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(The Machine Dynasty #2)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  662 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Javier is a self-replicating humanoid on a journey of redemption.

Javier's quest takes him from Amy's island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation... or death.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Angry Robot (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  662 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Dan Schwent
After being forced to poison his wife Amy, vN Javier goes on the run to find her backup. Can he find it before his enemies find him and shut him down permanently?

Disclaimer: I got this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for reviewing it.

iD takes place in a future where men and machines live side by side. While it's the first book in a series, following vN, it didn't take me long to get up to speed. I love the concept of self-replicating androids. Hell, there are a lot of great concepts in this one,
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-shelf, sci-fi
Disturbing, fairly nuts, and good for pushing buttons.

The whole robot angle is a side issue. Most of this novel has a lot of sociopathy and exploration of emotional triggers as its main focus. It helps that there's institutionalized pedophilia that's all right because it's just robots.


But that's not even the main focus, either.

It's Javier's PoV. It's a rather wild journey, literally swinging every which way, eventually becoming a quest to redeem himself. That was all kinds of all right. :
3-3.5 stars, I think, mostly because like with book one, the ending/epilogue confused me somewhat. I liked how Javier dealt with his emotions and situations. Though, if certain things had happened in this book, Javier would not have had to run all over the country trying to fix the initial situation.
And now we have a rather dire situation coming up in book three, after all the setup in this book.
Is Amy still "alive" somewhere? If so, will tree-hugger Javier find her and marry her and live happily-ever-after? Will evil Portia destroy all humans? Most importantly: will anyone ever translate half the shite Javier says?

Ha! I'm not telling.

VERDICT: ~2 stars, about the same as I felt for Book #1. Not great, and some problematic execution (including some errors in my eBook version), but not without some merit for original-ish ideas, and some decent action scenes.

Hopefully you'll enjoy this AI
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
4.0 Stars
This is one of those cases where the second book in the series was possibly even better than the first. I certainly liked the first book vN, but I thought this one was much stronger in terms of both characterizations and plot. The story in this one was quite gripping and fast paced. I really liked the main character in this one, Javier, who was such a complex and sympathetic protagonist.

As someone who adores stories involving artificial intelligence, I love the premise of this series. M
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love a book that kicks me in the head.

You know what I'm talking about: you open the first page, start reading, and some idea, some turn of phrase, something about the book rears back from the pages and smacks you in the skull, leaving you breathless and starry eyed and saying, "Oh, wow" for the next two hundred pages. It's nice to have a comforting book, one that slowly pulls you in until you're in way over your head, but, every now and then, I need the kick, and iD by Madeline Ashby is chock
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first book, vN, but this one didn't work for me. Doesn't help that this has a different POV (Javier, rather than Amy). The author's said iD is like her version of a James Bond story - complete with casinos, cocktails, and a supervillain. But I just couldn't connect with the story, or the characters.

Book 3, reV, is due out late in 2015. Hopefully it's an improvement upon this installment.
It makes me sad that I have to give this one two stars, because I loved vN so much. Realistically, its probably a two and half, but Goodreads doesn't give me that option so I've gotta go with my gut here, and there wasn't a whole lot I liked about this book other than the initial premise. While iD has a lot of what I loved about the first book in the series, it was much more disorganized and just didn't hold my interest as well.

It's kind of funny that the thing that gives Amy her true personhood
Kara Babcock
In vN , Madeline Ashby provides a refreshing take on the idea of robots on the run. She tries to bottle lightning a second time in iD—and she succeeds. The second Machine Dynasty novel raises the stakes and allows Ashby a chance to explore both the backstory and future of this world where Asimovian robots have been reified. It’s not quite a full on apocalypse, but the world appears to be holding its breath.

I’m going to assert that you needn’t have read vN to read iD; and, if you read this one
Laura (crofteereader)
This one wasn't half as compelling as vN. Our main character, Javier, pulls a classic Alice in Wonderland and meets a whole bunch of characters who help (or hurt) him for short segments of his journey, he has a convenient stash of money (which he never used before, even though he was poor and homeless in the first book and resorted to sex work just to have enough money for food - this reeks of lack of continuity / choosing a plot of convenience rather than believability). This Alice-esque storyt ...more
Jonathan Lin
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

I couldn't really get into this book, even though I really like the first book (vN). The book is full of action and things blow up and people (and robots) die, but the story didn't feel as coherent. I liked the overall concept and the best thing about this book is the fluidity that Ashby moves in between human and android, male, female, and not-just-quite-in-between.

The ending ties everything up and feels a bit too miraculous - everything is ok at least for a little while.

I'll read the
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
It wasn't terrible, but I had to take off a half star for every really unsubtle Blade Runner reference. So many. So painful. ...more
May 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and Angry Robots for the opportunity to read it.

Don't you think this book is weird? lol.

I got so many issues with this book that I do not know where I should begin. I like the idea of robots. Of vN co-habiting with humans. Working as a nurse, gardener, teacher, etc. I like how they could think of their own but they could not even think of harming a human for it would 'failsafe' them. I think that is such a goo
Beezlebug (Rob)
Dec 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Machine Dynasty Sequel

Summary:Full disclosure I received an electronic copy of this book to review from NetGalley. iD is the second book in Madeline Ashby’s The Machine Dynasty. Having read the first book in the series back in August 2012 I can honestly say I don’t recall very much of the overall series except for a few basic plot points and characters. In fact, when I read the summary for iD I assumed Javier was a new character not realizing he played an important role in vN. With that said I t
Timothy Ward
Formal review to come on SF Signal.

I'll admit, I was really worried about my rating for this book. From 35% to 75% I wasn't really enjoying myself, and for most of that I was pretty repulsed. There's rape, a trip to a pedophile club, and fantasies about sex robots that I won't go into. The author doesn't portray these in a positive light at all, but it still wasn't easy to read.

But then the ending went and surprised me, and even made me see why the main character of this story had to have had th
Just as awesome as the the first one!
I liked all the sci fi references that none of the vNs ever got, to Bladerunner and Star Trek and The Prisoner and probably others that I didn't get.
Ria Bridges
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
In the previous novel in the series, vN, Ashby introduces us to Amy, and we follow her story of self-discovery in a futuristic world where humanoid robots have been created to fulfill a person’s every whim. And I do mean every whim, because yes, pedophilia is touched upon in this series, and the future is not entirely a comfortable place.

In this sequel, we instead follow Javier, Amy’s companion and love. Where much of vN had a focus on finding a sense of self and learning about who you are when
Matthew Lloyd
"What you have to know about humans is what they don't know about themselves," Arcadio says. "They're machines, too. Humans are just machines. They run programs just like we do, they just run different ones."

- iD, p. 116

In my review of vN, the first of Madeline Ashby's Machine Dynasty, I said that it was an action-adventure story brimming with ideas. I also said that it didn't proffer many answers to the questions it asked. iD, the second Machine Dynasty novel, is different. Its adventure is
Michael Whiteman
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is the sequel to vN, and in a lot of ways is more of the same. We follow Javier this time, as he goes on his quest to restore Amy after he was forced to poison her by a religious fanatic abusing his failsafe.

The issues around the failsafe (which prevents vN from harming or failing to prevent harm to humans and can kill them if they do) and consent are probably the most interesting parts of the book, as Javier begged Amy to remove his but she refused, leaving him vulnerable to exploitation
Dawne L
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: didnt-finish
Another book that I'm pretty sure I read and reviewed, but the review has disappeared forever. So this will be short.

iD takes up a bit after vN left off. Amy, the self-aware super robot who has figured out how to utilize nanotechnology to her own benifit, has created an island where she hopes that she and many iterations of Javier, her love, will be safe. Naturally, in a book this can't happen.

Javier has solo adventures this time, and the book is all about agency. While Amy has discovered that s
Aug 21, 2021 rated it liked it
This is an enjoyable enough sequel to vN, with the focus now on Javier as he tries to restore Amy's consciousness (literally) after having been (very implausibly) fooled/coerced into killing her. Still wears the Blade Runner and other influences on its sleeve, to occasionally amusing effect. Lots of cool ideas and some good action sequences, though these tend to seem to exist more for the sake of the action than because they fit-as was the case with the first book. Ashby seems to have taken the ...more
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I literally do not remember a single thing about the first novel, except apparently, pr GR, I didn't like it. Somehow I ended up picking up the second one anyway. I still don't know if it's any _good_, but they're certainly _interesting_. The entire concept of vN should play out like a dribbling deus ex machina - which it sort of does - but I think I'm here for the philsophy of it?

Anyway, this book makes you think a whole lot about robots, sex, robot sex, and consent; and the only bone I really
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following on how much I liked book one, I was really looking forward to this, and it didn't disappoint. Picking up within moments of the finale of the first book, this one launches full tilt into the conflict between humans and vN, the "androids" who are essentially the other dominant species on the planet by this point. And things escalate from there, coming to yet another finale that leaves things open for another volume - which has been added to my wishlist for when it becomes available on Ki ...more
Anton Hammarstedt
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-sci-fi
Setting presentation, design and originality (how cool is the setting?): 3
Setting verisimillitude and detail (how much sense does the setting make?): 3
Plot design, presentation and originality (How well-crafted was the plot, in the dramaturgic sense?): 2
Plot and character verisimillitude (How much sense did the plot and motivations make? Did events follow from motivations?): 3
Characterization and character development: 4
Character sympatheticness: 4
Prose: 4
Page turner factor: 5
Mind blown factor:
Laura Estelle
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: hardcopy
Unfortunately, I read this one first -- I probably should have started with vN.

I'm teetering between two and three stars for this one ... I might go read others by this author, but I probably wouldn't seek them out.

There were lots of fantastic ideas in this book, and I particularly appreciated the exploration of how Javier's failsafe makes him vulnerable to abuse from humans. However, I didn't enjoy spending time with him -- even in the midst of a quest to rescue a copy of his not-quite-wife Am
Nicole Luiken
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy, canadian
Sequel to vN, but with mostly Javier's POV this time instead of Amy. After I slogged through the prologue, the rest of the book clipped along at a good pace. This is good idea fiction, but not for the faint of heart, with robots for are true people though often tragically constrained by their programming and compressed childhoods.

Quibble: the ending took something away from Javier's journey, the old If They'd Just Talked to Each Other the book would have ended much earlier annoyance.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
When androids dream free will.

A great follow up to vN. The story extrapolates on the theme of what happens when software limited AI finds a way around the limits, will it be the end of humanity? Read on to find out!
Leader of the Pack
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ashby does a great job mixing futuristic concepts with contemporary lifestyles. This gives iD a very realistic feel that immediately earns and keeps the reader's attention. I really enjoyed this story and look forward the next book in the series. ...more
Susan Welch
Jan 24, 2021 rated it liked it
I didn't like this one quite as much, being all from Javier's perspective, but it's also not quite as completely bizarre as the first of the series (or perhaps the reader is used to it?). Still I've got the third one on hold at the library ...more
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Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer and strategic foresight consultant living in Toronto. She has been writing fiction since she was about thirteen years old. (Before that, she recited all her stories aloud, with funny voices and everything.) Her fiction has appeared in Nature, Tesseracts, Escape Pod, FLURB, the Shine Anthology, and elsewhere. Her non-fiction has appeared at, ...more

Other books in the series

The Machine Dynasty (3 books)
  • vN (The Machine Dynasty, #1)
  • reV (The Machine Dynasty, #3)

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“For the first time in Javier’s life, he understood why the Tin-Man had wanted a heart. It would be better, if he knew what exactly it was inside him that was breaking.” 1 likes
“She took care of him when he was bluescreened and no better than a toy baby doll. She carried him and kept him warm and talked to him. The boy probably didn't remember all that. That didn't mean he'd forgotten it.” 0 likes
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