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The Life Engineered (World Engineered) Paperback – March 1, 2016
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"J-F. Dubeau’s The Life Engineered is a real page turner for anyone interested in science fiction and good literature. It brought a smile to my face as some passages made me reminisce of my own time spent aboard Galactica as a Raptor pilot!" ― Leah Cairns, Battlestar Galactica and Interstellar
"A different spin on the future of artificial intelligence." ― Geek and Sundry
"Tired of stories of humanity fighting against robot overlords? Read one for the robots. A fascinating investigation of whether even creatures we created could avoid our own foibles and fates." ― Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, Sword & Laser
About the Author
With a deep fascination for science, JF Dubeau's inspiration for writing books comes from the clash of thought and science, ultimately, how this tension will affect the human race. Dubeau currently works as a graphic designer, telling other people's stories in images and brands. When not writing books, in his spare time he writes and illustrates a web comic called The Eldritch Age.
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I enjoyed what I got to see of the setting, along with the premise and some cool set-piece scenes. Maybe we can get a sequel?
More than anything, I found this novel to be unique. The main characters are all robots (known as Capeks) who have been left in charge of the galaxy by humanity after their creators went into hiding for unknown reasons. But they aren't your typical, emotionless robots. These Capeks have personalities as varied and interesting as any humans. The main character, Dagir, takes us on an journey to discover the cause between the first acts of violence in Capek culture. There are epic battles between metal behemoths galore, but at the root of everything is a very intriguing philosophical disagreement.
That's the real strength of this novel. Mr. Dubeau's world-building is top notch, with nothing as interesting as the Nursery where artificial minds are nurtured. It uses Buddhist mythology, birth, rebirth and nirvana as a way to decide when the mind is ready to be released into the universe. I won't say more than that, but trust me it's a fascinating idea.
My one real issue with the novel is that it needed a good editor to trim down the fat. There's a lot of overwriting here. Paragraphs of description that feel redundant because the subtext of the preceding dialogue already told me what was happening, or didn't, but a single line of dialogue would have sufficed. This is already a short read, but that kind of brevity would have made it go by smoother.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed this. For a debut novel, Mr. Dubeau absolutely nailed this. I can only imagine the series getting better!
The universe the author has created is very unique and I'm interested to find out more about that universe. There are a lot of the authors own creations in the book and thankfully there is a handy glossary at the back of the book to help parse out the differences. The author also does a good job of explaining the differences in the book.
The book does leave a lot of loose ends at the end of the book but I believe the author is working on another book in this universe/series.
Very well developed, very accessible, couldn't put it down. This brought me back to actual books after years of "only having time for" audio books.
Well done. Can't wait to read more of the author's work.