I read almost all of vN on a flight from Reno to Berlin. It was great because it took my mind away from cramped legs and smelly neighbours. Instead I thought of robot like beings who were only made to satisfy those who survive the apocalypse. Madeline Ashby had written a very immersive and great piece of science fiction. A story with likeable and intriguing main characters. A story full of feelings and of course, a failsafe.
It was the story of a failsafe failing. iD, the second book in the series, deals with the aftermath of the first. This is a sequel in almost every way.
Javier is a self-replicating humanoid on a journey of redemption.
Javier’s quest takes him from Amy’s island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation… or death.
This time we see everything out of Javiers eyes. Amy’s companion from the first book still has a failsafe in place and it bugs him. It is cause for some stress, since it is questionable if he likes Amy because he likes her, or because she appears as a human to him.
The failsafe is arguably on of the biggest topics of the book. The things it makes Javier do just as much as he lets it do things for him. He uses it, as it makes things seem nice to him that other people might find troubling. Javier goes to the ends of the world to save Amy and it is as touching as it is entertaining to read about his travels.
The book is very well written. I already called it immersive. Javier is a great character that grows throughout the book. What was the most interesting to me are the relations between vN’s and normal humans. How they are treated and thought of. They are used, a lot. I believe “fucking fuckbots” is one description used by a steward on a ship.
It says a lot about humans and what they might do to something or someone that isn’t human and won’t say no to anything, no matter how old or young as a matter of fact. This is where the book really shines. It made me think.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book was its rushed ending. Just like vN, iD lost me near the end. Suddenly perspective and writing style changed and it confused me quite a bit. I had to read that part a second time. Normal in science essays, not cool in fiction.
So, should you read iD? Yes, please do so. When you are done, think about robots. Read vN if you haven’t yet. And wait patiently for Madeline Ashby’s next books.