cover image Today I Am Carey

Today I Am Carey

Martin L. Shoemaker. Baen, $16 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8384-1

In this meditative debut, Shoemaker unravels the story of Carey, a medical droid who gains sentience over the course of living with three generations of the Owens family. Carey begins life as a nameless caretaker android for elderly Mildred Owens, but soon finds itself repurposed when Mildred dies and Carey is assigned to stay on with her family. Carey is special; it is the only android to ever display sentience, and soon the Owenses consider it family. Carey is tasked with caring for Mildred’s granddaughter, Millie, a rambunctious girl who has an abiding obsession with frogs. Through Carey’s eyes, the Owens family can be seen traversing the milestones of life: empty nest syndrome, marriage, and, always, the inevitable creep of death. Some minor pacing issues and redundancies do little to take away from the fully developed cast of characters that drive the novel to its heartbreaking ending. Kindness, love, and compassion make Carey an empathetic character through which to view Shoemaker’s complex, beautiful world. (Mar.)