Daniel Brüks is a baseline: a human with few enhancements, no cortical inlays, no way to blink and see subtitles in his vision. Hiding in the desert after a career-ending fuck up, he’s caught up in a conflict between soldiers who’ve had their self-awareness switched off, a scientific religious cult who operate their minds as one, and a solitary vampire escaped from her chains. Brüks seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time—until, suddenly, he’s exactly where he needs to be. As with Blindsight, the first book in this series, I can’t quite agree with everything that Watts professes here. But his ability to compose a thriller with more dark corners than pages, while simultaneously questioning every perceived wisdom of Western thought, is—to put it mildly—impressive. I’ve rarely had so much fun disagreeing with a book so profoundly.