An enjoyable and fast paced sci-fi that will raise many discussions on the future of AI!
I was kindly gifted a proof copy from Sandstone Press in exchange for an honest review.
The Actuality by Paul Braddon
Evie is a near-perfect bioengineered human. In a broken-down future England where her kind has been outlawed, her ‘husband’ Matthew keeps her hidden. When her existence is revealed, she must take her chances on the dark and hostile streets, where more than one predator is on the hunt.
My first venture into the sci-fi dystopian genre and I’m thoroughly impressed!
The authors description of a new London set years in the future were brilliant and I could visualize it perfectly and it wasn’t all pretty and futuristic!
It’s broken down into parts…a bit like a robot I suppose….and at the end of each part something will always manage to shock, sadden you or leave you on a mini cliffhanger.
The story follows Evie who has never ventured out of the house she lives in and now must learn to survive outside and experience the real world for the very first time. Along the way, through memories that Evie has, we learn more about how she was developed and the reasons why. Some of the experiences Evie goes through were heartbreaking to read, also to hear what happened to David (another AI like herself) was truly awful.
I will also say that there is a shocking twist near the end that took me totally by surprise (that’s all my saying). It was perfectly executed and definitely needed to further enhance what Evie experienced.
Overall this book raises so many questions …”Do AI/robots have a conscience? Can they feel emotions? Or are they merely machines?” I know I have many thoughts about it all now and I think there will be many difference of opinions of how other readers interpret the ending.
This was a fabulous book which would be perfect to read as part of a book club or buddy read to discuss the topics along the way!