Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review: Mila 2.0

Synopsis: Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

My Review: I have to say that going into this I wasn't sure what to expect.  Never really read a story with an android as the MC, and really the plot was a toss up.  It could have been amazing or it could have just been trying too hard.  Well I'm pleased to say that not only was the plot awesome, but the entire book was just plain phenomenal.

Mila has just moved to the middle of Minnesota from Philadelphia after the death of her father in a fire. She's slowly adjusting to life without him, though she can't remember a thing about the fire or most of her life.  Except Mila's lack of memories has nothing to do with the fire.  After an unfortunate car crash, Mila discovers that she's not the normal girl she thought she was.  She's an an android, an experiment in artificial intelligence created by the military.  And her "mom" isn't her mom at all, she's one of her creators who stole her from the government.  Having always thought she was human, Mila can't begin to fathom that her thoughts, her feelings, everything about who she is is fabricated.

As Mila and her mother flea from capture, Mila has to make adjustments to her own perception of who she is.  More and more disturbing things keep cropping up.  Like the fact that red messages often flash across her vision that say "Target immobilized"-"Enemy threats detected" etc.  Mila has to face the harsh reality that she is a machine, designed to infiltrate human populations, not a human.  Except that Mila doesn't feel like a machine.  She has emotions just like a human does, and no amount of programming can explain away her unique personality.  She may be a machine, but she's developed her own spark of humanity.

I loved everything about this story.  The plotting was just flawless.  It was so well executed.  It was exciting, terrifying, and even at times horrifying, but all together it made for a truly remarkable read.  I had trouble putting this book down.  I practically read it from start to finish in one sitting, give or take like 50 pages.  Which is impressive, even for me.  Which only testifies to how good this book was.

What really made me love this book was Mila.  Yes she's an android, which you would think would be weird, but really it wasn't in the slightest.  Mila's character brings up a lot of important questions.  What constitutes humanity? Just because something is programmed or artificial does that mean that it can't have free will? It's all very I, Robot in nature philosophically but that's why I love it.  Mila is so critically human in her thoughts and feelings, and most importantly her actions.  The fact that she was a machine didn't make me feel alienated as the reader.  If anything, it made me cheer her on more.  She deserves the right to live her own life, human or not.

In summary, extraordinary book.  One of my favorites for this year.  Cannot wait for more from Miss Driza.  A truly outstanding debut.


brandileigh2003 said...

I liked Mila and her struggle as well. Lovely review.
Happy reading,
Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog