Published: August 11th 2016, self-published
Length: 310 pages
Genre: New Adult, Sci-fi, Romance
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Summary from Goodreads:
Anthropomorphic Sentient Individualized Servile uniT
Rogan is a robot. More specifically, he is an Asist – a personalized humanoid servant that provides protection, assistance, and companionship for a lonely young woman living on her own in the city. Chloe is trying to get her big break, singing at bars and clubs all over the city at night while she pays the bills as a substitute teacher during the day. Ever since she activated him many months ago, Rogan has been her beautiful, dependable, obedient, dead-eyed security blanket.
One morning she is shocked when he disobeys a direct command in an attempt to please her and his dull artificial eyes flash a hint of something new. Is this the result of the adaptive Asist servility programming or is Rogan actually thinking? Can a robot think? Can a robot feel?
As Chloe struggles with these thoughts she is blindsided by the singular Niven Adams, a handsome, confident man with the voice of an angel who is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for her, except for one problem. Niven doesn’t approve of Asists and takes an immediate dislike to Rogan. As Niven charms his way deeper and deeper into Chloe’s heart, Rogan tries to convince her that he is more than a mass-produced disposable servant.
With Rogan doing everything in his power to prove that his thoughts and feelings are real and Niven trying to persuade her to abandon her robot and have a normal human relationship, Chloe is trapped between the two things that mean the most to her. Does she embrace her relationship with the blond newcomer, or face that her Asist’s feelings may be more than features of his programming?
What really makes a person a person?
Is it a ticking muscle inside their chest, or is it something more?
I went into this a bit hesitant about the story. I’ve read and loved C.E. Wilson’s books in the past, so it wasn’t that I was unsure of her writing, but more that I wasn’t sure how captivating a romance between a woman and a robot was going to be. But within a couple of chapters, I found myself totally invested in the story and their romance. The second that the second love interest, Niven, was introduced, I wanted him gone so that Chloe could be with Rogan instead. Needless to say, my initial fears were completely pointless.
This is the first new adult book I’ve ever read. I am quite pleased to say that this was much less graphic and sex-heavy than I thought it would be. From what I’ve heard from other bloggers about new adult books, I was expecting a lot of sex scenes, but there weren’t very many of them. Even when there were sex scenes, they weren’t very explicit. I’d still recommend making sure you’re comfortable with (and mature enough for) sex though, as there are a couple of conversations that will make you uncomfortable otherwise.
The only problem I really had with this was that the narration jumped around quite a bit. This is kind of hard to explain, but let me try. You’d have one paragraph focusing on one character & setting and then the next paragraph would jump to what was happening in a different place, then the next would jump back. For example, there’s a scene where Chloe is talking on the phone with her friend Monica. Initially, we’re focused on what’s happening at Chloe’s apartment, but then one paragraph jumps to Monica’s apartment and the guy she has over there, and then the next paragraph we’re back at Chloe’s. While the book is written in third person so it’s okay to switch characters/places, the way it was done was incredibly confusing at times.
Other than that, I really liked everything about this. It has a perfect balance between fun, feel-good scenes and tension-ridden scenes. I liked getting to see how different characters felt about Asists and what they felt Asists were “meant” to do. I think the ending did all the characters justice (maybe with the exception of Monica, because she kind of disappeared towards the end) and tied the story up nicely.
All in all, this is a great read even if it isn’t perfect. If you’re looking to start reading new adult and you also enjoy sci-fi, I would definitely recommend this to you.