Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: vN

vN (The Machine Dynasty book 1) by Madeline Ashby

I always wanted Roy Batty to win. I get that he was the bad guy, but the idea of creating sentient robotic beings, giving them a too short lifespan, then just using them for the deadliest jobs or as sexbots never sat well with me either. I always felt that his makers had it coming.

This means that I'm a good audience for this book.

No, this isn't Blade Runner Redux, but we do follow Amy, a vN (sentient artificial being), as she goes from a "child" in a half-human, half-vN family to a fugitive. The vN's have a failsafe - they have a need to make humans happy and seeing a human in pain can short out their system. However, there seems to be a problem with Amy's failsafe, her murderous, twisted granny is stuck in her head, and the humans are trying to capture her. She meets up with Javier, an arboreal research model and his new son, and has to question what is programmed, can robots evolve on their own, will she ever be able to get grandma out of her head, and how can she get home again.

Amy had never really been around other vN, and seeing her relationship progress with Javier and his son was a favorite part. Not that this is a typical romance (I actually hesitate to use the "r" word here). Amy's upbringing has not been "normal" for a vN, and she tends to respond more like a human. So long as her granny, Portia, doesn't take over. Not all humans are that great either. Lots of abuses that don't happen to Amy herself, but that she sees peripherally. There are some pretty violent events, but I was firmly on Amy's side throughout.

There are some good action sequences, but not much humor. The end was resolved a bit too quickly for me, and the POV transition at the end wasn't my favorite. I do like where the story might be going though.

This isn't a roaring sci fi adventure, nor is there a war with humanity (yet), but as a set the stage for a world with sentient AI, I thought it was good and I'll be adding Ashby to my watch and read list.

[I received an Advance Reader's Copy to review.]

No comments:

Post a Comment