This scene says it all. Sheldon is the cyborg Einstein (formerly IQ221) disconnected from emotion, socially...more Sheldon & Amy in The Big Bang Theory
This scene says it all. Sheldon is the cyborg Einstein (formerly IQ221) disconnected from emotion, socially awkward with an off the charts intellect, and completely disinterested in sex. The only difference is that Einstein kisses and awakens his Sleeping Beauty as a last resort as nothing he'd tried to fix the cyborg female worked.
Fair warning: I ❤ Sheldon and Eve Langlais did him justice. *fangirl squee*
Bonnie as our Sleeping Beauty is a unique heroine. She's a former good-time girl, regularly binge drinking and sleeping with so many men that she loses count.
“Hey, the more the merrier. You should try it sometime. A good, old fashioned gang bang might loosen you up.” Bonnie leered at her. Chloe’s lips tightened. “No, thank you. Some of us prefer to be choosier about our partners.” “Prude.”“Slut.” The vulgar word, so crude and unexpected, hung in the air between them. Hurtful. True. A slap that almost sobered her. Anger swept through Bonnie, anger and… shame.
That's until Bonnie calls her sister Chloe to pick her up when she's too drunk to get home and Bonnie causes them to crash, which sees them both repaired by turning them into cyborgs.
Bonnie gets lucky in that the military outfits her with the ability to turn off her pain receptors at will, gifting her with the means to withstand the torture the female cyborgs were subjected to in order to break them. Among the torture techniques was rape.
Funny how it never occurred to any of the jerks that perhaps she’d never possessed a choice. That perhaps she’d done the things she had out of self-preservation or to protect the others, protect the ones less mentally able to handle it. Men always assumed because she didn’t put up much of a fight that she wanted sex with them. Not really, but back then, while she’d not been given a choice and had to let them do as they pleased, now she called the shots.
...she’d been around enough to handle the emotional and physical rape. But poor Chloe. She never deserved it. But she’s found happiness finally, despite it all.
When rape failed to cow Bonnie, she was subjected to further torture in the pit where she lost her organic eyes. In Bonnie's place, I'd have submitted by now but she was determined not to let the General win. It gave her perverse satisfaction. However, when our male cyborg rebels liberate Bonnie's sister, the General lies to Bonnie by telling her:
All the female units are being terminated, except for you. You, I think we’ll keep. I hear the prisoners on Gamma thirty-one have been rioting since they broke their last sexdroid.”
As soon as he'd told her Chloe was dead, she gave up the fight and gave up living.
Poking, prodding, and the other things they did to the shell encasing her conscience didn’t touch her. The military did its best to wake her, but stopped short of killing her. A shame, because she wanted to die. However, suicide was not an option for a machine meant to live forever. She gave it her best shot, though. Holding her breath achieved nothing. Refusing oral sustenance just sent her nanobots into overdrive drawing nutrients from the objects around her. How could she kill herself when her very body betrayed her? With no other available option, she did the only thing she could. She shut down her mind. Inwards she pulled her senses, imagining her synapses going dark, closed her eyes against a world that long ago lost all color. She pictured herself turned to stone, a true robotic statue, unresponsive to all stimuli.
It worked. Bonnie appeared to be a malfunctioning, ultra-realistic sexbot that the brothel manager is about to dump in the trash because he's been unable to figure out what's wrong with her despite many attempts at repair, until Einstein comes upon her while trading his technical expertise in exchange for payment so his fellow male cyborgs can fulfil their sexual urges and control their testosterone levels.
Einstein's first impressions of the brothel workshop are true to life:
Einstein couldn’t help but make a sound of disgust as he saw the mess some of the female robots were in. “What are they doing to them?” he muttered. “Anything and everything, ” Bob replied, running his hands almost lovingly down the intact arm of one bot whose head hung askew. “It’s why we don’t use human girls anymore . It’s easier to reattach a robot arm than a flesh one. Less messy and noisy too.” Einstein didn’t ask why someone would want to remove a limb during sex in the first place. Some things, a cyborg really didn’t need to know.
Real Dolls -woman replacements for the men who buy them. They're tailored to a buyer's exact specifications and can basically do whatever they want to them without consequences. An interview with a repairman is disturbing: 'he spoke about badly mutilated dolls with their breasts hanging off, their hands and fingers severed.' Whether they're men turned off real women by porn, simply intimidated by independent women, or unable to attract a woman for their misogynist attitudes, isn't clear but the danger they might represent to a real woman in future, is.
Einstein is Sheldon through and through.
“You mean you brought a sexbot back?” Seth’s brows arched up. “Einstein, you dog.” “I possess no canine DNA.”
Where his brothers enjoyed lusty appetites for food and flesh, Einstein ate because he had to and as for sexual relief, well, he just didn’t see the appeal. Inserting a part of himself into the lubricated orifice of another for a few minutes of friction? Why? He just didn’t understand it, like he didn’t grasp their excitement at visiting a bordello featuring robotic females programmed to aid with ejaculation. Again, he couldn’t figure out where the appeal lay. However, not grasping why his fellow brothers needed sex didn’t mean he spoiled it for them. Much. “Don’t forget to run decontamination protocols when you’re done evacuating the semen from your testes,”
Einstein's kiss awakening Bonnie is life-changing. Bonnie feels completely safe in his care, probably because he's the first man not to rape or hit on her. This has an unusual side effect: he presents a challenge, so she does everything she can to seduce him.
His geeky, stutter-y trying-to-hide-arousal embarrasment just eggs her on. Einsteins reaction to her flummoxes him and for the first time ever he has no idea what to do, so he runs.
He took to hiding out in the gym and when she found him there and insisted they spar, pinning him more than once to the mat with a triumphant grin when he just couldn’t bring himself to block her, he almost gave in to his baser human urges. He found a new hiding spot in the engine room, but the cyborgs there ribbed him about his “girlfriend” and gave him up when she came looking. Heck, even Seth ridiculed him, using their mental communicator to call him a “chicken ,” and “an idiot for not eating the cake.” What did food have to do with it?
Finally succumbing opens Einstein up. He gives her treats, starts to fear for her life, feels jealousy and defends her honour:
“So we’ll take turns. Although, if you’re the Bonnie the soldiers used to talk about back on the base, then the way I hear it, you used to handle more than two back in the day.” Lucky her, even years later in space, her reputation preceded her....
“How.” Whack. “Dare.” Kick. “You.” Punch. “Speak to her that way,” Einstein shouted, enunciating each word with distinction. “No matter what her past or what the military made her do, Bonnie is a guest on our ship and a lady. As such, you will treat her with respect!” “Yes, sir .”
Insecurity starts to bother Einstein. He's too inexperienced when it comes to sex and relationships.
What did he have to offer her? He was a science geek among his brethren. The weakest in battle. The smallest cyborg among a horde of giants. She deserved so much better.
He underestimates himself:
"I was a juvenile delinquent in foster care who came to their attention because I hacked a secure website.” “Must have been some hack.” “Apparently, the CIA took offense at a fourteen-year-old getting past their safeguards.”
“According to records? Twenty-five. Apparently, they kept me incarcerated for quite a number of years before entering me in the cyborg program.” “No wonder you’re so clueless. You never really had a chance to live.”
A smart computer capable of thinking was a risky prospect. A smart computer capable of thinking who discovered he possessed free will and was enslaved? That made a menace the human military couldn’t tolerate. If they’d caught on. Once Einstein discovered what they’d done to him, he easily circumvented the programming of his creators without them suspecting a thing. However, freeing himself wasn’t enough. He also quietly began to liberate others, starting with the other two IQ models stationed on other bases. In an uprising they planned under the military’s very noses, they released their brothers in bondage from the reins shackling them. But they didn’t count on the rage of the cybernetic solider units when they discovered the perfidy done to them.
It's wonderful watching Einstein grow in confidence:
“Nothing a shower and some therapy won’t fix.” “Therapy?” Bonnie’s brow arched. “I thought you said you were okay?” “Physically, but mentally, I think I need some healing.” Immediately, her face creased in concern. “What can I do to help?” “Get the shower going.” “How is that supposed to help?” Seth laughed. “Oh, princess. I think you’ve created a monster. Brainiac here needs some sexual healing, which means I should get out of here.”
“Emotions are hormonal imbalances. I control my hormonal levels. Or did until I met you.” She wrinkled her nose and laughed. “You know that wasn’t exactly the most romantic declaration.”
"I might have woken you from your sleep, but you woke me to my humanity.”
Like a flower unfurling in sunlight, or more aptly, the sleeping princess who wakens at the gentle kiss of her prince, her eyes popped open and she awoke.
“Just like in the fairytales, good triumphed over evil.” “Your stories forgot to mention the fact the hero almost dies of a heart attack in the process.” She chuckled. “Oh please. You have a biomechanical heart and I have healing nanobots."
Because I am more than a machine. More than a tool for the military. I am Bonnie. Flawed princess, enhanced human, and cherished lover of the most wonderful man in the universe. Despite what the future might bring, she had everything to live for. And best of all? She was loved.
I won’t let anyone, and I mean anyone , take away my happily ever after without a fight.
And I love how the other male cyborg rebels accept Bonnie into their family:
“Why? Is it for boys only? Are you all hanging around in your underwear telling fart jokes? I can fart on demand if I have to. Heck, I can even belch the alphabet. Want to hear?” “No!”
“Just following protocol, Pita.” “Pita?” Her nose wrinkled. “My name is Bonnie.” “Not to me you aren’t. In my books, you’re P. I. T. A. PITA as in pain in the ass.”
This is the first book I read after migraine stopped me from indulging in my addiction. And I enjoyed it immensely. Einstein is adorable and I absolutely loved watching his transformation. B785 was just the right thing to cheer me up and supply a quality fix. Funny, sexy, romantic - and okay, the cheese was thick in the second half - that's the reason for 4 instead of 5 stars. (less)
A chapter's worth of writing, a prologue if you will, of a girl waking up to find her house on fire, but despite this the last words are intriguing, i...moreA chapter's worth of writing, a prologue if you will, of a girl waking up to find her house on fire, but despite this the last words are intriguing, implying more is going on than meets the eye.(less)
There's nothing like a bit of necrophilia in the morning.
Our RoboZombies (the zombies are actually referred to as 'steins', as in Frankenstein)don't...moreThere's nothing like a bit of necrophilia in the morning.
Our RoboZombies (the zombies are actually referred to as 'steins', as in Frankenstein) don't decompose and still retain all of their bodily functions so there are no ball sacks falling off during fellatio or penises detaching mid-coitus (oh look a new dildo!) so my tea and toast stayed happily in my stomach.
Our heroine, Josie, is a newly made RoboZombie sex doll. Her memories have been wiped in favour of rudimentary programming to engineer her to need, and be submissive to, a 'husband'. Her obviously abusive maker had no other use for her than that. Free will is only for the living. She's child-like in her curiosity and discovery of new concepts and sensations, but she's very much able to learn and grow beyond her original programming.
The hero, turned Peeping Tom during recon, is also a RoZo of the soldier / assassin variety with PTSD, employed by a pro-free will organisation. Bane's been working towards earning a memory and programming reset to relieve his mental anguish to become blissfully ignorant of the deeds he's done while his free will was taken from him.
Bane's mission is to retrieve the heroine from her maker by any means necessary before an evil RoZo corporation can swoop in and recover the scientist and his research. As the heroine had been designed to require biofeedback via touch and an electronic mental connection from a husband, the hero has to fill that hole role to prevent her programming from degrading to the point of leaving her a lifeless rotting corpse.
It's important to note that Bane doesn't rape Josie, the very thought disgusts him. Josie's personality, that of a 'virtual child', also unnerves him so he's very careful about how he handles her, leaving Josie to decide what she wants.
I'm riding the line between love and hate, hiding in the no-man's-land of meh. Predictable paranormal romance that isn't too cheesy, worldbuilding and character development of the supporting cast is lacking, but it possesses an interesting, and I suppose plausible, possibility of cyborg RoboZombies in the future. I'd still take Langlais's cyborgs over Harris's though.
But all idealism faded if exposed to enough reality.
I'm glad I read this after Scarlet as it details Wolf's origin story - becoming a genetically modified soldier at age 12, brutally graduating to Alpha...moreI'm glad I read this after Scarlet as it details Wolf's origin story - becoming a genetically modified soldier at age 12, brutally graduating to Alpha of his pack 5 years later - all before he meets Little Red Riding Hood aka Scarlet. Sadly, he had to become the thing he wanted to avoid - an animal - in order to prevent being physically transformed into one.
F814's past is extremely well-written. The 5-star torture scenes are eerily reminiscent of Captain Jean Luc Picard's "There are four lights!" (YouTube...moreF814's past is extremely well-written. The 5-star torture scenes are eerily reminiscent of Captain Jean Luc Picard's "There are four lights!" (YouTube), though Langlais's scenes are infinitely more horrific.
I'm pleased to say Solus is kind and and considerate of F814's past and her fears. He never crossed the line and F814's behaviour and decisions were understandable and felt fairly realistic. She's unknowingly tough. Her ignorance regarding her past, her identity and her extreme fear of things like showers, is extremely sad although her innocence creates that instinctual need to care for and protect her.
The only downside is some cheesy writing and a handful of odd extraneous words which appear next to those of similar spelling, if not meaning.
There's-nothing-better-than-a-good-fight Aramus is Jayne from Firefly and Serenity, and I suspect his book will be next. And then perhaps the deceptively harmless and human-like Seth's. (less)
Wolf seduced me. I freely admit it. I love shifter romances, and although he's not strictly a shifter, Wolf does possess wolf DNA. His personality and...moreWolf seduced me. I freely admit it. I love shifter romances, and although he's not strictly a shifter, Wolf does possess wolf DNA. His personality and romance held all the yumminess required to have me falling head over heels. I didn't care that he and Scarlet technically spent mere hours in each other's company, and this is brought up many times, but they are quality hours. Wolf's behaviour spoke volumes.
My preference for Thorne over Kai is going to bite me in the arse. I'm definitely setting myself up for a fall there. Yeah, Thorne's firmly entrenched as Cinder's sidekick stuck in the friend zone, and he was slow to pick up on clues, but he's a relaxed guy (aren't all good thieves?) taking everything in his stride until the shit hits the fan. He's incredibly loyal, lively, funny and non-judgmental. Cinder's cyborgness didn't faze him, he was curious more than anything - contrasting with the general public's hatred, Cinder's stepmother leading by example.
Kai pales in comparison to Thorne, and he no longer interests me after his initial disgust upon finding out very publicly Cinder's lunar and cyborg status, and despite knowing he had no time to process the shock and ask himself whether it mattered when he took his feelings into account, his immediate reaction was off-putting. The “I don’t see that her being cyborg is relevant” comment came a bit late for me. I can't help but feel Cinder deserves better.
The humans and the lunars are the monsters here. Cyborgs, robots (I love Iko!) and the 'wolves' are the victims and act (or have the potential to act) with more humanity, dignity and grace than their creators.
Levana's left herself deeply vulnerable by genetically engineering Lunars, turning them into 'wolves'. Dispatching Wolf's unit leaves them free for Cinder to use - a dangerous thing to do. You want to deprive your enemy of resources instead of handing them over on a silver platter.
Meyer might be biting off more than she can chew by using multiple POVs because it's going to require exceptional skill to handle and choreograph the 5+ POVs in the following books (Scarlet, Cinder, Wolf, Kai, Levana in addition to new characters). However, Meyer's managed to reel me in after an almost mediocre reaction to the debut with new intense relationships sparking with chemistry, camaraderie and humorous dialogue, not forgetting the torturous emotional turmoil and distinct characters bursting with personality. Scarlet could've easily been reduced to a crappy filler book without these things because on the face of it, plot-wise, not much progression has been made, though I don't feel I've wasted my time - that's a job well done.
Man, this book has qualities I wish Cinder had. Not that Cinder was bad, I just found it difficult to fully understand what it meant to be cyborg just...moreMan, this book has qualities I wish Cinder had. Not that Cinder was bad, I just found it difficult to fully understand what it meant to be cyborg just from Cinder's (likely abnormal) experiences. Not so here. You see I'm fairly new to the concept so I needed it spelled out for me. I get it now. The idea of cyborgs is an intriguing one with many areas to debate and explore. The history and creation of Langlais's half man, half machines struggling to recover their human sides were interesting. I'm glad this isn't a stand alone.
Joe a.k.a. X109GI, is mentally halfway between Seth (very human) and Solus (very robotic) and has managed to recover a small part of his humanity that's until he meets his woman who teaches him jealousy and love. Chloe is a human bereft of life, safety and happiness until she meets Joe.
Chloe's reactions towards the end aroused strong emotion. I felt so sorry for her and completely understood her pain and confusion. But way to get mad! Her homicidal rage certainly rebutted any suspicions she was weak. However, if I understood this correctly there were some continuity issues (view spoiler)[regarding Chloe knowing of being abused and raped on multiple occasions before the memories were forced on her and she remembered it all (hide spoiler)]. Still, I quite I enjoyed this novella.
Solus's book is up next -Yes! (His name sounds like "soulless", does it not? How apt.) Take that, 'cyborg snob'. You will succumb to faulty programming lowly human emotion.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
What I appreciated: Solid writing The political dilemmas A heroine with brains and skills The natural (i.e. unforced) romance It's Firefly/Sereni...more3.5 stars.
What I appreciated: Solid writing The political dilemmas A heroine with brains and skills The natural (i.e. unforced) romance It's Firefly/Serenity meets I, Robot. I loved both. Great characters (Iko is a very human-like robot with an adorable personality and the stepmother as the villian is someone you can sometimes sympathise with.)
What I didn't like: Did it have to be a retelling of Cinderella? It lends far too much predictability to the story, making certain things too obvious to anyone familiar with the fairy tale. It led me to spot things as early on as 11% in and get frustrated by how slow the heroine gets to the same conclusions I did.
I had to figure out for myself what it meant to be a cyborg through Cinder's experiences but I have no idea if she's "normal" compared to others considering her unique programming and her (view spoiler)[being Lunar (hide spoiler)]. This lack of knowledge also made it difficult for me to understand how human the cyborgs were, despite the law's dim view on the matter.
The cliffhanger. I'm not opposed to it here exactly as it wasn't painful but the ending left me empty and asking "was that it?" And knowing the sequel doesn't just follow Cinder but introduces Scarlet (a.k.a. Little Red Riding Hood), I'm a little wary about how things will progress.
I really wanted this to be a 5-star read and perhaps if Cinder was an all-encompassing stand alone without the Cinderella link (and the associated predictability), it would've been. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Holy fucking shit, Batman! Holy fucking shit! *SPLAT!* My brain has exploded. I am blown away by the awesomeness of this little book.
Firstly, I owe a...moreHoly fucking shit, Batman! Holy fucking shit! *SPLAT!* My brain has exploded. I am blown away by the awesomeness of this little book.
Firstly, I owe a huge thank you to Lyndsey's review for inspiring me to read this because HOLY CRAP, HOOOOLY CRAP! This is the dystopian book to end all dystopian books. Doesn't matter if you think this sort of thing isn't for you, or if you're disillusioned with the genre.
At the very least this book will make you THINK. Think about the state of humanity, its limitations and where it is heading. Think about the pursuit of happiness, our curiosity, our technological advances. If the world ended as we know it tomorrow and we had a chance to start again from scratch, could we truly create a utopian society? Could we succeed in creating something we could be proud of? Or are we a doomed species hopelessly cursed to repeat the same mistakes?
Brain power is needed to read this, especially for the Third Hour chapter because damn if that wasn't a mind-bending philosophical debate regarding what it is to be human. I had to take a break to recharge the old batteries and when I returned to it...the jaw dropped and I had to re-read a paragraph because OH...MY...GOD I did not see That coming, That was a game changer, It brought a whole new meaning to what I had read.
Genesis is a small book, an expensive one, so expensive I decided to borrow it from the library but I must have a copy. It's absolutely worth the money. This book may be less than 200 pages but you could write a dissertation on it. Seriously.
Don't read up on this book, don't research it, just find a copy and read the hell out of it. Go in blind and discover for yourself the reason why I have given this the highest possible rating.(less)