FREND by Jonathan R. Miller
(Book Not Yet Released – Publication Date is 2015)
I was the lucky recipient of a paperback ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of this book from the Goodreads Giveaway program at http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway
Firstly, I have to mention the cover. It is gorgeous. It is mysterious, exotic and artistic and makes you curious as to what the book contains. In my opinion this is perfect. It accomplishes exactly what a great book cover should.
From the book cover:
“After suffering a traumatic event that lands her in the hospital, Anomie makes a decision: She’s finished with the human race.”
I love the quote at the beginning that states: “After all, one of the best distractions from one’s own suffering is to bask in the suffering of others, particularly when it exceeds one’s own. It’s a simple reminder that things aren’t as bad as they could be, at least not yet.”
Isn’t that one of the reasons we read fiction and watch movies and television shows? We watch to escape our reality for a while and immerse ourselves in someone else’s world. FREND is the perfect outlet for this and while I am aware that this book is fiction, it also has the ring of prophecy to it.
Imagine being talked into becoming a FREND – A Finite Robotics Enhanced Neurosensory Development, to basically become a robot with a human brain.
This concept is not new and I was expecting a typical robot/human tale where she discovers that she is still human inside despite her outer shell and of course she would fall in love with a human who doesn’t care that she is made of plastic and metal. Blah! Blah! Blah! I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. FREND takes off in a completely new and unexpected direction.
Anomie (now known as Ano) signs on as a companion to the Lumen. She must fulfill two years of service and in exchange will be well rewarded.
Her first year is spent with a strange Lumen named Drizz. It is during that year that Ano meets up with a group of humans whose sole purpose in life is to destroy the Lumen once and for all.
“Anomie finds herself caught between worlds, embroiled in a conflict between two opposing forces, as she struggles to unravel a mystery that cuts to the heart of her identity, her nature, and the true extent of her capabilities.”
This book captivated my imagination from the very first page. Not only did the author manage to grab my attention immediately, but also held it right to the last page.
WHAT I LIKED:
I really liked the fact that after Anomie chose to undergo her transformation, the author explained that it took 4 years for the full process to be completed and for her to actually be able to control her new body. This makes the procedure and outcome much more believable. To replace every body part with prosthetics and then to establish the neurological connections necessary to control them would realistically take time.
I loved the high tech aspects of this book and the diversity of the characters.
I found the writing to be the perfect mix of science and humanity. I found myself pondering the ethics of robotic prosthetics and how far is too far to go in the search for prolonged life.
If it were possible to give 6 stars, FREND would rate that highly. As it is, the highest rating I can give is 5 out of 5 stars.
This book is a futuristic, technological thriller with a decidedly human core. It explores the human psyche and exactly what it means to be human, as well as many other issues such as discrimination and race relations.
This book is a MUST READ. I recommend this to anyone and everyone from ages 14 to 114.
More Information About This Book:
FREND can be preordered on Amazon and you can find out more about this book at: http://www.jonathanrmiller.com/index.php/frend-2015