Monday, August 31, 2015

Automaton by C.L. Davies

AutomatonMajor points for uniqueness on this novel. I've never read anything like this before. In a nutshell, it's the future and think Dungeons and Dragons taken to a whole 'nother level. Gamers get a character and tell it what to do and sometimes paths cross and shit happens. this case, the gamers get to watch their characters live their lives and do the things they're told. Because it's real. It's a little island full of manipulated and brainwashed humans and robots. Imagine realizing you're just a game human form and someone elsewhere is controlling what you do, all your major life events, and if you break the get terminated.

We follow a couple of gamers and see how obsessed they are with the game and their characters. We follow the gamers' characters (Dean and Lily and Ross) too and see how they struggle with what their gamers tell them to do and what they really want to do. And the fear they live with...

There's a love story between two characters. There's infidelity, murder, secrets. I didn't like Lily much, mostly because she stayed with Dean, but on the other hand Dean was only a loser because his gamer told him to be. This raised a lot of emotional conflicts with me. I felt like a pendulum, leaning this way and that in what I felt for the characters. That's a compliment to the writer. They obviously became real to me.

The writing is okay. It could be better. It's a tad simple. But I like that it got to the point. There's a moral about playing god and also about the way many people like to watch others suffer.

Some things bothered me though, things that didn't make sense in the storyline. 1. Madison's wife couldn't have a child. Instead, he created GameWorld and in it, he puts real live babies. He gives his wife her own character, who replaces the daughter she never had, yet the character is always on TV, not in his wife's actual life. Why did he not give his wife one of the babies to have in her real life? 2. *************Slight spoiler************** Why didn't they wipe Dean's memory when they did Lily's to avoid problems?

I'd read more by this author.

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