Ahoy there me mateys! I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here are me honest musings . . .
machinations (Haley Stone)
Author: Haley Stone
Publication Date: currently July 26, 2016
So killer machines and a human clone. That’s what got my attention. I generally find books about what happens when a person is cloned to be interesting. In this particular story, the woman who is cloned (Rhona) has two special circumstances: 1) her memory load was interrupted so she only has part of her first life and 2) who and what she was in that first life.
I really enjoyed a lot of the challenges that those two facts caused her to face. Sometimes memories are triggered when she sees someone and sometimes they are not. This juxtaposition of remembering fondness for someone while not remembering why she is fond of them is wonderful. I like that the character is struggling to deal with the partial memories and also changing in this newest incarnation of herself due to the circumstances she now finds herself in. It’s the whole nature v. nurture thing to some extent.
The questions of self that Rhona faced were my favorite part of the story for me. I was not as crazy about some of the plot points:
- Of course Rhona and her old love have to learn how to deal with the new circumstances of her coming back from the dead. This was fun in lots of ways. What wasn’t fun was the inclusion of a love triangle in terms of how Rhona deals with her best friend Samuel. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the character of Samuel. The writing on the wall about who Rhona chooses just seemed to be obvious from the beginning and so the tension around Samuel just seemed unnecessary.
- The world building was a little off to me in terms of the machinations of the machines themselves. For example why didn’t any of the enemy machines fly? Why didn’t they just create millions of them and overwhelm the humans when they did know where they were? I just wish I had a better understanding of why the machines made some of the choices they did. The machine stuff almost seemed like afterthoughts to the central plot i.e. Rhona being a clone.
- While the plot against the machines was not what I was focused on, there were parts about it that irked me. Like old technology working “magically” when a character needed it. Think of how the U.S.S. Missouri museum worked in the movie Battleship with the help of veteran tour guides to save the world.
These quibbles aside, I really did have a fun time reading this one. And its e-book price of $2.99 is cheap enough that ye may want to give it a shot too.
Side note: I didn’t even know that Hydra is “Random House’s digital-only imprint focused on science fiction, fantasy, and horror titles.” Cool.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Hydra!
Amazon has this to say about the novel:
The machines have risen, but not out of malice. They were simply following a command: to stop the endless wars that have plagued the world throughout history. Their solution was perfectly logical. To end the fighting, they decided to end the human race.
A potent symbol of the resistance, Rhona Long has served on the front lines of the conflict since the first Machinations began—until she is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong. Now Rhona awakens to find herself transported to a new body, complete with her DNA, her personality, even her memories. She is a clone . . . of herself.
Trapped in the shadow of the life she once knew, the reincarnated Rhona must find her place among old friends and newfound enemies—and quickly. For the machines are inching closer to exterminating humans for good. And only Rhona, whoever she is now, can save them.
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