Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: vN by Madeline Ashby

Book: vN (The Machine Dynasty #1) by Madeline Ashby
Genre: Science Fiction 
Available Formats: Ebook | Hardcover 
Publication Date: July 31st, 2012 by Angry Robot
Version Reviewed: Ebook (ARC)
How Did I Get This Book: Netgalley
First Sentence: "Jack had lived through this same moment before with human women."
Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot known as a VonNeumann.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother's past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she's learning impossible things about her clade's history - like the fact that she alone can kill humans without failsafing..

vN by Madeline Ashby is an incredibly entertaining read. That doesn't mean it is a light read. Because it isn't. I constantly found myself confused. There is so much too learn about Amy's world that at times it can be overwhelming. Eventually I just gave up on understanding and went with it. The lead character, Amy, was intriguing enough that I was able to get by with doing this. I wanted to know what happened to her enough that I was able to bypass completely comprehending everything. 

There is a lot going on in this book. Not only is the reader immersed in a completely different world - a world with tons of scientific mumbo-jumbo, but something is constantly happening. Amy flitted around from place to place, situation to situation, incredibly quickly and I sort of got lost in the process. I would just get used to a situation or just figure out what was happening and all of the sudden everything changed. With that being said, others might find this book easier to digest. I found it rather interesting and the concept was incredible, I just struggled with keeping up.  

One thing I really enjoyed about vN was how dark it was. There is absolutely no sugar coating and let me tell you, some psychotic stuff happens. Right front the beginning of the book I was shocked by the events that unfolded; which was refreshing. You never know what could possibly happen next because the entire book is out of the realm of sanity. Does that make sense? It's completely and utterly unpredictable. 

The interactions between the characters was definitely a highlight of the book. Portia, Charlotte and Amy (the three generations of women in the family) have a malfunction in their OS, making them unlike any other vNs out there. Without giving too much away, let's just say that you never know what to expect from these women, because they operate by their own rules.

vN is a book with a great deal of potential. The story is, without a doubt original but it can be difficult to follow. If you chose to pick this one up, don't expect to breeze through it. That being said, the characters are entertaining and the plot line is anything but predictable. I enjoyed it, even if I found myself scratching my head a few times.

Favorite Quotes
"She belongs with me, not to me."
Charlotte leveled him with a glare the likes of which he had never seen in synthetic women. It seemed to penetrate his every cell, as though she were watching him decay one picosecond at a time.
"It always takes Ignacio a minute to put his sexy together."
It wasn't a hug - hugs ended quickly, even long ones, but this one persisted into something else entirely.
She looked up and he was looking at her, too, and it was like kissing - or perhaps the moment just before kissing, or maybe a long time after.


Bibliotropic said...

I have a copy of this one and I'm looking forward to sitting down with it soon. I've been hearing a lot of good things about it.

Born Bookish said...

I really like the cover of this, it's so intense! The synopsis sounds pretty out there though. I don't think I'll be picking up a copy but glad to hear you enjoyed it more or less.

michael said...

Apologies, I disagree, this must have been the worst book that came out this year...

It is neither inventive, nor well written, nor is it really dark... it is just very very boring.

It's high-school level writing, nothing else...

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