Meet Emily – she can solve advanced mathematical problems, unlock the mind’s deepest secrets and even fix your truck’s air con, but unfortunately, she can’t restart the Sun.
She’s an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.
So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions – college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.
As the sun’s death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. But before long it becomes clear that it’s not only the species at stake, but also that which makes us most human.
Title: Emily Eternal | Author: M.G. Wheaton | Publisher: Grand Central Publishing | Pub. Date: 23 April 2019 | Pages: 294 | ISBN13: 9781538730393 | Genre: Sci-Fi | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Source: Copy received from publisher for review consideration.
Emily Eternal Review
This book was so much squandered potential for me. It had a really, really fantastic premise, some great characters, and a lot of fun, fresh concepts that could have made this a great new AI novel. Unfortunately, things didn’t connect for me, and I was left feeling mostly confused and annoyed.
Emily is an artificial consciousness. She learns, she has emotions, she’s basically your typical person except for the part where she’s an incorporeal supercomputer. As Earth is faced with a dying sun and weeks before life is wiped out, Emily and her team of creators work to find a way to continue the human race. But not everyone on the team is terribly concerned with doing so in a moral way, and Emily finds herself fighting to save the human race without sacrificing its humanity.
I’d like to be able to say it wasn’t the book, it was me, but I honestly don’t know. I raced through the first half of this book and was really enjoying it! Then I put it down for a bit, and when I came back to it, I couldn’t get back into it at all. Part of that is just that I wasn’t in the same mood when I picked the book back up as I was when I started reading it, but more than that, there’s so much going on in the second half of the book. Important characters are introduced that didn’t exist in the first half, the action and setting both change entirely, and there are some very, very half-baked concepts thrown in that honestly, I couldn’t suspend disbelief long enough to get into. It felt like I was reading a totally different book. It’s hard to say much about my specific issues without spoiling the last half of the book, but suffice to say that it didn’t work for me.
I did really like Emily as a character, and for the most part she was a really interesting protagonist. I really can’t fault her much, except that at times it reads like she learned her humanity from browsing Twitch and Reddit rather than from actual real-life humans. Randomly thrown in hashtags and “pop culture” references pulled me out of her character a bit at times. But really, that’s all I can complain about on that front. I found her relationship with Jason to be really interesting too, and I didn’t completely hate the romance element here because at least it was something unique. Still could have done without it, but overall it slotted into the plot nicely.
I wouldn’t be opposed to trying other books by this author in the future, but this one really didn’t do it for me. While I did enjoy the characters and the general premise of the book, it wasn’t enough to redeem the hot mess of ideas thrown into the last half of the book. The author can write good characters and clearly has some unique ideas, but this book was way too unfocused for me to really invest.
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