Mechanical

Title: Mechanical
Author: Pauline C. Harris
Publisher: Melange Books
Publication Date: May 24, 2013
Pages: 174
Genre: Sci-fi
Source: Author
Rating: 4/5

Drew is an android. From the very beginning of her existence, she has been programed by her creators to understand her superiority and overwhelming responsibilities. She was created for a mission, a mission more important than anything she could ever have imagined. Drew is sent to a high school to observe the humans and report back to her creators. But when she begins to form friendships with these humans and starts feeling strange human emotions, she doubts the creators’ ways of dealing with her and wonders whether her mission is as wonderful as it once seemed. As Drew falls deeper and deeper into the mystery surrounding her mission and her creation, she’s suddenly left with a choice. Does she follow through with what she’s known all her life or does she act on what she now knows is right?

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I’ll admit it: when I get review requests from authors I’ve never heard of, sometimes I’m a bit skeptical of their work. That said, I’m very glad I took a chance on Mechanical. It really took me by surprise and ended up being a quick, exciting read.

Harris’ writing in this book made me think she has a lot of potential to be really amazing someday. She’s already excellent at creating a distinct voice for her characters and writing addictive prose. I really liked the voice in this book because I felt it really could be how an android would speak. Drew analyzes others’ emotions a lot and is very specific about what she sees, and for a person who wasn’t really supposed to have emotions, that was very believable and real to me.

The thing that intrigued me most about this book was Drew’s exploration of the idea of souls and religion. Usually, discussions of religion in books kind of turn me off, but because of Drew’s unique situation, I was really interested in her interpretation of human beliefs. I found the scenes when Drew literally tests the “eyes are the windows to the soul” saying and tries to see hers and other people’s souls particularly poignant. In addition to being meaningful, it was also very funny in a way, and I thought Harris’ handling of the topic of souls to be very unique.

Fans of Amy Tintera’s Reboot and Debra Driza’s Mila 2.0 should definitely check out Mechanical. It’s a new take on androids that I think many people would like.

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