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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  77 reviews
From the Hugo Award nominee S.B. Divya, Zero Dark Thirty meets The Social Network in this science fiction thriller about artificial intelligence, sentience, and labor rights in a near future dominated by the gig economy.

Welga Ramirez, executive bodyguard and ex-special forces, is about to retire early when her client is killed in front of her. It’s 2095 and people don’t us
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 2nd 2021 by Gallery / Saga Press
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Dan Most likely. The book isn't out yet officially, so you probably have an advanced review copy (ARC). It will go through at least one more pass at the p…moreMost likely. The book isn't out yet officially, so you probably have an advanced review copy (ARC). It will go through at least one more pass at the publisher before being released. (less)
S.B. Divya Yes, it is available in eBook. It's also in Audible if you have credits there.…moreYes, it is available in eBook. It's also in Audible if you have credits there.(less)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  96 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Do you enjoy reading books that challenge you to think?

It is the year 2095- and so many things have changed in the 75 years from now to then. Seriously such a good book- absolutely stunned with how loaded this book is with plot, characters, action, themes and character development. The writing is sharp- alternating views between two sisters-in-law who are also close friends- I would say best friends. Their worlds are different but their journeys parallel each other’s lives in many ways. These t
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Overall 5⭐

Character diversity: 5⭐

Worldbuilding: 5⭐

Pacing: 4⭐

Plot line wrap up: 5⭐

Ending: 5⭐

I loved this book, absolutely loved it. The merging of human with machine and possible sentient machines is one of my favorite things. This did it well in my opinion. It was hard to put down.

One of my favorite aspects of it was the way social media had changed by the time the story starts. Microdrones, small flying camera bots, infest the air. Everyone's actions are live streamed. If people like what they
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy a varied reading diet and was due a science fiction book. This was available on Netgalley and had an intriguing premise and good reviews, so, despite initial reservations, it was mission go. And turns out the reservations were well founded. There was something about the description of the book that didn’t quite excite me and neither did the book. Oh it tried, it really did. It had perfectly decent writing, a lot of grand ideas, tons of action, morals, etc. It had all the right qualities ...more
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book for review.

This is the most concept-heavy SF book that I've read in some time. It's set almost 100 years into the future, at the end of the twenty-first century. The main character, Welga Ramirez, is ex-military and now works as a Shield. Shields protect Funders from Protesters. All of these titles are essentially job/careers. Funders... fund new technological developments and provide employment, and protesters attack them when they go out in
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I LOVED this book. It hit me in my sci-fi sweet spot and didn't let go. A credit to Ms. Divya's writing. Her characters were all so different yet relatable and compelling and REAL. The world as she envisions it here? Yeah, I could ABSOLUTELY see it. I really enjoyed this story - give it a try! I got my copy as an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway ☺ ...more
Judy Lesley
Jan 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm surprised by how ambivalent I am with regard to this story. It should have been just right for me with the emphasis placed on artificial intelligence but this didn't strike me as a futuristic adventure of humans and AIs but a moral dilemma of how the AIs should be treated by humans. This world sounded like it would be interesting to read about because, essentially, all humans are addicted to pills of all types as augmentation for improving themselves. They even formulate their own drugs of c ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review of eGalley

In the world of 2095, technology has progressed to the point that basic chores are nonexistent, furniture reforms itself into various pieces as needed, the kitchen cooks the food, and Artificial Intelligence thrives. People take a variety of pills to keep various illnesses at bay, to enhance their capabilities, to compete with artificial intelligence. They no longer have permanent jobs; they supervise the bots and the gig economy keeps them working at short-term projects and the
Beth Cato
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, netgalley, 2021
I received an advanced copy of this book via Netgalley.

The year 2021 has just started, but I already know this is one of the best new science fiction books I will read this year. It's that good. Divya has created an utterly immersive future that is plausible and spooky all at once.

Welcome to a future Earth where designer drugs help people work and think faster in order to keep them competitive with advanced machines. Everyone has personal drone clouds that broadcast their activities to the world
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was ok
I'm truly sorry that I could not make it past 25% of this book. The synopsis pulled me in but the execution just wasn't for me. This is a dense complicated novel that gives us a flimsy back story, shallow characters, and a glimpse at what could be.

I understand that the biggest issue is should/could artificial intelligence be considered human (I think that's what it was!) Should AI not be treated as slaves, pets, or unpaid labor. I think the story goes deeper than that but I just don't have the i
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
Really interesting ideas, a bit heavy on info-dumping type content at times, but still enjoyable. Full review to come!
Poornima Vijayashanker
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I did find the premise of the book to be interesting and realistic. I could see gig workers in the future having to take drugs to compete with robots and automation. Also having it set in Chennai with references to its culture hit close to home for me.

Initially, the author does a good job of developing the primary characters along with the supporting characters and antagonists. But towards the middle and end the situations they are put in and their reactions to those situations don't seem deep
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-read
Book Review: Machinehood
Author: S.B. Divya
Publisher: Gallery / Saga Press
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Review Date: November 4, 2020

From the blurb:
“From the Hugo Award nominee S.B. Divya, Zero Dark Thirty meets The Social Network in this science fiction thriller about artificial intelligence, sentience, and labor rights in a near future dominated by the gig economy.

Welga Ramirez, executive bodyguard and ex-special forces, is about to retire early when her client is killed in front of her. It’s
Jenna Freedman
Oct 23, 2020 rated it liked it
I hung in as long as I could, but despite solid, plausible world building and complex (yet decipherable) characters, it was just taking too long to get where it was going. I stopped reading at 19% finished, per the NetGalley ereader, which I have to say is a little buggy. I was just as invested (or maybe more so!) in secondary character Nithya, her family's primary breadwinner who was dealing with an unwanted pregnancy and an anti-choice husband.

Recommended for folks interested in/terrified of
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2/26/2021 3.5 stars rounded up for great ideas. Full review tk at

3/1/2021 Set at the end of the 21st century, this sci-fi novel follows the stories of two sisters-in-law who will both prove pivotal in the fight against the terrorist organization known as the Machinehood.

Eighty years from now, people are heavily reliant on technology and weak artificial intelligences (known as WAIs) to perform the most mundane tasks, leading to increased joblessness as humans need to do
Lou Jacobs
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
A chilling tale of the consequences of escalating need for technology. All are aware that technology is as addictive as every escapist, feel-good drug. People were originally horrified with the thought of tiny nanomachines tinkering with their bodies. In this near future world we have drugs and pills (actually nanomachines) that can aid us in every endeavor. There exists a huge and expanding market for these "enhancement" pills. "Juvers" for muscle recovery and repair. "Flow" to enhance focus an ...more
Erin (roostercalls)
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Modern society has found itself at the mercy of an oligarchy whose primary objective is to accrue power. They have done this by dividing human labor into two classes: designers and gigsters. The former are exploited for their cognitive power, while the latter rely on low-skilled, transient forms of work for hire.” —Machinehood, S.B. Divya
Happy pub day to MACHINEHOOD, an action-packed and delightfully non-Eurocentric novel that challenges the goals & unintended consequences of technological pro
Kay Brooks
Oct 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Machinehood, A Futuristic Novel

If this is the future in 2095 I’m glad I won’t be here to see it. Everything is controlled by AI and people have nothing to do except take pills to enhance themselves and keep them well. Welga Ramirez is a bodyguard by profession who is called out to fight when there is a disturbance. Fighting is not all that dangerous, though, people are not supposed to kill anyone, just maim and disable them until they can get the necessary treatment and pills to heal their wound
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
As is often the case with cutting edge sci-fi, it takes more than a couple of pages to acclimate to the language used, but once you do, the story does take off. Through the use of words, Divya conveys a different time and place not too far from our own to be unidentifiable but distant enough to feel strange. For example, we all know what a kitchen is… the place where food is stored and cooked. In MACHINEHOOD, a kitchen is an automated unit that not only prepares food but biologicals and other th ...more
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, giveaways
It's 2095 and luddites worst nightmare is happening - there is not enough jobs for humans and the machines. To make people competitive and match the skills of WAI (Weak Artificial Intelligence), they are forced to take pills that enhance focus, speed, strength etc. The corporations are no longer existing (no idea what happened with them) and they are replaced by the vague idea of all-powerful and money-thirsty oligarchs (who they are exactly is never explained). The way of life is dramatically d ...more
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was good, an interesting setting, the main character (although a combat badass soldier type) actually has a family who actually interact with her in the course of the book (her sister in law is a viewpoint character as well in fact), plus the resolution is unusual too. I certainly hope the setting of the book never comes to be, but it might be on its way...
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Strider
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Pros: brilliant worldbuilding, interesting characters, thought-provoking, international setting


Olga (Welga) Ramirez only has a few months of shield work left before she ages out of it, which is why she’s ready to ignore the tremors her zips (enhancement drugs) seem to be causing. To placate her boyfriend, she asks her sister-in-law, Nithya, a biogeneticist, to look into it.

Protecting drug manufacturing funders from protesters as a shield is a semi-dangerous but rewarding and steady job in a
Lacey Mubanga
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway-wins
2.5 Stars rounded down. This book was just interesting enough to keep me reading, but not with much real enjoyment or immersion. I enjoyed Nithya’s chapters more than Welga’s as I actually felt like she was a better fleshed out character. The book was written well, but for some reason never grasped me. I didn’t feel any urgency in the combat scenes, and I felt like the pacing was a little slow. I really enjoyed the concept of the world, but overall, the book fell a little flat. I still recommend ...more
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The novel is clever, brimming with engaging ideas, and provides important commentary on current political trends. Set a century down the line, Machinehood delves into the erosion of human rights, the perils of capital-driven pharmaceutical development, and the evolving understandings of privacy.
Jenny Coyne
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stand-alones
I received this as an ARC. Thank you, Simon and Schuster!

I expected the book to be a little more high action and it definitely went in some directions that I didn't expect, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This was my first book from this author and I look forward to reading more.
Chris Bauer
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an early copy of this novel from NetGallery

Every so often, if you're fortunate, you'll read a novel which essentially challenges and resets your expectations for genre. "Machinehood" by S.B. Divya was such a work for me.

There is a lot to love about this work. It features one of the most diverse cast of characters I've read in a very long time and was depicted with realism, heart and sincerity. Each of the primary characters was rendered in vibrant, living color with their own constell
Mike Dillon
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Robots who want to be people
Shelves: kindle
Machinehood is great visionary novel of how technology will interact with human lives in the near future. surveillance drones and social media have taken total control of our economy and how humans interact with each other. Most humans live and work in a social media dictated gig economy where only an elite few are "funders" while the rest of us are either gig workers or "Shields", a weird but not implausible combination of security workers and performance artists. Protestors and Shields play ou ...more
Amy (Bossy Bookworm)
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars for me.

For my full review of this book on The Bossy Bookworm, or to receive all of my Bossy reviews and Greedy Reading Lists as soon as they're posted, please see Machinehood.

In her debut novel, Divya sets the scene in the world of 2095. Humanity around the world is reliant on homemade and commercially manufactured pills--for health, for work focus, for managing bots, for healing, for sleep, and for transitioning between all of the above.

The economy runs on robots, partially augm
Corey (grimdark_dad)
Mar 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
When I first heard about MACHINEHOOD, the debut novel by S. B. Divya, it took me a moment to realize I had actually read her novella, RUNTIME. It’s one of the earlier releases from TorDotCom Publishing! My memory is typically garbage, but the overall vibe of RUNTIME left an impression on me, so I was really looking forward to MACHINEHOOD!

And wow, this book is rad as hell! Divya imagines a future that feels simultaneously scary as hell, and entirely possible.

It’s 2095, and the way humans have in
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I won an arc copy from a Goodreads giveaway, and here's my honest review.

The pros:

The premise of Machinehood intrigued me from the get-go. In a world where people are completely dependent on pills that eradicate illness and disease and make you stronger, faster, and smarter in order to compete with bots that do everything for you, what happens when that's taken away?

On the surface, the book does a great job of describing what our world would look like in 100 years with lots of artificial
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S.B. Divya is a lover of science, math, fiction, and the Oxford comma. She enjoys subverting expectations and breaking stereotypes whenever she can. Divya is the Hugo and Nebula nominated author of Runtime and co-editor of Escape Pod, with Mur Lafferty. Her short stories have been published at various magazines including Analog, Uncanny, and Her collection, Contingency Plans For the Apoca ...more

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