Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Speak (A book about bots)

Speak, Louisa Hall

Yup, the blurring on the cover text is deliberate.  And I like it.  Sadly, you'll see another cover (I like less) around a fair bit.  I love this one.

I am impressed with this book;
  • The narrative is split between five different voices -- each one connected by their contribution to a robotic doll (with artificial intelligence).  Each voice is distinctly different from the others, and offers a compelling story.  It is a bonus that each sounds from a different time.
  • Like many adult books, there is some adult content; there is some swearing (not a lot), and a wide range of allusions to sexual activity (to paint character, not excite).  There isn't really any violent content.
  • I'm quite certain I didn't find the big questions Hall was asking as thought-provoking as she does, I did mull over a lot of others fringe questions that arose.
  • Some of the narrative devices and choices are fascinating, and would make great discussion!  If you read this, I want to talk about it!  There are some motifs I think will endure akin to Fahrenheit 451's book-burning.
  • I steadily read this with interest -- not in a devouring way (like I do with an easy, entertaining and gripping YA novel), but with a keen investment in reading it through.
I think you will know from the blurbag if this book is for you -- Have questions about A.I.?  Enjoy multiple perspectives?  This is your book.  (And you'll receive commentary on a lot more.)

Review copy received from Hachette. Available in bookstore today.

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