s most effective team against genetic crime, hunting down black market labs that perform "vanity edits" on human embryos for a price. These illegal procedures augment embryos in ways that are rapidly accelerating human evolution—preying on human-trafficking victims to experiment and advance their technology.   With the worlds of genetic crime and human trafficking converging, Durand and his fellow Interpol agents discover that one figure looms behind it all: Marcus Demang Wyckes, leader of a powerful and sophisticated cartel known as the Huli jing.   But the Huli jing have identified Durand, too. After being forcibly dosed with a radical new change agent, Durand wakes from a coma weeks later to find he’s been genetically transformed into someone else—his most wanted suspect: Wyckes.   Now a fugitive, pursued through the genetic underworld by his former colleagues and the police, Durand is determined to restore his original DNA by locating the source of the mysterious—and highly valuable—change agent. But Durand hasn’t anticipated just how difficult locating his enemy will be. With the technology to genetically edit the living, Wyckes and his Huli jing could be anyone and everyone—and they have plans to undermine identity itself.

I really enjoyed the first Suarez book I read (Kill Decision) so was excited when I saw this was published.

This book takes from the same playbook in that it is a near-future thriller where the author takes a current technology and extrapolates a possible future. The result is a fun ride through a tech fun house. This book tickles my tech taste bud, but also heaps on a helping of international locations as the main character is based in Singapore and travels through Southeast Asia.

This is a fun book read or something to listen to while doing house chores.

**Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned**

I hadn’t heard of CRISPR technology, but did some research on it after reading the book. I found a few articles and a TED talk about it. It looks cool, but boy howdy will it spur some heavy debate because of what it does. As with most technologies the application of the tool is more important than the tool itself. This tech could be used to make food that feeds a growing population, or, as in the book, as a camouflage technique for an international criminal syndicate. Who knows.

This was book number 29 of 52 for 2017.