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Last Resistance #1


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Perfect for fans of Robopocalypse, this action-packed science-fiction debut introduces a chilling future and an unforgettable heroine with a powerful role to play in the battle for humanity’s survival.
The machines have risen, but not out of malice. They were simply following a command: to stop the endless wars that have plagued the world throughout history. Their solution was perfectly logical. To end the fighting, they decided to end the human race.
A potent symbol of the resistance, Rhona Long has served on the front lines of the conflict since the first Machinations began—until she is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong. Now Rhona awakens to find herself transported to a new body, complete with her DNA, her personality, even her memories. She is a clone . . . of herself.
Trapped in the shadow of the life she once knew, the reincarnated Rhona must find her place among old friends and newfound enemies—and quickly. For the machines are inching closer to exterminating humans for good. And only Rhona, whoever she is now, can save them.

343 pages, ebook

First published July 26, 2016

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About the author

Hayley Stone

21 books144 followers
Hayley Stone is the author of the weird western, MAKE ME NO GRAVE, a finalist for the Laramie Book Awards, and the Last Resistance sci-fi series.

She has lived her entire life in sunny California, where the weather is usually perfect and nothing as exciting as a robot apocalypse ever happens. When not reading or writing, she freelances as an editor, plays the ocarina, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in German from California State University, Sacramento.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 112 reviews
Profile Image for Heather Truett.
Author 4 books85 followers
June 1, 2016
I have a love for post-apoc/dystopian literature. I don't read it nearly as often as I used to, because I got a little burned out on it. When my Facebook feed regularly reminds me of my current position in what amounts to a dystopian society, I find myself looking for something different in my books. But I always come back to the topic.


It was Fahrenheit 451 that started me down this path, and I think Bradbury would enjoy reading Machinations by Hayley Stone. It's got that same mix of a character that is both likable and unknowable, plus a future that is familiar and foreign all in one gulp.

If you love playing the what if game, this is a book for you.

What if our technology took over?

What if, in our effort to end war, we start the biggest war in the history of the world?

What if you could clone yourself... just in case?

Mixed into all of these big issues are the smaller human issues that make a story real to us, no matter the setting. A girl in love, a friendship that might be more, a woman coping with loss and a million questions about what makes a person who she is.

Plus some pretty awesome pop culture references and plenty of snark.

It was a really good read and I hope you will take the time to grab a copy for yourself when it releases later this month.
Profile Image for Taylor.
218 reviews23 followers
July 25, 2016
Reviewed at my blog: Babbling Books
“Stupid technology. Never working when you want it to. Always trying to kill you when you don’t.”
I probably have highlighted over 20 quotes from this book. It was very hard to choose what I wanted to put in this review as so many of them were good. I know I can get very quote happy sometimes, but this book was so wonderfully snappy with the dialogue and language I just couldn’t stop myself from highlighting all over the place!

No, but in all honestly, what Haley Stone has written here is quite the little gem of a book. When I requested it from NetGalley I honestly didn’t really know what I was getting. I was interested mostly in the science fiction elements of the story (which I got plenty of, thankfully) but it turned out to be a very emotionally driven book as well.

The main character, Rhona, is so wonderfully characterized that it was very easy for me to sink into her headspace for the duration of the book. She’s witty, engaging and a wholly likable character without being too much of the typical “this girl can accomplish anything” sort of annoyance that can crop up with a heroine in an apocalyptic/sci-fi book. She has realistic limits, along with the other characters, who actually do get hurt during the course of the book, something I generally appreciate from authors. Bruises and bumps do happen people.

The many pop culture references could’ve easily gotten out-of-hand but I thoroughly enjoyed them. It’s nice when you get a reprieve from all the doom and gloom and just get to laugh with the characters for a minute, plus it fit in well with Rhona’s sarcastic personality and made me like her character even more. Of course, it also had me rooting for Samuel to be her love interest, and in the preserving of few spoilers I won’t elaborate too much further but he is just the most adorable and sweetest character I have read in awhile.

Camus, on the other hand, was a little much for me at times. I warmed up to him nearer the end of the book, but as a love interest goes he was a little pensive and too broody for my taste, especially when you’ve got cuddly Samuel around. Can you tell which Team I’m on?? Anywho… The relationship dynamics didn’t play out like a triangle AT ALL so don’t worry about that, it was one of the more realistic relationship portrayals I have seen in a YA book of this kind, and I wasn’t cringing during any of the moments. Actually most of them either had me in fits of girlish giggles or silent “awws”.

The science fiction element was masterfully crafted in this book as well and you can tell that Stone has a passion for writing her Sci-Fi. I loved that everything was so detailed so I didn’t feel left out with any of the elements during the book and the pacing felt perfect for every moment. The world and ideas were so simple and yet interwoven so wonderfully that I relished in getting to know more about the systems and ways this new world was existing.

Overall a fantastic read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one, Hayley if you read this, send me a copy of the second book, I’m dying to know what happens! And thanks for creating such a wonderful first installment. As for you readers out there, go to a store, pick this up online, however you like, but just make sure you add this to your shelf, it’s definitely worth the read!!

*I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley from Random House Publishing Group-Hydra in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Jasper.
1 review
May 9, 2016
I read an early draft of the book and absolutely loved it! The characters are all very interesting and I found myself becoming attached to each of their unique personalities (which could be a mistake in a post-apocalyptic setting). The harsh reality of the near extermination of human-kind is balanced by the refreshing optimism of the resistance, who crack equal parts jokes and robot skulls. It was truly a joy to read and I can't wait for the sequel!
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews582 followers
August 13, 2016
Their directive: Stop the wars that have plagued the world since time began. It seems like an eventuality more than science fiction. Humans want it all, they want to control everything, but what happens when the machines they create take their directive to a logical conclusion on their own? To end wars, eliminate the cause, the human race…and the war begins in all of its brutal ugliness.

Rhona Long became the symbol to rally behind, the voice heard around the world. Not one to shy away from danger, she would be front and center on every mission, until that fateful day she was killed. Once again, science and medicine come to the rescue and Rhona awakens to find herself healed and almost whole, except for those spotty memory losses. She is herself, but not. She is her own clone and this is her story of loss, love, and the struggle to fit in again in a world who doesn’t even know she died. Does she still have that brilliant edge that made her a leader? Is her mind still able to cobble victory out of the most dire situations or will she become a figurehead for the survivors who depend on her for their strength?

And love? How can she feel the same for the man she once shared everything with while he has become a rigid rock of resistance and apparent hate?

Gritty, suspenseful and definitely one of those “what if” stories, Machinations by Hayley Stone has pretty much stripped the glamor of a future filled with robotic beings and near perfect cloning to its core. Dramatic, intense and thought-provoking, we are afforded the opportunity to share Rhona’s thoughts, actions and reactions as she interacts with those she both commands and loves. Page one and I was underground with the humans, hiding out from the machines on the hunt to extinguish them. Watch heroes rise and fall in death as they give their all for others to live one more day. Understand the machines, they do not act out of villainy, they were created and programmed by humans to be the best they could be, to be sentient.

Ms.Stone doesn’t tell us what to feel, she presents her tale and leaves the rest to us. Could you love the clone of your heart’s true love? Would you trust them with your life? Can they really be the same person they once were? What of the machines? Was it the arrogant ignorance of science that created humanity’s own demise? Were they too good at creating their monsters or not good enough?
This isn’t a joy ride into the world of science fiction, this has meat and depth, as well as flawed humans trying to create an unknown future with no script to work off of. LOVED it!

I received this copy from Hydra in exchange for my honest review.

Series: Machinations - Book 1
Publisher: Hydra (July 26, 2016)
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
ISBN 9780399594373
Genre: Sci-fi
Print Length: 343 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
For Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for The Captain.
1,065 reviews358 followers
March 14, 2019
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here are me honest musings . . .

So killer machines and a human clone. That’s what got my attention. I generally find books about what happens when a person is cloned to be interesting. In this particular story, the woman who is cloned (Rhona) has two special circumstances: 1) her memory load was interrupted so she only has part of her first life and 2) who and what she was in that first life.

I really enjoyed a lot of the challenges that those two facts caused her to face. Sometimes memories are triggered when she sees someone and sometimes they are not. This juxtaposition of remembering fondness for someone while not remembering why she is fond of them is wonderful. I like that the character is struggling to deal with the partial memories and also changing in this newest incarnation of herself due to the circumstances she now finds herself in. It’s the whole nature v. nurture thing to some extent.

The questions of self that Rhona faced were my favorite part of the story for me. I was not as crazy about some of the plot points:

1. Of course Rhona and her old love have to learn how to deal with the new circumstances of her coming back from the dead. This was fun in lots of ways. What wasn’t fun was the inclusion of a love triangle in terms of how Rhona deals with her best friend Samuel. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the character of Samuel. The writing on the wall about who Rhona chooses just seemed to be obvious from the beginning and so the tension around Samuel just seemed unnecessary.

2. The world building was a little off to me in terms of the machinations of the machines themselves. For example why didn’t any of the enemy machines fly? Why didn’t they just create millions of them and overwhelm the humans when they did know where they were? I just wish I had a better understanding of why the machines made some of the choices they did. The machine stuff almost seemed like afterthoughts to the central plot i.e. Rhona being a clone.

3. While the plot against the machines was not what I was focused on, there were parts about it that irked me. Like old technology working “magically” when a character needed it. Think of how the U.S.S. Missouri museum worked in the movie Battleship with the help of veteran tour guides to save the world.

These quibbles aside, I really did have a fun time reading this one. And its e-book price of $2.99 is cheap enough that ye may want to give it a shot too.

Side note: I didn’t even know that Hydra is “Random House’s digital-only imprint focused on science fiction, fantasy, and horror titles.” Cool.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Hydra!

If you liked this review see me others at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...
Profile Image for Yodamom.
1,980 reviews194 followers
July 24, 2016
At 9% I was excited by the action
At 19% I was bored with the characters and felt no connection
At 39% The characters cemented their place into the cookie cutter hall of fame
At 83% I was looking forward to the ending, I just wanted to be done with it.
At 100% I knew I had just read The Terminator meets The Mockingjay.

I really have nothing good to say about it. Okay the first 10% had me intrigued. Rhonda was a poorly written character, unbelievable, a cliche'. The story was unoriginal, with ridiculous lines and plot. Mix the Terminator and the MockingJay and you have this book.

The Main Character was a stupid girl who spent too much time pinning over her lost love. She thought about him, all the time, she was the stereotypical obsessed teenager you see in cheesy movies. What makes it more ridiculous ,she couldn't even remember him so why was she so obsessed ? That whole romantic story line was so crazy, nothing made sense.
This girl Rhona, was not trusted, not believed in. Hated, feared and cloned by the human group she used to be a member of, in her old body. They have good reason not to trust her, and yet. Suddenly she becomes the face of the resistance ? That was insanely ridiculous, she became this voice for the resistance, the one who would broadcast her words of "Go Get Them", her face. The dumb stumbling hormone obsessed teen girl ?

The evil machines ? What did they look like ? How did they function, power up ? There was never a clear picture. I added the terminator movie types into the story. They acted like the terminator so why not ?
The ending, wrapped up for quickly and predictably.

I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review
Profile Image for Angela.
3,197 reviews368 followers
Want to read
May 25, 2016
So, I got an email pitching this as "Perfect for fans of Red Rising" - which piqued my interest. But then I read the blurb:

Perfect for fans of Robopocalypse, this action-packed science-fiction debut introduces a chilling future and an unforgettable heroine with a powerful role to play in the battle for humanity’s survival.

The machines have risen, but not out of malice. They were simply following a command: to stop the endless wars that have plagued the world throughout history. Their solution was perfectly logical. To end the fighting, they decided to end the human race.

A potent symbol of the resistance, Rhona Long has served on the front lines of the conflict since the first Machinations began—until she is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong. Now Rhona awakens to find herself transported to a new body, complete with her DNA, her personality, even her memories. She is a clone . . . of herself.

Trapped in the shadow of the life she once knew, the reincarnated Rhona must find her place among old friends and newfound enemies—and quickly. For the machines are inching closer to exterminating humans for good. And only Rhona, whoever she is now, can save them.

Clone of herself?! Made me immediately think of Battlestar Galactica (my favorite sci-fi show), and the Cylons (<3 <3 <3).

I couldn't resist.

Excellent job selling this book, publishing people. ^_^
Profile Image for Rhett Bruno.
Author 58 books518 followers
September 7, 2016
I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I'm a sucker for science fiction, but usually not near future post-apoc. This really sucked me in though. Obviously all of the correlations to Terminator are here as all the reviews below me indicate, but I think Machinations really brought the human element.

The action was great, the story taut, but what really drew me in were the characters. This idea of Rhona "reanimating" herself to continue the fight fascinated me. It's a long-time question in scifi, the idea of the soul. Can it exist in a replication? Movies and books like Blade Runner placed this question before us earlier, and it's carried along here. Can the new Rhona love like she used to? Is she just a copy or a person of her own. This is what drives the book for me, with an exciting backdrop of terminator-style revolution against robot overlords to keep the narrative humming along.

It's a bit of a slow start, but it really picks up and was a joy to read. I usually can't stand present tense novels, but Hayley Stone did a nice enough job with it for me to barely notice. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for OutlawPoet.
1,181 reviews70 followers
November 1, 2016
Clone Girl Kicks Butt

Machinations was another one of those reads that I just tore through at breakneck speed.

When the singularity comes and the machines rise up against the human world, humanity simply isn’t ready. It’s a bloodbath. Rhona Long is deep in the fight against the machines – and fails. She’s brought back as a clone and needs to continue the fight for humanity among former friends who no longer believe she’s fully human.

The book is full of violent battles, awesomely scary mechanical foes, and characters you care about it. It’s an epic battle for humanity and you’ll read it at a breathless pace.

If I had one complaint, it would be that there is a little too much emphasis on the romance and I wanted a little more ‘end of the world as we know it’. Seriously, butt-kicking clone girl does not need to be distracted by teenage angsty feels. Does he love me? Do I love him? Or do I love him? But I’m a clone…can he love me? But…but…but…he’s handsome. Argh. Seriously, just go kick some machine butt and move on.

But, despite my nitpick, it’s a really good book. I really enjoyed it and would welcome a sequel!

*Arc Provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Jay Williams.
1,700 reviews18 followers
July 14, 2016
Although the book is set in the future during a take over by intelligent machines, the themes of love, loyalty and heroism are always appropriate. The kicker in this story is the reanimation of a fallen leader in the form of a clone. While the clone is effective as a replacement for the inspirational leader, the problem comes in the reinstatement of personal relationships. Elements of politics, betrayal and strategies of war are on display as the remains of the human race rises against the intelligent machines that have destroyed the planet in a program to create peace. The main characters are well-developed and likeable. The writing itself provides a "bare bones" image of the structures of the remaining humans. The story develops a great deal of suspense in both the personal and war relations.. The weapons and tactics of the future are imaginative and engrossing. The story ends on an optimistic note despite the dark future of human eradication by machines. Great action and lots of food for thought make this a stimulating book. Definitely more of this story is coming.
Profile Image for Michael Mammay.
Author 9 books363 followers
August 10, 2016
Hayley Stone’s MACHINATIONS goes beyond the world building to do what a lot of great science fiction does: explore the question of what it means to be a human.

The machinations refer to the overthrow of the human governments of the world by robots, which is like 98.3% likely to happen for real, so you could look at this as kind of a road-map to the future. The other 1.7% is zombie apocalypse. But that’s not really our point here today. As the book opens, the machinations have already happened, and the society that’s left is living in the aftermath, fighting to survive.Machinations

The main characer, Rhona, dies. You’d think that a review wouldn’t lead with a spoiler like that. And you’d be right. She dies at the very start of the book, and it triggers the story. Rhona is a leader of the resistance, and to protect her they’ve created a clone. An exact replica of her, that’s triggered to life upon her death, so that she can carry on the fight.

Except it doesn’t work quite right. Rhona comes back, but she’s not all herself. There are holes in her memories. And that’s where the real story starts.

MACHINATIONS explores what happens when a person looks like herself in almost every way, but there are pieces missing. Whether she’s really her, and what it means to be ‘herself’ at all. It also tackles how losing her affects the people she loves, and how they react when she comes back different. Imagine that for months you thought your lover was dead, only to find out she wasn’t. You’ve grieved, you’ve moved on, you’ve got a war to fight. Now she’s back, at least in body.

It’s a great situation, and the book doesn’t take any short cuts on the answers. There’s no simple solution. It’s complicated and messy and up and down, just like you’d expect it to be in real life. Stone does an excellent job conveying the psychological effects of war, the pressures of leadership, of love lost, and relationships where the two involved feel differently about each other.

Through it all there’s the war with the machines. Stone’s crisp, first-person present tense prose is a good fit for the story. If you’re looking for a terminator style book, full of action and massive battle scenes, this probably isn’t for you. While there’s definitely some of that, and plenty of action, MACHINATIONS is much more about the human dynamics. With that said, the strong writing and the pace of the story make this a fun, quick read.

If I had to put a rating on this book it would probably fall somewhere between PG and PG-13. I’ll give it the 13 rating due to mature themes, but it’s safe for folks who like a pretty clean read.
Profile Image for Faye, la Patata.
492 reviews2,109 followers
September 16, 2016
Oh, hey, look. I finally finished a book. AFTER SO GODDAMN LONG.

Someone cheer for me, please. I need it.

Not sure what to feel about this one. It had a lot of ups and downs. A lot more downs. STAY TUNED FOR MY COME BACK REVIEW OMG

Profile Image for Yzabel Ginsberg.
Author 3 books102 followers
July 29, 2016
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

1.5 stars. Not quite an OK story for me. There were several deal-breakers here, including the "bland" narrator, the romance part, and the 1st person POV present tense narration, not to mention the science & technology parts that weren't detailed enough.

First, present tense: I find it very difficult to make this type of narrative voice work, and often it just doesn't at all. I can't exactly pinpoint how exactly, but I know it made me cringe often enough that I stopped counting. It doesn't bother me so much in short stories, although I suspect that's because they're short and I don't have to trudge through that tense for a whole novel.

Second, Rhona herself. I couldn't bring myself to care. Sure, we have that first chapter scene, and it seems intense, and... that's all? After that, she wakes up as the "new" Rhona, yet it's difficult to compare her to the one she has supposedly replaced. Perhaps because the novel doesn't show us enough of the "original Rhona". Perhaps because the new one is too self-centered and not active enough to stand by herself, watching from the sidelines half the time. Of course there wouldn't be any point if she immediately found herself again, was the exact same person. I just wish she had been more than a woman who mostly behaved like a somewhat shy teenager—and this brings me to...

...The romance: too much of it, and, as in too many novels, the only real form of validation. The whole quest-for-humanity part, Rhona having to find out whether she IS Rhona or merely a carbon-copy without humanity nor soul, is definitely an interesting theme... but why do such things -always- have to be presented in the light of romance? As if only True Love (whatever that means) could validate one's existence. Who cares that Sam, her best friend, is with her all story long and doesn't give a fig about whether she's Rhona or not (for him, she's his friend, period)? The really important part is to find out when The One True Love finally acknowledges her. And I feel all these stories completely miss the point: that there is so much more to a person than their so-called significant other, that they're the sum of so many more factors than just that one restrictive form of love. Meanwhile...

... the machines, the science, the technology: too few and too little of those, considering the blurb that made me request the book at first. This story would've benefitted from more explanations when it came to the cloning part, considering how it permeated the whole narrative. Rhona is a physical clone, but her memories (or part of them) were also transplanted. How? A chip to map neural pathways and transfer data is briefly mentioned, yet much more was needed here to satisfy the vague scientist in me (I don't think I'm asking for too much here). As for the machines, they weren't present enough in order for the human survivors to be truly pitched against them, as well as for Rhona to be fully confronted to her new "nature" that, in a way, made her a biological machine. They felt more like the threat in the background, over-simplified, although they could've been made more "alive" (no pun intended here: I really think there was potential here for a chiasmus between human-Rhona-turned-thing and things/machines-turned-sentient).

This novel should've grabbed my interest, for sure, but it turned out it wasn't for me. Alas.
Profile Image for Brian.
1 review4 followers
August 11, 2016
MACHINATIONS is what every TERMINATOR sequel after T2 should have been.

In her riveting debut, Hayley Stone deftly weaves the story of a woman whose life was literally taken from her, only to be reborn as a clone of herself. Not only is she the hero who must lead the ramshackle remains humanity against their artificial oppressors, Rhona Long also has to reassemble the pieces of her own shattered self and reclaim a life that’s not actually hers. Rhona is a truly badass, but flawed female hero in the tradition of Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley and Imperator Furiosa.

Stone’s writing is tremendous - full of crisp descriptions, snappy dialogue and strong metaphors. From page one, the reader is submerged in the horror of MACHINATIONS’ world and her skillful prose takes you on a breakneck ride from there. But beyond the vivid recounting of a robopocalypse, MACHINATIONS’ biggest takeaway for me was the depth of relationship between Rhona and the two male main characters - one her former self’s lover and the other her childhood friend. I empathized with Rhona’s struggles - juggling the relationships of a life she didn’t live, while reconciling who she is now and own place in a world she’s tasked to save.

The bonds of friendship and love that Stone explores were one of the great strengths of MACHINATIONS for me. Against the backdrop of a robotic doomsday, Stone’s focus on the joy, the heartbreak and ultimately the enduring spirit of human relationships imbues MACHINATIONS with a tangible sense of hopefulness that stories in its genre often fail to convey. Highly recommended for anyone seeking a story with a great mix of intense action sequences and heartfelt character moments.
Profile Image for Kate Studer.
Author 2 books12 followers
August 27, 2016
This book is exactly what my summer had been missing. It'd been a while since I read a strong female-led sci-fi and Machinations delivered across the boards. I was never really a big terminator fan, but this book takes those themes and runs with them in some really intriguing--and thrilling--directions. An incredibly solid debut; I can't wait to see what else Hayley has in store.
Profile Image for Mandy.
366 reviews19 followers
October 13, 2016
Thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy of this book.

I really enjoyed this book! Part Hunger Games, part classic "the machines have taken over", and just a dash of human cloning. Can't wait for the sequel(s)!!

Click here for full review.
Profile Image for Clare O'Beara.
Author 21 books329 followers
September 17, 2016
I have already read the second book in the series so I can tell you that the war we see waged by machine intelligence against people is ongoing and gets more violent. This book starts off that way but we quickly see Rhona Long, in Alaska, getting neutralised by robots. Then another version of Rhona has to be woken, told she is a clone, and instructed to continue the fight.

This tale is set in Alaska where a band of survivors hide out and rearm. As it's not too long after the war began we get told what happened - the AI machines were given orders to end wars and the best way to achieve the end was to kill all the humans. But various AIs are competing, in various countries. The humans too have to wonder if they are infiltrated.

The clone aspect is what makes this book different and that continues in the second book. We start to wonder about identity, personality, experience and innate knowledge. I wasn't sure that all Rhona's memories would be transferred nor did I see why an army would want a clone to take charge. But we accept that the author is asking a question and seeing how far she can take the situation. Very oddly the humans, who tote EMP grenades, are happy to go on using their tech from central heating to communication, when just about everything has a chip in it today and most of those chips are net enabled. Also why are they hanging around in a cold country when they could go to the tropics and have an advantage over the computers?

I don't recommend this for young people and suggest it is a New Adult book.
Don't get too attached to anyone.

I downloaded a copy from Net Galley for an unbiased review.
Profile Image for Rosalyn Eves.
Author 10 books648 followers
July 30, 2016
I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of apocalyptic sci-fi--sometimes they hit too close to home! But MACHINATIONS by Hayley Stone was fantastic. I was sucked in by the emotional heft of the first chapter, and the book swept on, fast-paced and full of heart. Rhona Long is a terrific heroine--not flawless, but strong and hard-working and trying hard to make a world for the people she cares about in the wake of a terrifying robot apocalypse. (Really, the story was more frightening for both the plausibility of its villains and their absolute implacability. Human villains, you have some hope of appealing to their sense of mercy, however miniscule.)

But what really made the story sing for me was not the heart-pounding plot, but the friendship between Rhona and Sam, and a slowly building romance. As difficult and unfriendly and cold as their new world was, the story still gave Rhona abundant reasons to live and to fight for life.

A fantastic debut novel.
Profile Image for Karen’s Library.
1,047 reviews159 followers
July 25, 2016
Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book to me in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately I had to DNF this at approximately 50%.

I received an email touting "perfect for fans of Red Rising" or something similar that really peaked my interest. Red Rising is a huge favorite of mine, so of course I needed to see what this one was about. And then the synopsis mentioned Robopocalypse and clones. Interesting combination and one that I thought would be interesting.

So far what I've read about is an angsty romance novel (will he or won't he) verging on the best friend also becoming a love interest (a love triangle) with a little sci-fi thrown in there.

If you're a fan of romance, this might be what you're looking for. Unfortunately, this book isn't really my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Marjolein (UrlPhantomhive).
2,360 reviews50 followers
August 10, 2017
3.5 Stars

Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

Machinations follows Rhonda, recently returned from the dead (she's a clone of her previous self) because her job, as a hallmark of the rebellion against the machines isn't over.

In this robot-apocalypse, where the bots have decided to fight 'the war to end all wars' by exterminating people, what drew me most was the struggles Rhonda had with coming to terms with one) dying and second) coming back.

It made a nice and interesting read and I certainly plan to read the sequel as well.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Sarena Ulibarri.
Author 31 books72 followers
September 2, 2016
The Matrix meets Mockingjay, with a few hints of Aeon Flux—at least around the clone theme. The action was great, but the high points for me were the character interactions that touch on what it means to be a clone, or a human, in a world where machines have decided we can't make our own choices. Definitely a worthwhile read for science fiction fans. I already pre-ordered the sequel.
Profile Image for Abner.
49 reviews2 followers
June 24, 2016
Big imaginations and thoughts that made ​​me do this magnificent book
Profile Image for Rosalyn Eves.
Author 10 books648 followers
October 3, 2016
Engaging, thrilling look at a post-modern world overrun by robots determined to save the world from humanity. Fast-paced, well-wrought relationships.
Profile Image for Hannah.
1,989 reviews28 followers
August 2, 2016

"By the time Skynet became self-aware it had spread into millions of computer servers across the planet. Ordinary computers in office buildings, dorm rooms, everywhere. It was software in cyberspace. There was no system core. It could not be shut down. The attack began at 6:18 p.m., just as he said it would. Judgment Day. The day the human race was nearly destroyed by weapons they'd built to protect themselves. I should have realized our destiny was never to stop Judgment Day. It was merely to survive it together. The Terminator knew. He tried to tell us but I didn't want to hear it. Maybe the future has been written. I don't know. All I know is what the Terminator taught me: Never stop fighting. And I never will. The battle has just begun."

Okay, That's from Terminator, but this book is very similar. It's kind of like Salvation where it takes place all in the future. The AI's have become self aware and in that they have decided that mankind is the enemy. It started off with the self flying planes crashing and killing everyone on board, self driving cars, and public transit doing the same. The machines were attacking and whatever happened you never wanted to be taken alive. In some parts it reminded me of The Matrix Revolutions in the day to day life underground. And in both cases of Terminator and Matrix there is a single person everyone looks to for salvation and hope. I found this book to be very entertaining. Hayley Stone is a wonderful storyteller, I got lost in this futuristic world. It was a little slow at parts but the action more than made up for that.

Rhona Long wanted to be an actress what she got was the leader of the rebel force fighting against the machines. To bad she dies at the beginning of the book, smart of her to realize this was a probability and worked with her best friend a scientific genius to create her own clone. Rhona was the face of the rebels and she knew if she died they just might lose hope. She only told two other people what she was doing, not even her boyfriend/second-in-command Camus. It's been six months since her death, Camus and the others in charge decided not to tell anybody of her death only that she was MIA not wanting them to lose faith in their mission. Rhona and Samuel make it back to base barely and now Camus is having a hard time adjusting to the clone Rhona. That breaks Rhona's heart because as far as she knows she still loves him. Anyways, They continue to fight, there are attempts on Rhona's life and one of the other underground bases are attacked. They know it's a trap but they can't leave any fellow humans behind so sending out an SOS to everyone left they charge in to save the day.

I love how this book's timeline is spread out as much as it is, it's more believable than if everything happened all at once. Overall, "There is a storm on the horizon. A time of hardship and pain. This battle has been won, but the war against the machines rages on. Skynet's global network remains strong, but we will not quit, until all of it is destroyed. This is John Connor. There is no fate but what we make." Yes yes yes that's from Terminator also but it fits, the second book, Counterpart, is due out in October. I really did enjoy this one even if it reminded me of Terminator Fan Fiction.
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,687 reviews22 followers
January 31, 2017
*I received an electronic ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

I just wanted more out of this book. More about the machines - who/what is this higher echelon? How did Rhona's memories of death get transferred if her body was never recovered? Just, eh.

I was extremely upset as it was marketed to me as "for fans of Red Rising " This is not like Red Rising at all!!

UPDATE: Just saw there is a sequel, Counterpart, I will not be reading it.
Profile Image for Mary Ann Marlowe.
Author 10 books337 followers
December 27, 2016
Machinations is a fast-paced post-apocalyptic sci-fi based in our world in some not-to-distant future where the machines have turned on us. I saw this book compared to the Matrix meets The Hunger Games and as I got further along, I could totally see where that comp came from. Rhona is a Mockingjay type figure in a world that desperately needs heroes. She's a snarky wise-ass much of the time, but she's also caring and extremely likable. She's also a clone of herself which is was a totally new premise to me and I thought it added a cool complexity to the story, raising philosophical questions about what is a person's identity?

There's a love story and a ton of action, so you know - awesome.
7 reviews
October 1, 2016
Man vs. machine

Captivating characters. Ingenious plot. Gripping action. Very timely with all the current work on AI.
Read this on your vacation so that you don't have to put it down.
Where can I find the sequel?
Profile Image for Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight).
875 reviews119 followers
August 6, 2016
3.5 Stars

Full Review:
*I received a free ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I went into this book expecting it to be all action and robots but was pleasantly surprised to find it was actually all emotion and people. Yes, there was some action and robots, but that really wasn��t the focus.

I was also pleasantly surprised at the way the author didn’t gloss over the clone thing. Because of that, this book ended up being a really thought-provoking look at the emotional and psychological ramifications of being a clone (in Rhona’s case), loving someone who was cloned (in Camus’s case), and even creating a clone (in Samuel’s case).

See, I have my own beliefs on what makes a person who they are, and I don’t believe a clone would be the same person as the original. So, for that reason, I understood Camus’s side of things. He loved Rhona before she died, but he didn’t love this clone because, to him, she wasn’t Rhona. And having to see the face of this person he loved and having to pretend for the unknowing masses that she was the original Rhona while he was still grieving had to have been terrible for him. But I also understood Rhona’s side of things. She had most of the memories and feelings that the original Rhona had, so she did still know and love Camus the way the original did. And being treated like she was a stranger by Camus had to have been terrible for her. And because I understood both characters, I felt for both characters and felt really conflicted. Neither one of them had it easy in that scenario, and seeing the two of them cope with all that and try to figure out their new relationship was my favorite thing about the book.

Then there was the whole issue with Rhona just trying to deal with her situation. She knew she wasn’t the original, and she was missing a bunch of the memories because the process didn’t quite work right, so she herself felt confused and not quite whole and like she was trying to live up to her predecessor.

Samuel’s feelings about having created a clone weren’t ever really explored, but it was clear that it did have some sort of emotional effect on him too. He was so opposite Camus in the way he immediately accepted Rhona as being the same person, he was an amazing friend to Rhona, and he’s actually the character I’m most interested in knowing more about.

As for the plot, there was still some action. There were some fights against robots, military-like missions, explosions, etc. And the author did a good job of keeping it personal, even amidst the action.

I had a few issues though. For one thing, the book was more sci-fi than I’m used to, what with all the technology, machines, military stuff, etc. I also felt like I was thrown into the deep end when it first started; I didn’t know what was going on or understand anything about the world. To be honest, I still feel a little confused about the world and how exactly Rhona became the commander of her group. It was explained at least somewhat, but I think it may have went over my head.

I also didn’t really connect with the characters. I liked them, I felt for them with all the clone stuff I mentioned, I was sad when anyone died, etc., but they were a little too heroic and not quite flawed enough for my taste. That doesn’t mean other people won’t connect with them though; I think anyone who likes military characters will like them more.

So overall, I loved how character-focused and thought-provoking this book was, and while it might’ve been a little more sci-fi than what I normally go for, it was a well-written book, and I’m really glad I read it!

Recommended For:
Readers who like a lot of sci-fi but who also like emotion and character-focused books. Anyone who likes thought-provoking books.

Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight
Profile Image for Margaret Fisk.
Author 24 books37 followers
August 19, 2016
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

Rise of the machines is a popular premise that is easy to do badly, in my opinion, too often influenced by the Terminator movies. Machinations does have one thing in common with those movies in that much of the book occurs at a dead run. However, just when I thought it would stay that way, the book segues into a multilayered people story that asks questions of personhood and personality as well as looking at what it takes to step forward and become a hero despite the risks. Not only that, but the explanation behind the machine uprising is one of the rare premises in this trend that make sense.

The story centers on a great war against the results of human lack of foresight. The enemies (machines built to end human war) are alien and unknowable, except when they are not because of observation or knowledge of their original code. These are not humanoid robots who act like people but rather thinking machines adapted and designed with one task in mind. It’s how they have interpreted the task of ending war that brings us to a place where humanity clings to a few safe havens, and even there, they know the safety is half-illusion.

The book starts in the middle of a life and death struggle, one that “our heroes” are losing badly. Still, even in the beginning, it took me from observing complete strangers to making a connection with two of the main characters, Rhona and Camus. It also sets up the rest of the story in the best way.

Yes, the book most definitely has nail-biting moments with striving for something bigger, and heroic efforts in the face of overwhelming odds. These are well written, inspiring, and stressful in the right ways.

However, what made this into a book where I searched for another moment to read is the people and their interactions. This is no simple story with one-dimensional characters. Even secondary characters have motivations and flaws.

There is politics, leadership, belief in one’s own purpose, and the strength in quiet moments. There’s desperation, loss, and out-of-the-box thinking that balances high risks against the greater good. I enjoyed the rousing speeches, but the characters’ analysis of motivation and goals among the different bases was excellent. Heck, there’s even a love triangle to shake things up.

There were one, maybe two, small continuity issues that bugged me about the world building. Ultimately, the story carried me along well enough that I let them go, preferring to focus on a complex human drama presented in such a way as to ask the big questions and make me care about the answers.

I connected with the characters, was put in positions where I had to ask myself what I would have done, and worried about the characters who got themselves in dangerous situations. There are funny moments and sweet ones, as well. Just enough to think humanity could still recover if they win rather than be so destroyed by the war they are no longer human. Well worth the read.

P.S. I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Meigan.
1,107 reviews67 followers
August 23, 2016
In this first installment of the Machinations series, author Hayley Stone gives readers an interesting and mechanical twist on her version of the apocalypse.

In this new and altered world, machines are now the enemy. Once a manmade creation that was supposed to benefit humans, the machines have staged a coup and have essentially turned against their creators. The machines want the humans destroyed; the surviving humans have no other alternative than to hide deep underground and find a way to stop the machines from taking over the world. Add in a bit of human cloning, and Stone really created a multi-dimensional and layered story.

While I really enjoyed this first installment, there were several things I took issue with, the first being time jumps. Personally, "weeks have passed" is one of my pet peeves, being that not only is the reader not privy to much that happened in that span of time, but the author plays a bit of "fill in the blanks", and really gives a whole lot of tell, don't show. There were several important things that happened during these time jumps, but the most important to me was the mending of Camus' and Rhona's relationship. Much happened behind the scenes, taking away most of the believability and the actual relationship development. There were also several pivotal action sequences that fell into these time jumps, and I was left longing to actually witness how a few of the central characters wound up beaten and bloodied. Had these events been shown and not told, this would have been a solid 4. Unfortunately, having important events glossed over and receiving a token mention was the deciding factor for not only my overall enjoyment, but also my rating.

Bottom line - Stone can tell a good story, and I'm hoping that the things that bothered me in this first installment aren't present in subsequent books in this series, which I ultimately plan to read. I'm also hoping that Stone dives a little deeper into this new world, because while she did provide the basics of the hows and whys, I didn't fully grasp it all. Same with the relationships between characters, and I have hope that most of that will be explored further along in the series. There's a lot of uniqueness and a boatload of creativity involved in this version of the apocalypse, and I recommend Machinations based on that alone.

*eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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