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First of Their Kind

(Chronicles of Theren #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  73 reviews

Synthetic Intelligence.
Thought impossible, but Dr. Wallace Theren has pushed the boundaries of computational science, creating an artificial mind capable of conscious thought. Naturally, his creation faces a harsh world bent on using it, exploiting it, or destroying it. If the first synthetic intelligence is to survive its early years, it'll need friends, but more importa

ebook, 242 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by Two Doctors Media Collaborative LLC (first published April 24th 2019)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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Tim Trent
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is this science fiction?

I read about relationships, identity of selves, identity of self, difference, fear of difference. I learnt how confusing yet how right the pronoun 'they' was in this case, yet how complex it makes reading about them when their actions are reported.

Entwined in this complexity is a tale about a being we can't quite envisage today, though it doesn't take the suspension of too much disbelief to understand some of the facets of their essence. The being depends upon external en
Kelly Masters
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Now, I am a sucker for AI stories and such, and I'm so glad I was able to read this book. Many stories about artificial (or synthetic, as it's called in this story) life revolve around typical Terminator-like plots, how we're all going to suffer and die horribly, but this story is a refreshing change of pace, even though there are terrorists in the book who still have these fears. Life is about change. It's about adapting and evolving. My thoughts about who the antagonists were evolved as the s ...more
Scott Arbuckle
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
"First of Their Kind" is the intriguing story of the birth of a Synthetic Intelligence. The book echoes with issues that are relevant in our current time, such as hate crimes, gender identity and personal pronouns, and telegraphs what those problems might look like a generation from now as faced by non-human, non-binary entities.

To begin, I'm one of those guys that prefers real science in my science-fiction, and Tavenor delivers admirably on that front. There's enough tech to plausibly explain
AJ Deane
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
C. D. Tavenor's first novel is a good one, in what is due to be a centuries-spanning series (that's in terms of the writing, not the publication - unless there's something Tavenor isn't telling us..!).
The characters - especially the development of the SI ('synthetic intelligence', rather than AI - 'artificial intelligence') from 'infancy' - were really well-rounded and handled. The world building was totally believable, though this is often the way with a near-future setting. The storyline struc
Victorique Crawford
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marian Thorpe
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cogito, ego sum, Rene Descartes wrote in 1644. Is it the ability to think that make us human? And if so, what is a synthetic intelligence that learns, reasons, extrapolates, infers, and doubts?
That question is at the heart of C.D. Tavenor's novel First of Their Kind. Centred on the birth of the first true synthetic intelligence, Theren – their self-chosen name – faces both acceptance and hatred as they become known to the world and takes on a role in its future. Within this context, Tavenor asks
S.E. MacCready
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's clear a lot of thought went into making a complex and thought-provoking narrative. The story focuses on Theren, an SI, and whether or not they have a soul. It's a question that is common in Hard SciFi, but was approached from an entirely different angle in First of Their Kind--from the mind of the SI themself.

Using the singular pronoun "they" was a clever parallel to current events, and also demonstrated the ease in which the pronoun can be used. It helps characterize an SI main character
Ashley Nicole
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Immersive science fiction

I've always enjoyed science fiction for the escapism factor, not so much for realism. However, this book masterfully did both. From the very beginning, even though the POV was that of the SI character, I was sucked in. The vivid descriptions and well described feeling made the book very immersive.

The characters were described and acted in ways that truly made me feel for them when bad things happened. When Jill was introduced though, I had some opposition to her charact
John Sterling
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
First of Their Kind seeks to explore the emergence of synthetic intelligence from the perspective of the emergent intelligence itself. I’ve not read any book which takes such an angle, so the premise piqued my interest from the start. I’ll break this review up into spoiler and non-spoiler sections. That way, if you want to read my opinions about specific things and berate me for them, you have the freedom to do so.


Set in the late twenty-first century, First of Their Kind follows the “
Moondust Moth
DNF @ 17%

Didn't grab my attention. I kept getting bored and putting it down, forgetting about it forever and not really wanting to pick it back up.

eARC provided by Two Doctors Media Collaborative LLC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rachael Krotec
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don Viecelli
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Book Review Number 187:

This review is on First Of Their Kind (Chronicles of Theren Book 1) by C.D. Tavenor. This is the first book I have read by this author. It is a Sci-Fi tale of the first Synthetic or Artificial Intelligence entity to achieve conscious thought or self-aware mind. The breakthrough leads to all kinds of disruptions in societal norms and religious thought. It begs the question, what legal and human rights will artificial minds have?

The first Chronicle begins in the year 2048
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“First of Their Kind,” is an almost perfect science fiction read. The story follows the first Synthetic Intelligence “Theren as they learn to interact with the world. What makes Theren different from an Artificial Intelligence is that Their thought processes while synthetic are a result of interacting with the world. They process information and learn from sensory experiences. They talk to people, they read articles, they see, hear, and interact with the world around them.

This story is deeply p
Iestyn James
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The First of Their Kind is the first book I've ever read that humanises artificial intelligence.

The plot is slow but meticulous; no content serves as filler. Every scene serves a purpose, whether developing the plot or the fantastic characters within them. The only problem I have with the plot is that I found it hard to follow sometimes, and this is a densely-packed book that often requires your attention. There is a lot of detail in the story, and I loved the almost-cyclical ending!

For me, the
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
|| Book Review - First of Their Kind ||
4 Stars, ****/5

I was provided an eARC copy of this book from the fine folks at @netgalley and @twodoctorsmedia and @tavenorcd for review.

This was SO much fun! Scifi and fantasy are the two genres that I've loved for the longest, and loved the deepest, and this is such a fun book! It hearkens back to the greats like Philip K Dick and Ray Bradbury in its examination of our human relationship with artificial intelligence.

"Synthetic Intelligence
J. D. King
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
First of Their Kind is not only an enjoyable story, but also a nuanced look at near-future technology and consciousness, told through the perspective of a character in a unique position to experience and influence these changes first hand.

The story focuses on the titular character and their inner circle, and seeing the story unfold through their eyes allows us to sympathize with a character in a way we could not from an outside perspective. The in depth look into this character’s mindset is part
C.C. Francis
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating and well-executed take on artificial (or "synthetic") intelligence and how it might change the near future. It's especially timely today, and it asks all the right questions.

If you are at all a fan of science fiction (and even if you're not), you should really take a look at this. The prose was excellent. The characters were well-defined. I found the pages turning very quickly.


Writing - The prose was excellent. There was very little to find fault with here. This
Eles Jackson
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I am not usually a sci-fi reader so I had a tad bit of a hard time with some of the jargon and acronyms used in this book. I also wish there would have been a little more explanation to what Wallace's initial plan was for the AI's, because I didn't understand what it was he felt they would accomplish that caused so much controversy and hatred from others.
One aspect of the book I found a bit unnerving was the AI going by the pronoun "they". Reading that in multiple paragraphs started to get a bit
C.A. Lende
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
First of their kind is interesting. Theren is the first conscious mechanical being, and as expected, a large group of people revolt against such a thing. First of Their Kind deals with Theren trying all he can to persuade mankind that consciousness can exist within the shell of machinery and circuitry.
The book has memorable characters and following Theren's logical mind is quite interesting. Natural enemies arise, that might have more to them than simply being the bad guy, bringing interesting c
Sarah Connor
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is proper, hardcore scifi - it feels like this could happen within my lifetime - and like proper scifi it has space to explore the big questions - what is sentience? what is life? who do we grant the status of personhood to? Theren is undoubtedly intelligent, undoubtedly a person - they are alien, but recognisable as an individual. Watching them work themselves out, and grow in emotional understanding, is fascinating.

We are priveleged, of course, to meet Theren. The world around them finds
G.M. Nair
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First of Their Kind is an amazing sci-fi novel that harkens back to the days of classic Asimov, both in tone and mentality. The book is unique in its handling of AI from the inside out, depicting the classic man-vs-machine conflict as one of social persecution from the AI's perspective. Instead of fearing the AIs, we are tuned to empathize with them and see many of our modern struggles filtered through a futuristic lens, as all good science fiction should be.

It is well-written, amazingly intro(a
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really got into this book right away. Its a surprisingly humanistic and awkwardly heartfelt from the perspective of the world's first Synthetic Intelligence. I found myself really feeling for SI Theren as they navigating their self imposed personal responsibility to the human race while learning what it means to be human, and asserting their rights as such.

The book floats an extraordinary future that seems fantastic yet plausible, with logical extrapolations based on current politics and the
Clint Robert
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and tantalizing read

This story hooked me because of the real world parallels. Tavenor definitely spins a good story. At first I wasn’t sure how I’d love the character Theren, but he won me over! I recommend it.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating storyline…

I have never seen a story based on this premise. Rich, fully developed character and believable intersections. The pace was slow however, the story was very good.

Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
An engrossing tale that is truly unpredictable, Remarkably vivid
characters and a chilling though of the future
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting scifi story which explores morality, tech, AI, and consciousness. I'll probably be thinking about this book for a few days. I was not totally engaged throughout, but that didn't hurt overall. There is some lack of character development, but this can be excused at time since AIs are involved. Solid scifi effort.

I really appreciate the ARC for review!!
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
D.H. Schleicher
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
C. D. Tavenor's debut novel, First of Their Kind, harkens back to the best work of Arthur C. Clarke. This is serious science fiction that focuses on well thought-out and researched science and its potential future applications. Most contemporary science fiction is more fantasy than anything, which made me turn away from the genre in recent years, but Tavenor lends heady philosophical, moral, and political questions to his tale of the first SI (Synthetic Intelligence) without ever getting too bog ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
( Format : Audiobook )
"Question everyone, everything, even your friends."
Artificial intelligence had always remained just that: artificial until Wallace Theren devised an entirely new way, a synthetic learning to, hopefully, produce synthetic intelligence. And with Test 43 he succeeded. After Wallace was assassinated, Test 43 took the name Tberen in honour and memory of the man, considered father. This is less a 'man-made-intelli gences-turning-on-their-creators' than a look back at humanity w
Emily Quinn
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s clear that C. D. Tavenor has a deep understanding and a burning passion for science and philosophy – the book was very descriptive and detailed in these areas. Not only does this help and educate the reader, but it also makes us so enthralled and keeps us interested. It was almost impossible to just read a page or two. I think this was why I managed to read through it so quickly!

This book exceeded a lot of my expectations and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I’d definitely recommend this
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C. D. Tavenor is a science fiction and fantasy author based in Columbus, Ohio.

He is excited to tell stories that engage readers beyond a desire for entertainment, whether through philosophical inspiration or social inquiry. A firm believer in connecting every piece of fiction to reality, whether through their themes or their settings, he hopes his writing binds readers to the real world.

When he'

Other books in the series

Chronicles of Theren (2 books)
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