In 2068, androids are an integrated part of human life. Big Brother no longer just watches from the shadows. It’s in every household.
Lloyd Salter has OCD issues with noise and mess, and he’s uncomfortable with human interaction. When his ex claimed the only thing perfect enough to live up to his standards was an android, Lloyd dismissed it. But two years later, after much self-assessment, he thinks he may have been right.
SATinc is the largest manufacturer of androids in Australia, including the Fully Compatible Units known as an A-Class 10. Their latest design is the Synthetic Human Android UNit, otherwise known as SHAUN. Shaun is compatible to Lloyd’s every need; the perfect fit on an intellectual and physical basis.
But Lloyd soon realizes Shaun’s not like other A-Class androids. He learns. He adapts. Sure that SATinc is aware Shaun functions outside of his programmed parameters, Lloyd must find a way to keep Shaun safe. No one can know how special Shaun is. No one can know he’s evolved.
Contains mature themes.
(Book reviewed here previously)
I am literally blown away by this story.
When I saw the blurb I pretty much said to myself – yeah – NO – and wanted to pass it on. I was a bit intrigued but mostly really put off by the robot in the future part of the story. That’s just not me.
Wellll…. Let me tell you. This story gripped me right from the start and I couldn’t put it down. NR Walker managed to do it AGAIN. She keeps coming out of left field with these books that are so DIFFERENT from what I’ve seen from her and she keeps hitting home runs! (See all the Spring Baseball references…. And I don’t like baseball! But they fit 😉 )
First, let’s look at this story. It has a fairly timely subject matter – we are probably on the cusp of artificial intelligence and as this story suggests we are in no way ready for it.
Despite the robot nature of Shaun, I loved his existential crisis and that whole “why am I here” thing is something all of us experience and the author was able to really capture this in simple ways that can be felt in us all.
The “Big Brother” aspect of this story is so accurate it’s frightening. We know “they” are listening – but what can you do that doesn’t involve living off grid in Montana?
And the romance. Ahhhhhh. So good. I totally cried at the end even though I knew it would be a HEA – NR doesn’t let us down. It’s a very touching ending and I was really pleased with her result.
Second, can we talk about NR Walker’s amazing brain? If you look at her title list we have things all over the map: from the outback, to Africa, to contemporary Australia, body image, butterflies, switched at birth, blindness, ménage, cops, vampires, architecture… and she’s like an expert on ALL these things! I totally want to have access to her time and resources – she must spend 50% of her time researching and the rest writing! I love it! (And am jealous of her beautiful brain 😉 ) Now we can add this futuristic techno drama to her list. Truly awe inspiring and wonderful.
So… from one non-sci-fi person to another – this is a sci-fi book you’ll want to read. It’s wonderful and touching and it will absolutely inspire all your neurotransmitters to fire!
6 of 5 stars
What a challenge! How to sound like a robot who doesn’t sound robotic while still being non-human???? Well – Joel Leslie is up to the challenge and manages to find a way to do just that!
Shaun “evolves” in this book from a plain android to virtually a human and over the course of his narration Joel has to continually demonstrate this evolution vocally. He owns it! He does an absolutely brilliant job of making these subtle changes and helping us –the listeners – keep Shaun in that place that’s just a little unique. He also gives us the other characters in the story – android and human – distinct voices and personalities.
Well done and highly recommended!
6 of 5 stars