Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Machinations, by Haley Stone

The machines have taken over, and they have decided that humans must be eliminated.  Such is the world of Haley Stone's debut novel, Machinations.  The machines have, for the most part, accomplished their goal of eliminating all humans, but a few holdouts resist and fight back.  Rhona Long has arisen as a leader among humans.  When she dies in battle, it seems the machines have taken out the resistance leader.  But she made arrangements to return--in the form of a clone of herself.  Rhona battles those who doubt her ability to lead, her former lover who struggles to accept her as Rhona, and her own doubts and struggles to remember her former life.

By focusing on Rhona's experiences and perspective, Stone gives a limited view of the Machinations and the current state of humanity.  Through Rhona, we learn the extent of destruction as well as the hope for a human future.  She revisits familiar sci-fi themes; the concept of robots taking over the world is not unknown to readers of sci-fi or viewers of sci-fi movies and TV shows.  Stone pays homage to the stories that have influenced her with frequent cultural references.  But while some of the themes and archetypes may be familiar, Stone's story is fresh and original and her writing is solid.  I'm already looking forward to reading the sequel!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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