on September 17, 2019
A video game developer becomes obsessed with a willful character in her new project, in a mind-bending exploration of what it means to be human by the New York Times bestselling author of Recursion.
Maxine was made to do one thing: die. Except the minor non-player character in the world Riley is building makes her own impossible decision—veering wildly off course and exploring the boundaries of the map. When the curious Riley extracts her code for closer examination, an emotional relationship develops between them. Soon Riley has all new plans for her spontaneous AI, including bringing Max into the real world. But what if Max has real-world plans of her own?
Blake Crouch’s Summer Frost is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.
Why I read the book
I listened to the audio of this short book on a road trip. As the story built to the end it got more and more difficult to focus on driving!
What I liked
Crouch is very good at slowly surrounding a reader with the story before squeezing and totally taking your breath away.
The tech in the story was interesting and seemed plausible. The relationship between Riley, her work, and her partner is real and heartbreaking.
I want a `jewel` 😆 even though some nefarious entity could use it to map my brain.
What I didn’t like
It seemed a stretch that Riley would be left alone to work on the project for so long with no outside help or interaction. The reason might have been that private money kept it going, but it still seemed a little far fetched. The video game they describe sounds disgusting, but that helps the plot along and serves as Max’s birthplace.
I give the book 5 out of 5 bots 🤖. It’s a very compact story that should cause a lot of conversation and questioning after reading it.
This was my 3rd book of 2020.