zondag 7 oktober 2012

Review "Automaton"

Some information

Title: Automaton
Author: Cheryl L. Davies
Pages: 187 (paperback)
Genre: Fiction/YA
Published: november 2011
Publisher: MP Publishing
My Source: Author C.L. Davies (thanks a lot!)
My score on Goodreads: 5 stars


In the not too distant future, after the huge successes of role playing games and virtual worlds such as The Sims, Second Life, and reality shows such as Big Brother, it was only a matter of time before somebody took the next step. A remote island. An android population existing only to entertain. Their lives broadcast around the clock and around the globe. Their actions dictated by their owners. It’s the world’s biggest game played by thousands. Welcome to Gameworld. Dean 3012 is a good guy living on the Island. He loves his girlfriend, Lily, and with their first baby on the way, life is perfect. But when things take a sinister turn, the couple is plunged into a world of darkness and despair. Dean must take control and fight for all their lives.


Computer games, we've all played them at some point in our lives... (at least: I did)! I could spend hours playing "The Sims", happy to give them the life I wanted for them. They didn't have a chance to choose what they'd eat that day, what time they'd get up, what job they'd want to do... I was the "god" in their universe and I enjoyed my power.

What if those little creatures in the game were "real"? That's what's going on in "Gameworld", a game created by businessman James Madison. A game played by lots and lots of people in the future, especially the wealthy ones. All they have to do is buy a character in the game and program its life. They can choose everything and they can watch their android "friends" on Wallvision. It's like a reality show and they can choose what happens. 
The thing most people don't know is that these creatures are human beings from time to time. In  Gameworld we find a "healthy" mixture of robotparts and humans. All of them have to wear sleepmasks at night so they can be programmed and controled. Don't worry, all of them have a great life without bad things. They live in the best of worlds until the human part of some creatures starts to be stronger. They start to ask questions and the safe bubble around Gameworld is starting to splash open. 
Although Madison first thought he did a great thing by buying the unwanted human children from their parents and by putting them on this distant island where they would be property of somebody and controled BUT happy, he now starts to doubt it all. Is he ruining those children's life? Is Gameworld becoming a real dangerous place?

If you want to learn something more about the story and about our lovely main characters Dean and Lily, I'd suggest you just read the book. It's a must read and I truly recommand it to everybody. Young adults and adults can equally like and even love this book. It doesn't matter if you don't normally like this genre, you'll love the book no matter what! 
The writing of Cheryl Davies is refreshing, straightforward, beautiful, captivating and not predictable at all. I loved it that she told an intriguing and complete story without waisting space on redundant descriptions.  Also there were lots of new characters introduced throughout the book, but she introduced them all in a way I could really connect with them. Even though they were bad sometimes, I understood their feelings and motives and that's what I find truly important in a book! 

Besides the characters, the story and the writing, I also liked the concept so much! When I played the Sims in the past I already thought about the fact that maybe we ourselves are creatures like that in somebody's big game. Maybe we don't choose things but we ar programmed to choose them. I don't believe that anymore, but you know... what if... In Gameworld "Big Brother" is not only watching you, he's also directing you. 

At the end I can only say I loved this book and praise writer Cheryl L. Davies for this debut! Great start of a big writing career I'd say. And if you still doubt whether buying the book or not, let me just add this... Cheryl is a very nice person (wink)! I already hoped I would like the book after her kind emails, so I'm glad I did :)

2 opmerkingen:

  1. This is another book I have to read and review, glad to read that you enjoyed it so much! I think the concept sounds really interesting as well, although awful to live in- I've never played Sims, but maybe this book will make me feel bad if I ever do start! :)

    1. Hehe lovely! Seems to me we have the same "to be read" pile on our desks. I think you'll enjoy the story and the way Cheryl Davies tells it. I loved the writing very much, especialy the way new characters pop up in the book. I'll follow on your blog to know what you think about it ;)
      And don't start the sims :p I was addicted to it when I was younger. It eats your time and you don't even notice. And yes... maybe after reading the book we'll think twice before we start that game :p