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I Heart Robot Kindle Edition
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|Length: 357 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 10 - 18|
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Top customer reviews
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I don’t think I ever read a novel quite like this before. I was expecting the quintessential and stereotypical forbidden romance, and instead, what I read was one of the best explorations of humanity (in it’s various forms) I’ve ever encountered. If you want a love story, it’s here – and it’s sweet and dangerous, fraught with mistakes and realizations, constantly tested and evolving… In other words, real. If you want an epic confrontation between humanity and what humanity creates, it’s here – but it’s not Michael Bay-here; it’s Children of Men-here. It’s subtle and powerful and far-reaching, the kind of unfolding clash which really makes you think about what it means to be human, to have feelings and an identity, to seek connection. Suzanne explores the politics behind this clash, the philosophies driving the players, the varying effects of the technology… There’s so much going on in this novel, so much that it deals with, that you’ll probably be re-reading it or, better yet, discussing it in your reading-group after everyone’s read it. And what also helps is Suzanne’s understated, almost invisible prose – damned well written. I’m extremely jealous.
I’ve read multiple books about androids fighting for the same rights as humans, about whether androids can feel emotions, etc., but I think this book did it in a way that was really well done and maybe more thought-provoking than the others I’ve read so far. It really delved into the issues and had me questioning what I believed and weighing arguments on both sides. Part of the reason for that was probably because we got to see the perspective of all sides, not just the side supporting androids. I don’t mean there were a bunch of POV characters (there were only two), just that we got to hear from characters who were on the extreme for androids and others who were on the extreme for humans (I’m talking extreme to the point of violence and killing) as well as characters who fell at various different points in the middle. That was really the shining point of this book, how thought-provoking it was.
The other thing that really stood out to me was how realistic the characters, their dialogue, their actions, etc. felt. A lot of it was kind of low-key in a way that was real, rather than dramatic or extreme the way books often tend to be. And speaking of the characters, Tyri and Quinn were both good characters—not completely perfect but generally good and likeable. And Rurik and Kit, while not quite as good or likeable, were interesting. They were the most flawed and represented the more extreme beliefs, but they both had good character arcs and got some redemption by the end.
As for the relationships among characters, I think the chemistry between Tyri and Quinn could’ve been a little stronger. I really liked the relationship between Tyri and Rurik though because it was realistic and believable as one of those relationships that’s struggling and in which the people just aren’t compatible and are growing apart, regardless of what their feelings are and how much they may want the relationship to work. I like seeing different types of relationships and struggles in books. I would’ve liked to see the possible chemistry between Quinn and Kit explored a bit more too since I also found their relationship interesting. But the romance wasn’t really the point of the story anyway.
Another thing I liked was the robot versions of human things, like how they got drunk by using some sort of program that kind of scrambled their code in a certain way.
Music is another theme throughout the book, alongside the android stuff, that some people might really enjoy, since both Tyri and Quinn played violin. Quinn even ended up with a sort of synesthesia that made music and sounds have colors and smells.
I did see the twist coming, but it’s really not the type of twist that affects your enjoyment of the story, so that’s not a big deal. And I liked the ending overall. Important things were wrapped up, characters got their arcs, and things were good without being too closed and perfect.
So overall, this was an enjoyable, well-written book with realistic characters and a thought-provoking premise about androids!
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight (link in profile)
I Heart Robot takes place in the distant future in the Scandinavian city of Baldur, during an era that tips its hat strongly at Philip K Dick’s universe, yet without the crushing despair one encounters in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. At its core, I Heart Robot is essentially a sweet romance meets technological thriller.
Tyri is a young, musically gifted woman who is torn between the sensible career path her mother and society expects of her, and her love for making music. Quinn is an android who has fled his abusive owners and is trying to make something of himself – by proving that he can pass for human. Playing as a solo violinist for symphony is just one of his dreams. And yes, we are presented with non-biological lifeforms that make us question where pre-programmed responses stop and individual agency takes over. Can androids even feel genuine emotion?
Though the music causes Tyri and Quinn’s paths to cross, there are greater forces at play as well. Growing social unrest results in tensions between human and robotic lifeforms, and Van Rooyen forces readers to ask: what makes a lifeform real? At the end of the day, only the building blocks differ. Whether a stew of blood, bone and hormone, or metal, cruor and synthetic skin – Van Rooyen’s characters are painted as vital and alive in their own sense of self.
While I Heart Robot may come across as a near-typical young adult SF read (yes, with an expected love triangle), Van Rooyen’s voice is lyrical and her world is populated with vibrant characters and a joyous sense of wonder. Even better, she does not shy away from adding a bit of grit to her narrative, sometimes in the most unexpected places. Bad things happen, and ordinary people are forced to act under extraordinary circumstances, resulting in a read that doesn’t quite go where you’d expect it to. Which is a good thing, if you ask me.
Most recent customer reviews
The author and publisher Month9Books were kind enough to provide me with an...Read more
I Heart Robot is a surprising and enjoyable read. This is my first from Suzanne Van Rooyen and I’m glad I gave this a try. Look at the cover!!Read more
This book was brilliant! I am a huge sic-fi fan, and was instantly drawn to the mixture of science fiction element and forbidden romance.Read more