This is a dystopian novel where the world order is at stake thanks to being hit by a sex virus. The book starts on an existential note, from a robot’s point of view:
“I have never wondered about my existence. Why I am here or what I was meant for. I just know that I have a purpose- even though I don’t really know what that is.”
The book is an excellent portrayal of what the world would be like if the present order is wiped out and replaced with another version of the world where humans have to coexist with robots. Would religious groups take to it kindly? What about the humans? How would they live with robots day in and day out? Think about having a robot as your spouse. Can you imagine what life would be like with a robot as a partner?
Well Louise leaves no stone unturned at answering all these questions as effortlessly as possible. The book comes with the usual tropes of a dystopian novel: a ranking system, an arrogant government hell-bent on making technological advancements even at the cost of human lives, the creation of a new social order, and how it all impacts the survivors. However, it differs widely from other dystopian novels in its usage of these very tropes. Take for instance this humorous passage that enumerates how rapists get punished under the new world order:
“The rapists were all put together into a huge pit without any clothes on their backs. The idea was that they would all attack each other and experience how it felt to become the victim of a violent crime.”
This passage alone bears a clear and concise proof of the originality of the story. But there is more. Notice how this passage indicates the grief of losing a loved one:
“But no one answered. The breeze filled up the air as my hands froze with the knife’s edge still pointing to the centre of my neck. Then, while still frozen into the same position, a man burst through the door.”
One thing to note is that despite the author’s commendable efforts, the story does drag at places. That apart I enjoyed the story quite well and I would highly recommend it to lovers of dystopian/young adult novels. I especially loved the weird doll story at the end. It provided for quite a unique twist to the story!