Change Agent

Change Agent

by Daniel Suarez

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 02/20/2017
This outstanding speculative thriller from bestseller Suarez (Kill Decision) imagines a future of “living technology—a fourth industrial revolution of synthetic biology and genetic editing,” as the author puts it in an opening note to the reader. In 2045, Kenneth Durand mines data for Interpol’s Singapore-based Genetic Crimes Division, using algorithms to locate labs that cater to parents-to-be seeking to give their progeny a better life via illegal genetic therapies. The targeted genetic edits were initially intended to eliminate birth defects, but their potential for improving mental and physical capacity attracts those looking to provide their children with as many advantages as they can afford. An even more frightening prospect is realized when Durand himself is injected with a change agent that edits enough of his cells to make him the image of the criminal mastermind he’s been pursuing. His quest to get his life back integrates a classic Hitchcockian theme into a terrifying brave new world. The depth and sophistication of Suarez’s dystopian world—not to mention his facility at making complex science intelligible to the nonexpert—rivals anything Michael Crichton ever did. Agent: Rafe Sagalyn, ICM. (Apr.)

From the Publisher

Praise for Change Agent

“Biopunk has been waiting for its William Gibson, to bring a whole new vision of the future as Mr. Gibson did for cyberpunk, and Daniel Suarez has done it...Exhilarating, alarming—Daniel Suarez plays the two great thrills of sci-fi against each other, and not just for fun. He thinks this is coming, and he means it. Read it and wonder.”
—Wall Street Journal 

"Terrifyingly plausible."
—Time

“Besides being a rockin’ thriller, Change Agent is a vivid depiction of where ubiquitous gene editing might take us. I came away believing I'll be less surprised by the future.”
—Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick for Wired and New York Times bestselling author of The Inevitable

“The depth and sophistication of Suarez’s dystopian world—not to mention his facility at making complex science intelligible to the nonexpert—rivals anything Michael Crichton ever did.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The action scenes are plenty lively, [but] the best thing about the book is its depiction of a troublesome future in which people can change physical identities the way they change clothes...A natural at making future shocks seem perfectly believable, Suarez delivers his most entertaining high-tech thriller yet.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“The ultimate form of identity theft is just a genetic edit away in Suarez’s newest fast-paced, speculative thriller...Offer this to Michael Crichton and science fiction-suspense fans.”
—Booklist



Library Journal

11/15/2016
In this futuristic thriller, Interpol agent Kenneth Durand battles black market labs that genetically alter human embryos for a price, offering so-called vanity edits tested on human-trafficking victims. Then a single needle prick turns Durand into Marcus Demang Wyckes, the very villain he's pursuing. Suarez's four previous titles (e.g., 2014's Influx) sell a total of nearly 40,000 titles a year.

Kirkus Reviews

2017-01-23
In the year 2045, Singapore-based Interpol agent Kenneth Durand's campaign against black-market gene editing is set back when he's injected with a synthetic "change agent" that transforms him into the spitting image of his evil nemesis.That would be Marcus Demang Wyckes, ruthless head of the human-trafficking Huli jing cartel. What makes Durand's transformation shocking and spectacular is that the only known altering of DNA segments has been performed on embryos, to meet parents' desires for healthier, smarter, or more attractive offspring. Jabbed with a needle by one of Wyckes' men, Durand has his entire genomic code rewritten, a procedure that takes months to complete and leaves him in a coma from which he was not meant to recover. The plan was to have him die looking like Wyckes so people would think the cartel head was dead and Durand's successors wouldn't keep pursuing him. Durand escapes but finds himself chased by both bad guys who want to kill him and law enforcement agents who think he's Wyckes while he heads to Malaysia to have a black-market geneticist restore his original DNA via a risky reverse edit. Along the way, we are introduced to ultrasophisticated police drones, tiny Shrimp cars, and drug printers that produce synthetic opioids from mundane ingredients. While the action scenes are plenty lively, the best thing about the book is its depiction of a troublesome future in which people can change physical identities the way they change clothes. The tattoos that appear on Durand's arm when he's angry and recede when he isn't are only one of the novel's cool details. A natural at making future shocks seem perfectly believable, Suarez (Influx, 2014, etc.) delivers his most entertaining high-tech thriller yet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101984666
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/18/2017
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

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Chapter 1
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Copyright © 2017 Daniel Suarez.
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