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A few things to know about Ms. Ashby - she's a flippin' genius, a marvelous storyteller and she's willing to pursue her ideas and stories without reference to niceties. While I think it would be fair to say she's a liberal feminist, she's way not PC. She takes it all head-on, sensibilities be hanged. She reminds me of a liberal Ayn Rand with a few important differences besides ideology - she knows how to edit, if she explores the same or similar themes, she does so in interesting and new ways; Ms. Rand tended to rehash with slight variations. Also, her are subservient to the story, not the other way around. vN explores themes tied to sentient androids and their relations to humans other vN (she invokes something similar to Asimov's 3 laws of robotics), unique issues tied to self-replicating androids (hence the Von Neumann machine reference) and a world in which cataclysmic events have destabilized our world (does she have a thing against Seattle?). "An iteration is not a copy, it is simply the next version." Ashby, Madeline (2012-07-31). vN (First Machine Dynasty) (Kindle Location 3651). Osprey Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Prior to dipping my toes below the spoiler line, however, I also want to commend Christina Traister's narration. As I typically do, I went between the Kindle and Audible versions relying on Whispersync for Voice to keep me on track. I would think this book would be a bit of a challenge to narrate. Amy needs to be young whilst quickly becoming a full, somewhat jaded woman. Javier is a Hispanic-based model. Portia is wacked. The terminology is a bit eclectic, to wit "...but her spirit was as strong as the titanium sheathing her graphene coral bones, her personal integrity as impermeable as the silicone skin overlaying the polymerdoped memristors embedded there, her wit as quick as the carbon aerogel currents wafting through and shaping the musculature of her body." Say that fives times fast. Ms. Traister handles it all with aplomb. Her phrasing and pacing are spot on. Her characters are believable and the tone of her voice matches them and their context. She is easy to understand. Lovely work. Seriously good reads; I highly recommend both books (but start with vN).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Really awesome premise and universe... and it's almost completely wasted. I'd hope this series would get better, but I'll never find out. Forcing myself to finish this one.
Love story, family issues, pedophialia, sexual objectifictation... and so many more issues... all touched on and then just sort of left flailing. I'm an hour and half away from completion, but the "machine dynasty" seems vastly more human than machine.
Subject matter isn't quite YA, but the story really is.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Vaguely reminded me of Stephen Fine's "Molly Dear: The Autobiography of an Android" in the beginning, but gets better and to be its own thing along the way.
Was entertaining enough for a story that, with a mild degree of tongue in cheek, could be described as "a 'quiverfull' guy and a bleeding heart girl battle a strong, separatist woman."
Liked the voice talent.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful