A Sci-Fi thriller by Annalee Newitz
Because I review books, I do my best to stay on top of what's been recently released via Indie Authors and traditionally published authors. Sometimes I accomplish this. Other times, I'm playing catch up on some of the book stacks in my office.
When I spotted Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz, I thought: This sounds like something I'd love to dive in to. At the time, I'd currently been in one physical book, so I purchased the audiobook. It's a sort of cop thriller, but the science fiction bits are what really drew me in. I loved the idea of independent cybernetic beings, and humans with cybernetic parts. Made me think of BladeRunner and The Lunar Chronicles, but more sciency.
So Autonomous a good read?
Autonomous is the story of three characters. One sells scripts to keep the general public happy. The other is a set of officials who are trying to stop them. The first characters, Jack, sells drugs for a living but has realized the drug she's handling has caused an epidemic of erratic behavior in people. It's been tampered with and not for the better. Her guilt drives her to correct a wrong. The two officials, are doing their best to catch her- it doesn't matter that she's doing her best to make amends... or how she does it. She's guilty and needs to be caught!
There was a great deal of potential in this book. Autonomous could have been perfect, but it was just too slow. It didn't hold me enough. The two officials, Paladin (a bot) and his human partner (Elias) were pretty cool, but Paladin was the most interesting of the two. Jack was boring and to me, didn't stick interest at all. She came off as a guilt-ridden Robin Hood- trying to give the people what they wanted. But They Were Drugs!
It's written beautifully: prose, scientific subjects and dystopian world building and all, but it just didn't do the trick. Honestly, the world building wasn't that grand- I had trouble figuring it out. I didn't see what the author saw, making it difficult as well.
You'll see. Check out Autonomous and become indebted to the drug... or not.
Published by Tor Books, September 2017
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