In this poignant and profound SF novel from Gray (the Firebird trilogy), resources are scarce, humans populate multiple planets, and a colony world called Genesis is battling Earth for independence. Noemi Vidal, a 17-year-old fighter pilot from Genesis, is on a training run when an Earth army of humanoid robots known as mechs attacks her squadron. Noemi gets separated from the group and seeks refuge on a broken-down research vessel. On board is Abel, the first mech ever created. A showdown ensues before a quirk in Abel’s code dictates that he submit to Noemi’s command. Using information gleaned from Abel, Noemi hatches a plan to liberate Genesis that necessitates the mech’s destruction. It’s not long, though, until Noemi is forced to wonder whether Abel has transcended his programming. Noemi and Abel share the narrative, and together they weave a tale that examines the ethics of war and tackles questions of consciousness, love, and free will. Gray’s characters are nuanced, her worldbuilding is intelligent, and the book’s conclusion thrills and satisfies while defying expectations. Ages 15–up. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017 Release date: 04/04/2017 Genre: Children's
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