Friday, April 20, 2012

Machine by Jennifer Pelland

Title: Machine

Author: Jennifer Pelland
Genre: Science Fiction (Romance/Erotica)
Publisher: Apex Publications
Rating: 4 stars
Rater: Pippa

Plot Summary:
Celia's body is not her own, but even her conscious mind can barely tell the difference. Living on the cutting edge of biomechanical science was supposed to allow her to lead a normal life in a near-perfect copy of her physical self while awaiting a cure for a rare and deadly genetic disorder.

But a bioandroid isn't a real person. Not according to the protesters outside Celia's house, her coworkers, or even her wife. Not according to her own evolving view of herself. As she begins to strip away the human affectations and inhibitions programmed into her new body, the chasm between the warm pains of flesh-and-blood life and the chilly comfort of the machine begins to deepen. Love, passion, reality, and memory war within Celia's body until she must decide whether to betray old friends or new ones in the choice between human and machine.

The good:
I was really hooked by an excerpt I saw from the opening of this. I loved the concept of it, the whole idea of if you put your mind and memories into another body, is it still you? There were lovely touches of technology and a good use of psychology. It questions the whole idea of identity, of soul and self, of sexual identity, and how much influence our body has on our mental state. A stark reflection of current society where so many people attempt to conform to the advertised 'ideal', often resorting to extreme surgery or damaging cosmetic procedures to achieve it.

The bad:
About halfway through the story, I felt it began to drag a bit. It didn't seem to be going anywhere particularly fast, and I wasn't really feeling the emotional impact that Celia was going through as I felt I should have. Her confusion came across well but the tension was just lacking for me.

In sum:
This was more of a thought-provoking story than an adventure. It was different and well-written but slightly missed the mark for me. The romance played a very small part overall (I know it isn't listed as a romance, but there is a romantic element in it with Celia grieving over her wife's divorce), and the erotica elements were probably too few for fans of the genre. While I'd read another title by this author, I'm not sure I'd recommend it to my sfr loving friends.

Please note - Critique de Book DOES NOT accept requests to review erotic romance or erotica. This is a book that I bought, read and reviewed for my own satisfaction, and not representative of the genres generally accepted by the review site.

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