I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Artificial by Jadah McCoy
Series: The Kepler Chronicles #1
on April 4th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction
Source: the author
Buy on Amazon
She struggles to feel human.
In 2256, the only remnants of civilization on Earth’s first colonized planet, Kepler, are the plant-covered buildings and the nocturnal, genetically spliced bug-people nesting within them: the Cull. During the day, Syl leaves her home in the sewers beneath Elite City to scavenge for food, but at night the Cull come looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the Android War a century ago. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, Elite city rebuilt, and the population replenished. She’s wrong.
Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments which result in her own DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child on Kepler is transformed into the abomination they fear.
He struggles not to.
For Bastion, being an android in the sex industry isn’t so bad. Clubbing beneath the streets of New Elite by day and seducing the rich by night isn’t an altogether undesirable occupation. But every day a new android cadaver appears in the slum gutters, and each caved in metal skull and heap of mangled wires whittles away at him.
Glitches—androids with empathy—are being murdered, their models discontinued and strung up as a warning. Show emotion, you die. Good thing Bastion can keep a secret, or he would be the next body lining the street.
He can almost live with hiding his emotions. That is, until a girl shows up in the slums—a human girl, who claims she was an experiment. And in New Elite, being a human is even worse than being a Glitch. Now Bastion must help the girl escape before he becomes victim to his too-human emotions, one way or another.
Artificial was love at first page! You know you’ve got a winner when you’ve just barely begun and you’re already hunkering down into your chair, getting prepared for a marathon read. There have been so many amazing sci-fi novels coming out these days, and I keep waiting for the one bad apple that spoils the bag. Luckily, Artificial is not the mushy, worm-ridden apple. And even better, it’s not the deceptively shiny apple with the rotten core. Through and through, it was crisp and juicy, in all the right ways.
Syl (short for Sylvia) is living hand to mouth with her colony of survivors, not much better than squatters in a crumbling sewer system. They have been forced to live underground, only coming out during the day to scavenge, since the Cull, giant insect-like creatures, dominate the surface of the planet during the night. We’re given a brief description for how humans have come to this point, living on a foreign planet with the remnants of society laying in rubble, before setting off on an intense rescue mission. Syl is the epitome of strong females. She’s tough, stubborn, and primed to get herself into all kinds of trouble!
On the flip side we have Bastion. He is an android working the sex trade, while simultaneously suppressing his true self; androids aren’t supposed to have human emotions and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hide. I loved Bastion so much, his altruistic nature, his inability to turn a blind eye. Together, Syl and Bastion make an awkward team of crime fighters. Their chemistry isn’t at all instantaneous. It slowly builds throughout the book, beginning as obligation, and then friendship, but it isn’t until near the end that I found myself believing that it could be something more. I seriously can’t wait for the sequel! This story could go in so many different directions!
Now, as you may have noticed, I’m not giving the book a full five stars. It lost one star because I felt like there were a couple gaps in the world building. This may be resolved in time, as the next book continues to build on the mysterious past. Just one more reason for my extreme anticipation! 😀
When a book is classified as New Adult, I’m never sure what to expect. So, if you’re anything like me, then let me set the record straight. Even though Bastion is a sex android, his profession is mostly hinted at in the periphery. Nothing graphic. There is also a little bit of language and violence, but it feels toned down because it’s happening to Cull and androids, rather than humans. Death isn’t always so permanent when you’re made up of metal, wires and RAM, and oil isn’t quite the same as blood. There is definitely a very deep message if you’re interested in digging, but you can just as easily enjoy it while skimming the surface.
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Jadah currently lives in Nashville, TN and works in law. When not babysitting attorneys, she can be found juicing her brain for creative ideas or fantasizing about her next trip out of the country (or about Tom Hiddleston as Loki – it’s always a toss up when she fantasizes).
She grew up in rural Arkansas, yet can still write good and sometimes even wears shoes! She did date her first cousin for a while but they decided against marriage for the sake of the gene pool.
Her true loves are elephants, cursing, and sangria – in that order. If you find an elephant that curses like a sailor whilst drinking sangria, you’re dangerously close to becoming her next romantic victim – er, partner.
She cut her writing teeth on badly written, hormone-driven fanfiction (be glad that’s out of her system), and her one true dream is to have wildly erotic fanfiction with dubious grammar written about her own novels. Please make her dreams come true.
- A signed copy of Artificial