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The Companions

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Station Eleven meets Never Let Me Go in this debut novel set in an unsettling near future where the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service by the living.

In the wake of a highly contagious virus, California is under quarantine. Sequestered in high rise towers, the living can’t go out, but the dead can come in—and they come in all forms, from sad rolling cans
Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Gallery/Scout Press
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Average rating 3.19  · 
Rating details
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Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it

Sixteen-year-old high school girls Lilac and Nikki are best friends who go to class together, eat lunch together, hang out together, and confide in each other about everything.

The best friends, however, have a fractious relationship with the school's 'in girls', and Lilac especially dislikes the ginger-haired queen bee she calls Red.

During a keg party, Lilac is looking for a quiet spot when she comes upon Red having sex with a tall husky jock. Lilac screams in surprise, people come running, and
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
*top 10 worst reads of 2019*
Maybe this book is not meant for me. I got so hyped up regarding the description of this one but I am hugely disappointed.

The first chapter started out good but yes, the chapters are so terribly long and it feels like the read was just dragging on and on. New character introduction and the various events described are somewhat too mundane considering it's a sci-fi dystopian kind of read. Considering the main theme tackled that is regarding quarantine, I couldn't see
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
Set in the future on the west coast of the United States, Companions have been created and leased into the mass market. Companions are machines that are given human consciousness - the human consciousness of a formerly living person. The Companions vary in quality, some being a little more than a tin can and others looking and seeming human to the untrained eye. They are “command driven” and allegedly have safeguards in place to limit their abilities and keep them from rebelling or harming their ...more
Oct 04, 2018 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts  ·  review of another edition
THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. An uploaded consciousness able to defy commands goes in search of her murderer, damn
Thank you to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Companions.

I'm not an avid reader of sci-fi dystopian but I was excited when my request was approved because...hello! Robots! Who doesn't love 'em and who isn't waiting for them to go nuts?

** Minor spoilers ahead **

The premise is a strong but familiar one; after a virus has decimated most of the population, survivors are sequestered in their homes.

The wealthy have one reprieve, the ability to upload their consciousness before death into a
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
From the description I thought I would love this but it was a rough read. I think it was a very good idea and that it just needed a lot more working, it read a bit like an outline/rough draft. I will definitely keep an eye out for future works by this author though.
Lou Jacobs
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Sadly I expected so much more from this novel. The premise of this debut novel of Katie Flynn alone earns a 3 Star rating ... however, the execution leaves me with a hollow feeling. Humanity has always searched for immortality ... although not possible physically the possibility of digital immortality is extremely tantalizing.. The Metis Corporation has developed the technology to upload the brain digitally at the time of death ... not only the memories and data are retained but also ...more
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

DNF at 25%

CW: murder, death, and plague

I thought that this would be like that one Black Mirror episode where Hayley Atwell was able to bring her husband back by having his thoughts uploaded into a cloud database. But this book was very different from that. It's told in random perspectives about Lilac's journey to find out what happened the day that she died. Sure, she remembers it, but she doesn't know what else happened besides her
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book has a good premise, and parts of it are quite good, but it doesn't quite gel into a coherent whole.

The basic idea here is that a megacoroporation figures out a way to upload people's minds into computers upon death, and those minds are then put into robot bodies (of varying quality depending on how much one is willing to pay). Consciousness remains. Sounds great, right? Except that the "people" are regarded as the intellectual property of the megacorp, and are leased to living
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I was really drawn to this book as I love dystopian fiction, and the idea that in death you can be uploaded as a "companion" robot is intriguing in itself! What I liked about the novel was not only did it force me to think outside the box, but it also forced me to do a complete paradigm shift to understand the storyline. What was difficult was there were so many narrators that I got lost trying to remember who was related to whom and how did they all fit together. Perhaps it's just my pea brain ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A futuristic page-turner though that type of future might not be as distant as once can expect. I truly enjoyed the complexity of the characters and appreciated the educated landscape of the story.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through a giveaway hosted on GoodReads.

The Companions is a fascinating work of near-future science fiction, in which the technology to upload the consciousness of the recent-dead has become commonplace. For those of means, this means having their family members uploaded so that they may return to them in a new body. For others, however, such as a young organ donor named Lilac who was uploaded when the projects was still in its experimental
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book in return for a fair and honest review.

The Companions offers something a bit different from standard dystopian science fiction - for one thing, although there are certainly dystopian elements, particularly during the earlier parts of the book, this is not a book showing "the world has gone to ruins, how will we manage" type book. There is an epidemic, which creates the basic scenario here - people stay inside, but can lease companions.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was intrigued by this book-the cover, the supposed premise. But it only took a few pages to realize I wasn’t going to like it. They jumped right in without much backstory or description. I couldn’t picture the world she had created. There was terminology that wasn’t defined. It was confusing. I found the book’s summary to be deceiving. I thought it would be an adventure, suspense story of a person who was killed and became a droid/companion and sought revenge on the person who killed her and ...more
Devorah Heitner
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, weird and gripping story. The characters themselves and the intersections of the character's stories are very satisfying. Stayed up all night to finish this novel!
Jen Larsen
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, so subtle and moving, and unexpected at every turn. The world building is prescient, flawless and seamless, so that it feels like a real near-future dystopia in the background, not requiring explanation, but simply working as the world through which these characters moved. I read it in a sitting and enjoyed it from start to finish.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Won this book through a good reads giveaway and had no expectations. I really enjoyed the futuristic seeds it planted for me to further imagine on my own a life in this society without going overboard. Was a pretty easy read and I couldn’t put it down. Read it in a few days which isn’t typical of me. Read a few other reviews and have to disagree with the character introduction. I liked how each character was presented and there were not too many to confuse the story line. And as I said, the ...more
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Like many others, I was immediately drawn to this book due to the comparisons between it and Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go. Those are two of my all-time favorite novels, and I feel like the bar was set incredibly high because of that.

A lot of the reviews I am seeing for this title are focusing on the number of character narratives we get. I personally disagree that is it too many. For a book of this scope, I feel that the number of character perspectives we get is really refreshing. I felt
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book started great, but went downhill fast for me. I was intrigued by the premise and the first few chapters were ok. I found myself skimming a lot. I just stopped caring about which conciousnesses were put in their third, fourth, etc. body and even the mystery of how the original character was betrayed which lead to her death was no longer appealing. I read one third of the book and then couldn't convince myself to keep reading. It was too confusing. I would like to thank Netgalley, the ...more
I was very intrigued by the concept - the human consciousness is uploaded into machines, after death, to turn them into companions. The story is engaging but loses its way with too many characters. It’s an interesting, innovative concept, with the story starting off with a companion setting out on a journey to seek answers surrounding her death but it soon unravels as it criss-crosses with different humans and companions.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you Netgalley for providing me this ARC of The Companions by Katie M. Flynn.

In a world where a virus reeks havoc on society, forcing people inside, boredom and loneliness are combated by what is called "The Companion program." The idea is that people who have passed away can have their personality downloaded and put into whatever machine is afforded to them. The lucky (and wealthy) get to keep loved ones as their companions, but the less fortunate are rented out to homes, often treated
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was not for me. Is it YA or just written that way? Also, the different perspectives didn’t add anything to the story.

Thanks NETGALLEY for the ARC
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
This was such an interesting book. I loved the idea of human consciousness being uploading for future companionship--it made me think about The Perfect Wife, which I recently just finished and found compelling as well as thought provoking.

The writing is smooth and the story well-paced, though if you're like me and jump around in with your books, you might find it tricky to navigate back into, given the number of narratives. But overall, a good read, and I'd recommend checking it out if you like
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't love sci-fi. I'm not wild about poorly drawn, outlandish situations superimposed on reality to force a thin moral conundrum.

This, however, was the opposite - an actual novel with intricate structure, involved characters and, well, yes, a little AI.
Matthew Lloyd
Lilac was a teenage girl, until she was murdered and her consciousness was uploaded into the body of a Companion. In the quarantined apartment blocks of California, Companions keep isolated individuals entertained with stories of their lives and, well, companionship. But when Lilac realises that she can disobey her programming and escape, she sets off to find the woman who killed her - and ends up finding much more.

The first chapter of The Companions has a slightly awkward style, and I found
Feb 15, 2020 rated it liked it
The premise of The Companions is intriguing: waves of plague isolate and terrify an overgrown population, and science has developed the technology to upload a person’s consciousness into a robotic “shell” allowing a life to continue past death. These shells run from the very basic (a plastic rolling can with hooks for hands and a slow processor) to high-end models that can grow skin and pass for human. These robots are Companions. They are owned by the corporation that created them and leased ...more
Annette Jordan
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Billed as a blend of Station Eleven and Never Let You Go, The Companions by Katie M Flynn is a dystopian tale set in a believably sketched version of the future where the consciousness and memories of the dying can be uploaded into machines. In theory nobody can own such a consciousness, they cannot be bought or sold, but in practice they become the property of the Metis Corporation which owns the technology, and are often leased out as companions., and depending on the amount of money the ...more
A dystopian sci-fi novel that is far too close to reality for comfort....

A pandemic sweeps through the US during which quarantines are mandated. Neither the living or the dead are allowed to leave. There are people trapped in towers who are both stir-crazy and lonely. Metis, a tech company, comes to the rescue with “companions.” Download the brain with all of its electrical currents, memories, and emotions, into a robotic body – some with skin for a more human like touch. These creations are
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A haunting glimpse into one possible future.

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Where I live now is a blank space. I imagine you live somewhere similar. I can fill it with light, with sorrow, drench it in horror, erase it all with an ocean roar. I can fill it with memories, you putting on your sister’s clothes, Lea! I can remember her name—I don’t know why. There are washes of gray nothing where whole years should be, but I remember thinking something bad
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
I received an ARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

After a contagious virus hits California, humans are quarantined for years unable to go outside. For those that can afford it, Metis Corporation offers the companionship program as an option...a human consciousness that has been uploaded to a synthetic body, rented out to in order to provide interaction free of contagion. The companions are a command driven AI, created to carry out the orders of their handlers.
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