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  • Fairly Weird

    This is a very odd book. If you're looking for off-the-wall, bizarre AI robots that act and think like humans this is for you. I want to say our lead gal is a bit like Murderbot, but the reality is that she is not nearly as clever, witty, or interesting. I'd say this is the sub-par sister series to Murderbot. Ava Lock has given us the Stepford Wives meets I, Robot meets Handmaiden's Tale meets Fight Club. And yes there is a literal Fight Club at one point. The Plot Surprisingly for a bit of a silly book the plot is fairly complex. I won't go too far into it as there are spoilers that would ruin the first 100 pages or so but essentially all the women in the town are AI bots whom are in service to the men. And yes when I say 'in service' it's quite literal. There is some sexual actions that take place and so this is one for mature readers only. From there we learn that our lead gal can be freed from some of her protocols (enter I, Robot), and the way to make that happen fastest is by fighting (enter Fight Club). Really the premise of the entire Alpha Bots story feels like a number of pop culture references stuck together to make it's own odd, but unique world. The Message There are a lot of different messages and morals you could infer from Lock's writing here. The largest is easily that men are pigs. But the core of this story, and substance lies in the motivation for why humans do what they do. Imagine a robot that has protocols; it knows what to do based on a situation. For example: husband in bed turns over and starts kissing, to the bot this equals sex. Dishes are dirty in the sink, to the bot this equals clean them. But what happens when the protocol is stripped away? Now you are in a situation where the AI is choosing what to do. So we wonder how do humans decide? Generally with our emotions. Maybe some logic, or based on societies standards; but let's face it how many of us have said to ourselves "I don't feel like doing X." This is determination by feeling/emotion. And so a true AI would need to have emotions: ”Why would anyone give a computer feelings? It seems like a major design flaw.” “Emotions help you set your goals. Every you feel drives your decision-making process. That is how you prioritize... Your heart decides what truly matters.” Overall This is not a stellar book. I won't lie, it's fairly silly, at times ridiculous, and certainly a 'light' read. But it's got moments that will make you think (like any good science fiction). There are actually times where I stopped reading and considered a concept that Lock had alluded to. While I want to say I loved this; I was just along for the ride really. It was a good palate cleanser and perfectly mindless for the week I got a new 10 week old puppy introduced to my house (as chaos ensured, and continues to ensue today). So if you want some sci-fi, woman power fiction. Grab this one. If you miss out on it; that's okay. You know this story likely; just in bits and pieces of others over the years. Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

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