Goodreads Rating: 4.41 Stars
Live and Love the Fantasy Publications
Publication Date: August 11th, 2016
Also available on Kindle Unlimited
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Anthropomorphic Sentient Individualized Servile uniT
Rogan is a robot. More specifically, he is an Asist – a personalized humanoid servant that provides protection, assistance, and companionship for a lonely young woman living on her own in the city. Chloe is trying to get her big break, singing at bars and clubs all over the city at night while she pays the bills as a substitute teacher during the day. Ever since she activated him many months ago, Rogan has been her beautiful, dependable, obedient, dead-eyed security blanket.
One morning she is shocked when he disobeys a direct command in an attempt to please her and his dull artificial eyes flash a hint of something new. Is this the result of the adaptive Asist servility programming or is Rogan actually thinking? Can a robot think? Can a robot feel?
As Chloe struggles with these thoughts she is blindsided by the singular Niven Adams, a handsome, confident man with the voice of an angel who is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for her, except for one problem. Niven doesn’t approve of Asists and takes an immediate dislike to Rogan. As Niven charms his way deeper and deeper into Chloe’s heart, Rogan tries to convince her that he is more than a mass-produced disposable servant.
With Rogan doing everything in his power to prove that his thoughts and feelings are real and Niven trying to persuade her to abandon her robot and have a normal human relationship, Chloe is trapped between the two things that mean the most to her. Does she embrace her relationship with the blond newcomer, or face that her Asist’s feelings may be more than features of his programming?
What really makes a person a person?
Is it a ticking muscle inside their chest, or is it something more?
Quick Reasons: creative idea; well-considered closing morals; REALLY annoying love triangle; some unexplained world-building; fair-weather friendships?; an interesting, thought-provoking look at prejudice/the “us against them” argument
A huge thank you to C.E. Wilson for sending me a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
So, I have to preface this review with just one thing: C.E. Wilson is one of the most creative, imaginative writers I’ve so far had the privilege to work with. Seriously, penguins–her ideas are fresh and unique. Her stories, on top of that, also always leave me reconsidering the world–and my own opinions on certain heavy topics.
This book? Definitely didn’t disappoint me. The moral-scope was hard-hitting and thought-provoking while maintaining enough distance from “reality” to keep it unique. There is a poignant, well-considered perspective on prejudice–and the ways prejudice touches/effects everybody–woven into every page of this read. The characters are written in such dynamic ways, and with such vastly differing opinions on the happenings of this world, that readers are given a complex and insightful glimpse into not only this book, but themselves. Yes, the subject of the plot is robots…but this read reaches much further than that, and is SO important in my opinion.
I was not, however, real impressed by the love triangle. I understand why it exists–I know the purpose behind including it, and wouldn’t, therefore, go so far as to say it’s unnecessary. In terms of the plot, it is actually very crucial. But. BUT. I might suggest it needs a bit of reworking. I think it boils down to execution for me–there were two men of completely opposing opinions vying for the same woman’s affections… but it was super obvious, from the get-go, who SHE preferred. The reason she didn’t just go for the one she actually wanted? Society. Society’s opinions, beliefs, pressure… Which, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand. I just think the love triangle may have been more satisfying for me if there actually WAS a competition there, and not just the woman giving in to what the “world” thought right.
The character interactions and growths were believable, though several seemed to stagnate about halfway through. Monica, for instance– Chloe’s supposed “friend” at the beginning of this book–drops off entirely in the last 40% or so. While a fairly minor character, she plays a HUGE role in the development of certain situations/relationships, and seemed (at first?) to be a pretty large influence on Chloe’s decision-making. So for her to just up and disappear made this feel a bit…incomplete? Maybe this was the point, though–sometimes, people just drop out of our lives. Sometimes there IS no real resolution.
Overall, this was a complex, hard-hitting read–with just enough distance from “reality” to both make a statement and keep it unique. I cannot WAIT to see what lies ahead for C.E. Wilson; her novels are always so creative and fun, I’m sure it’s bound to be just as awesome! If you enjoy robots, complicated love triangles, and a major dose of roMESS, I definitely recommend this read! Trust me–this book makes a statement. You should give it a chance!