20 October 2015

Review: Willful Machines

Willful Machines Willful Machines by Tim Floreen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Probably closer to a 3.5.

It's like a lot of people are trying to be Cory Doctorow these days with limited success. Here is a new attempt, Willful Machines, which takes place at a boarding school sometime in the future following a robot-uprising-meets-terrorist-attack, where the president's son is at the school. Everyone's pretty attached to their devices, but we're not sure if they can be trusted anymore, and the robot running the uprising (as it were) is threatening another major attack.

This book tries to be a lot of things. It tries to be a surveillance tale and that's questionable. It tries to revive the tropes of not being able to trust machines and computers and such and largely falls flat. It tries to be a more inclusive tale by making the main character gay and, while it does work, it seems more like a way to twist a plot device than just being something that's happening. That's the main flaw with this book - plenty of good things happening that just flop before they become great, and what results is a readable but flawed narrative that I wanted more from and simply didn't get.

Certainly worth a look if things look interesting, but overall, reader beware.

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