The blurb on the back of AMNESIA reads exactly like that of a really good thriller. A threat that unleashes something frightening in the world, and the battle to find the perpetrator.
Which seemed, by the end of the book, to be written for another AMNESIA, somewhere in a parallel universe. One where the book we were reading actually addressed the major plot elements, rather than immediately meandering off into something or other about an ex-journalist / ghost writer who had a bit of a hump up with the world who ... something.
It's certainly possible to see what Carey was trying to do here. There's obviously an attempt at humour and lashings of irony. A bored observation of the boring concept of boring threats instigated by the world's biggest baddie. Or at least that's a best guess.
Which would be perfectly fair enough. It's not like the concept of political interference and corruption, cyber-threats and big-power lording it over supposed allies is new fare in the world of thrillers. There is a reasonable argument to be had about it being done to death. The difference is that in most of that style of book that this reader has read, the actual threats, the players, and the consequences are explored, analysed and frequently even explained.
In the case of AMNESIA it doesn't feel like any of that is even attempted. Added to that was a rather predictable pattern of "left and right" Australian political thought, yet another "perspective" on the 1975 Dismissal and, alas, a somewhat stunning lack of technical validity for the whole worm infection in the first place.
Add to that a tendency to pastiche the Australian-ness of the setting, and AMNESIA rapidly lurched into something that seemed more like a self-involved, navel gazing, rights of passage for some drunken old journo than anything like a thriller.