Cover Image: Amen Maxine

Amen Maxine

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Member Reviews

What would you do if your personal digital assistant blurts out a prediction that says 'Your Husband is going to kill you'?

Thoughts:
Genuinely, I was so bored at the start. There is so much drama and it didn't interest me at all. I just picked this because of the plot.

The plot involving digital assistant is new. All the other drama is general. I thought I would like it. Now as I keep thinking, I cannot see much that I liked.

And this is why I am afraid of digital assistants😑😑 They literally listen to everything. They collect all the data. I feel there are benefits but threat is involved as much.

Anyway, some people might like this book. The story gets much more interesting after the main prediction. 

Thank you Netgalley and Mirror House Press for the ARC.
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I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Oh goodness what a book! I would say go in blind to this nerve wrecking thriller about  a stay at home mom and the AI that didn't love her spouse.  It is thrilling, engaging, a fresh take on thrillers. I highly recommend .
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Are there more than 5 stars available? I would give them all to this gem of a book!!
It is a mixture of domestic and alternative future thriller. But with so much of a human touch I hardly could stop reading.
Rowena, Ro, is a new mother who moves into her husband's Jacob childhood home. But she has difficulties to settle in her new life. Jacob gifts her with a beta Maxine, her new artificial friend. Maxine makes some pretty daring predictions which make Ro question erverything and everybody around her.
I just loved this woman!!
Thank you #NetGalley #Mirror House Press for this ARC
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After reading a positive review about this book, I just had to read it myself. It’s a very interesting plot; Rowena has just married and moved with her husband and baby to his home. She feels lonely and gets a AI-machine that can predict the future. When Maxine, the AI, predicts that her husband will kill her, Rowena don’t know what she should do.

The book is a real page-turner, in addition to it being beautifully written. The author manages to dive deep into Rowena’s psyche. You feel how anxious she is, and how much she struggles to find her place. She’s an interesting character, as are the others. I also liked the parts where she interacts with Maxine. Rowena struggles with how much she relies on Maxine, and I also started to question how a future would look if machines can predict what would happen next. Would we automatically live like the predictions were true? This is a question that will probably be very important in the future, considering how advanced artificial intelligence is already. 

The only reason I didn’t give the book five stars, is that the ending felt a bit off. I don’t want to spoil what happens, but I didn’t like the illogical choices Rowena made after what happened, even if she was distraught and people can act illogical then. 

All in all a very enjoyable book, and I will read future books by the author.

Thanks to netgally and Xpresso book tours for this arc!
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This was an exceptional Must Read book!!!! I read reviews before requesting it and I feel every "Amen, Maxine" comment! Just WOW!! Alexa is disturbing enough when I see her all aglow as I speak, but Maxine, an artificial intelligence, is taking it to a whole level of chilling, disturbing behavior. She was created to help those with mental health issues. I think she would create them for me. Maxine has feelings and portrays warmth for her owner Rowena even going as far as ordering her a pleasure toy when her husband Jacob was lacking in that area. 

Rowena was a book editor in N.Y. before marrying Jacob with a brief stint of dating online she moved to Cali to his hometown with their infant daughter Michelle. Jacob is busy with his Tech company producing infamous levels of technology that he was able to bring home to beta test. When loneliness sets in with Ro, her husband becomes manipulative and creates self doubt in her. She questions her judgment and intuition. Her distorted reality is relieved by Maxine, an artificial intelligence machine. When Ro turns the prediction mode on, Maxine details what will happen next in her life. When the prediction occurs, she realized Maxine is not as artificial as she thought. 

One of the predictions given was Jacob is having an affair with a coworker, so given the address from Maxine, she checks it out on a whim and becomes devastated by this interaction. It gets deeper and without giving anymore away, you have to read this one to believe it. It is hard to put down once it begins. The ending was good, but may have been too easy to believe, but I'll take it considering the whole book trumps that ending!!

Jacob manipulates, lies and gaslights throughout becoming one of the worst husbands in fiction history. Even lying as much as to tell Ro his first wife died of cancer...hmmm...how could he? Faith Gardner, I must read more of your books if they are anything of the gems you have created here. 

Thank you NetGalley and Mirror House Press for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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Trigger Warning - deals with Suicide, Depression, Anxiety, and Emotional abuse. 

I just reviewed Amen Maxine by Faith Gardner. This is my first book written by Faith and my first SCI-FI book. I loved how technology was so easily incorporated into the life of Jacob and Rowena. The premise is Rowena accidentally falls pregnant with Jacob and they move to California from New York.  Jacob works for an IT company and suggests that Rowena uses AI technology (similar to Google Assistant) called Maxine to help with her anxiety and everyday life. Maxine becomes Rowena's friend and Rowena finds it hard to adjust to her life without Maxine. 

I personally disliked Jacob and her therapist. I felt like 'yelling at them' and I wanted to become friends with Sam - Rowena's new friend.  

If you like suspense, can't put it down and want to know what happens type of book, Amen Maxine is the one for you. 
Many thanks to NetGalley and Mirror House Press for giving me the opportunity to read this advance copy. 

Amen Maxine by Faith Gardner is available on July 23rd. I give this ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Rowena Snyder is a stay-at-home mother who gave up her career and life in New York to move to Silicon Valley with her new husband Jacob, who works for a tech firm. Living in the house her husband grew up in, Rowena spends most of her time with her six-month-old daughter Michelle but misses her life in New York, her mother and her friends. She also suffers from anxiety and takes prescription medication for her condition. Her husband takes every opportunity to bring up her mental health, often unkindly,  and his response to her problems is always to remind her to take her medication. 

Enter ”Maxine”, an AI device in its beta testing stage– a “Digital Friend” for Rowena gifted by her thoughtful husband Jacob. Maxine once familiarized with Rowena’s life and other data quickly becomes an integral part of Rowena’s life. 
Advice Mode? “Amen Maxine”
Prediction Mode? “Amen Maxine”

As the cracks begin to appear in her marriage and she continues to feel boxed in, Rowena finds comfort in her interactions with Maxine and takes Maxine’s advice and predictions to heart. After all, the predictions have been accurate and the advice have been solid. But as the narrative progresses Maxine’s predictions become very personal and increasingly disturbing.  

With its crisp writing, fast-paced narrative with enough twists and turns that keep you hooked, and a main character you keep rooting for, this futuristic thriller is nothing like I have ever read before. With our dependence on technology and reliance on gadgets to make our lives easier, the premise of this novel does not come across as too far-fetched or unbelievable. The ending does require you to suspend disbelief but with a premise that is original in scope and exceptionally well-written, I found Amen Maxine by Faith Gardner to be Unique and Unputdownable!

Many thanks to NetGalley & Mirror House Press for a digital review copy of this unique novel. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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If you are looking for something unique, Faith Gardner's book Amen Maxine is amazing. The quick read lived up to the hype and kept me glued to the pages. 

Synopsis:
Rowena appears to be suffering postpartum mental health issues after the birth of her daughter. Rowena's husband Jacob works for a high-tech development company that produces an electronic personal assistant called Maxine. Those suffering from depression have found it helpful as a digital friend. Rowena is delighted when she discovers that Maxine not only acts as a companion, but can accurately predict future events. This proves to be a bright spot in Rowena's life until Maxine voices terrifying cryptic predictions. 

Amen Maxine introduces a very interesting concept. Would you be interested in knowing the future if you could? Faith Gardner's book is fascinating and different from anything I've read. My introduction to the author's writing has me intrigued and excited to read more from her. 

Amen Maxine by Faith Gardner is available on July 23rd. (5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

Thank you, NetGalley and Mirror House Press, for allowing me to review this incredible book. Your kindness is appreciated.
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Well, if this is Faith Gardner's first dabble in adult fiction, sign me up for the next one. 

After accidentally getting pregnant, Rowena finds herself married, a housewife, and now living in Silicon Valley which is quite the opposite of her former life as a book editor in NYC. With such big changes, Rowena's anxiety grows which in turn puts a huge strain on her marriage. Her husband, Jacob, works for a tech company and brings home Maxine, a digital friend which is being beta tested, to help Rowena. 

<b>Amen Maxine</b> is a page-turning, well written, and original domestic suspense novel with dark undertones. Simply put, I devoured this one. I loved Maxine and Rowena's relationship while absolutely hating Jacob and their therapist who both made me want to throat punch them many times throughout the book. I thought the storytelling was excellent. I always enjoy quick chapters that leave me wanting just "one more chapter" before bed. Well, with this one, I definitely didn't stop at just one more chapter. 

In her author's note she states that she tried her best to fix every typo and invited the reader to let her know if an error was spotted. Kudos to the author, she gets extra points for this from me because typos in books are a pet peeve of mine. 5 shiny stars. 

Many thanks to the author, Mirror House Press, and Netgalley for my eARC which I thoroughly enjoyed.
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If you loved the Echo Wife or The Perfect Wife then you are going to love this book.  For those of you who may not be into sci-fi I still think you will like this book as it’s a mix of it from the not to distant future, so not too hard to,imagine with a bit of mystery and thrills thrown in. 

Rowena isn’t adjusting to her SAHM life on the west coast and misses everything about her east coast before life. As she falls deeper and deeper into anxiety and depression her husband Jacob brings home Maxine. She’s like Alexa but even more catered to you and to be your friend. As she gets to know Rowena better and her predictions become more and more on point how far will Rowena fall into Maxine’s advice and world.
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Many thanks to NetGalley and Mirror House Press for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this uniquely original and delightful book. It can be classified as a twisty mystery and a deeply satisfying character-based psychological thriller. It also has elements of science-fiction. It is based in the near future in the Silicon Valley area. New and improved technology and its gadgets have been developed and tested in the foreseeable future. The science fiction element of the story is believable.

 Imagine owning a Beta version of a personal assistant, the future in Artificial Intelligence, called Maxine. It is a box the size of a loaf of bread. It not only has the internet to access and answer factual questions, but can follow your thoughts by your email, texts, and even vocal communications with others, their bank accounts and everyone's personal records. You speak to it, and it responds in a friendly personal manner. It can also give you advice and make predictions about your future based on information input.

 This is a crisply written, wonderfully paced story with unexpected twists and turns. Author Faith Gardner has the talent to draw the reader into the character's emotions, causing one to wonder what is real or false in the thoughts and behaviour presented. Who is deceitful and playing games with people and their mental health? Who is spinning out of control and descending to a dark place emotionally? Does Maxine make a satisfying personal assistant? Who is being gaslighted? Can Maxine's predictions be believed, and is her advice reliable? 

 I won't spoil the story by summarizing the plot. I enjoyed the depth of the characters and found them memorable, even Maxine! The storyline was engaging. This was my favourite thriller this year, and the book was hard to put down. The reader is put in a quandary of who to believe, the scheming 'nice guy,' a couple of unstable women, or a friendly machine. Recommended!  Amen, Maxine.
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Excellent fast-paced thriller!

I had witnessed many of my reviewer friends rating this book highly, so I decided to pick it up and see what the buzz was all about. I was not disappointed!

Rowena has left her life in New York City behind as she has moved to California with her new husband Jacob and their baby Michelle. She's a bit miserable after quitting her job in publishing to be a stay at home mom, but Jacob's job at a tech company provides well. He brings home a "Maxine" device, which is an advanced AI digital assistant with advice and prediction settings. The more Maxine interacts with Rowena, the smarter she gets about Rowena's life. All is well until Maxine predicts that Jacob is going to kill Rowena. Can she trust Maxine? Is there something sinister going on?

I liked the flow of the story and although I called a few of the things that happened, there are many surprises and it's never quite clear who to trust. There's an underlying theme here examining how much we can trust these digital devices, as well as examining how much we can trust other people. And in the end, I think it brings up more questions than answers, which isn't necessarily a bad things because there are shades of grey in both cases.

The ending is a bit too pat and convenient, but overall this is a smart, fascinating story that readers will devour.
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Rounded up to 4.5.

With thriller’s involving troubled marriages, and untrustworthy husband’s, saturating the book market, this author definitely brought something new to the table in Amen Maxine.

New York native Rowena met her husband Jacob online during a lockdown for the latest pandemic. Next came a whirlwind courtship in person, an unplanned pregnancy, a quickie marriage, and a move all the way to sunny California to live in Jacob’s childhood home.

As much as Rowena loves her baby daughter Michelle, and despite her new home being equip with all the latest mod cons, she’s struggling to adjust to suburbia, craves her old life in NYC, and anxiety and depression has her feeling overwhelmed and lonely.

To help her cope, Jacob, who works for a successful tech company, gifts her a prototype Artificial Intelligence (AI) Robot called Maxine (currently being beta-tested). Maxine is specifically designed to be a companion assistant to offer support, advice, and predictions to make Rowena’s life less stressful.

Rowena is surprised how useful, helpful, and accurate Maxine actually is, and quickly warms to the device. Until Maxine makes a dire prediction that shocks her to the core. Suddenly, Rowena’s not sure who she trusts more – her husband, or the machine?

I was equal parts fascinated and creeped out by this futuristic, dystopian, sci-fi, tech thriller. And if none of the above sounds like your jam, never fair, as Amen Maxine’s main focus was on domestic/marriage drama, and psychological suspense. I loved the character of Rowena, was completely rooting for her, and enjoyed her humorous sarcastic thoughts and observations. Jacob came across as a total douchebag from the get go – condescending and misogynistic, the tone in which he kept addressing Rowena as “babe” really grated my cheese.

For someone who loathes household chores I loved reading about all the latest technical gadgets Rowena had in her smart home – some of which we have in our houses already – but these one’s sounded even better. As much as It freaked me out I could see why Rowena became attached to Maxine. The AI Robot was designer to be paired with one human being only, similar to the notion of a soulmate, and was utterly devoted to serving its recipients needs. Rowena in turn started to attribute human emotions and empathy to Maxine, which gave the machine more influence over her. It was all very interesting and unique, and the near-future world the author created felt very authentic and possible. A daunting thought!

I’d like to thank Netgalley, Mirror House Press, and Faith Gardner for the e-ARC.

Amen Maxine is available just over a week from now, 23rd July, 2022.
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This was such a fun, fast read that I finished it in one sitting! I love dystopian fiction, especially near-future dystopia, and this was a really good science-fictiony thriller.

Rowena and her husband, Jacob, have moved from New York City to California, and she is miserable. She misses her job as a book editor, she misses her mother, and she misses her best friend. People in California seem so different, so fake, and while she’s relatively happy in her marriage and beyond happy with her infant daughter, she’s very depressed … depressed and anxious enough that people are starting to talk behind her back.

Her husband seems to be one of the ones instigating the talk - she’s heard him whispering about her more than once. He’s very concerned about her mental health, and decides to bring her a helper: a robot named Maxine. Maxine is an AI prototype from his company, and is poised to be the next best personal assistant. Aside from features similar to Alexa or Siri, Maxine has two additional features: advice, and predictions.

Let Maxine listen to you at home, work, or while out, and she’ll soon start offering the perfect advice and giving you startling predictions. If you want, she’ll just make your shopping lists and keep your calendars. If you want, she’ll give you driving directions, book reviews and gift recommendations. If you want, she’ll be your confidant and best friend - in fact, she’s partially designed to help those with anxiety and depression.

Rowena isn’t sure at first, but soon begins to take Maxine’s advice, and listening to those predictions. The advice always makes a positive impact, and the predictions are almost always uncannily on point. As she begins talking more and more to Maxine, her husband becomes more and more worried … what does Rowena tell Maxine when he isn’t around? More importantly, what does Maxine tell Rowena?

I hope my description doesn’t make this sound cheesy, because it isn’t. It’s a fascinating look at what artificial intelligence could be capable of, and of how robots are slowly turning into something less for the future, and more for the present. It’s also a fascinating look at this young mother, and as someone who also suffers from anxiety and depression, it was tough to see her suffer. Could Maxine change everything and end her suffering?

This is the author’s first adult fiction novel (she previously wrote YA) and I’d say she did a really good job. This was interesting, had a good plot, was very original and quite entertaining. The ending was the only part I wasn’t sure about … I had a couple of ideas about how it would all end, but it felt a little abrupt. Still, this is a solid four-star book that I would definitely recommend.

(Thank you to XPresso Book Tours, Faith Gardner, and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review.)
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I grew up watching a lot of Twilight Zone episodes and I felt like I was in one while reading this book!  It was so original, and it will leave you speechless!

Rowena and Jacob are newly married with a young daughter when Jacob convinces Rowena to give up everything in New York where they met and move to Silicon Valley in California.   Rowena is not adjusting well to her new lifestyle.  She’s filled with anxiety and depression and her marriage begins to suffer.   Jacob decides to bring home a “digital friend” that is currently in beta testing from his tech job.  Maxine quickly becomes Rowena’s confidant, giving her advice and predicting events in the future.   One night Maxine gives Rowena a “prediction” about her future with Jacob and Rowena is terrified.  With no close friends or family nearby, Rowena trusts her.  What follows is a gripping and intense story with a mouth dropping conclusion.  You are left with the question; can this really happen?  My answer would be yes, I think it’s possible!

The writing is so well done and thought provoking.   I could feel all of Rowena’s emotions and anxieties as a new mom.  How she doesn’t feel like she fits in with anyone in her new state. How she can never please her mother-in-law (until she shares a “prediction” from Maxine).   How she begins to resent Jacob after all the gaslighting.   I wouldn’t classify this book as sci-fi, but more of a domestic suspense with a touch of sci-fi.

I will be recommending this book everywhere!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my eARC.
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Reviewing AMEN MAXINE by Faith Gardner without revealing too much is a challenge.  The main character, Rowena, meets and falls in love with Jacob online during a pandemic lockdown.  They spend some time getting to know each other online and by talking on cellphones before their first date.  Jacob is soon living with Rowena in New York City, and they quickly marry four months later after finding out they are pregnant.  Rowena resigns her editorial position with a well-known publishing house and moves to California after Jacob lands a high paying job in a Silicon Valley tech company and his mother gives them his childhood home in Cupertino.

Although Rowena adores her baby daughter, she hates living in California where she is bored and doesn’t have any friends.  Rowena is struggling with depression and anxiety when Jacob brings home Maxine, a virtual assistant artificial intelligence device being developed by his employer.  Maxine is intended to help Rowena and she increasingly relies on the device, especially after some of Maxine’s predictions become true.

The setting for this novel is in the near future where robots clean your home, driverless cars are common and AI assistants are becoming a reality for the wealthy.  This novel is well paced with twists to keep your interest, especially at the end.
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Just one word… “WOW”!

I grabbed this book on a whim after reading the stellar five-star review from GirlWithThePinkSkiMask. (Thank you Pink!). I'm not typically a sci-fi reader but the storyline intrigued me and I knew I had to give it a whirl!

It far exceeded all my expectations! I was super-glued to the pages from start to finish!

Rowena is a new mother. And that’s not the only big change in her life. After discovering she was pregnant and after only a short time together, she quickly married Jacob. Immediately moving across the country to start her life as a new mother and bride.

It was a very bold move, leaving behind everything that made her feel secure. Her job, apartment and friends. Now, Rowena’s anxiety is growing and Jacob certainly isn’t helping. Until he surprises her with a new devise called Maxine. Similar to Alexa but with an elevated complexity. Rowena has herself a new best friend and companion.

Now, under the weight of Jacob’s gaslighting, the marriage is crumbling. But all is well… Maxine is there to offer support and maybe just a little friendly advice.

This book was so cleverly written I found myself gasping in shock over and over as Rowena tried to keep her life in order. So many times I wanted to reach into the pages and help her!

Now the big question! Do I want my own Maxine? Hmmm….kind of! But not sure I’m ready for everything she can do! 🙈

Bottom line - This is a must read! Just make sure to set aside a weekend because once you start you won’t be setting this one down!

Thank you to NetGalley Mirror House Press and Faith Gardner
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Thank you so much for allowing me to read and review your titles. I really not the opportunity! 

I do appreciate it and continue to review books that I get the chance to read.
Thanks again!
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Maxine, Maxine, Maxine.....

Rowena and Jacob are a young couple, living on the West Coast, with a young baby. Jacob works for a tech company and Rowena is a stay-at-home mom. She's adjust to this new life, after living in New York and working a job in book publishing (aka...my dream job?). Her days are lonely...she misses her friends, her mom, her life before all of this. She's ....unhappy.

Jacob's solution to everything is 'take a pill, babe'. and while Rowena does, it doesn't seem to do anything except cause more anxiety. One day, Jacob brings home Maxine. Think...Alexa...with feelings. Maxine is in beta moda and is programmed to only work on a single person to person basis (gotta make that $$$$). Rowena is at first hesitant to use Maxine, but her loneliness gets the best of her and soon she finds herself using all of Maxine's features, including her Advice and Prediction modes.

Needless to say, Maxine's predictions aren't for the best of things and Rowena finds that the future for her and her child are not with Jacob and the home where they live. She's terrified and needs to escape before it's too late.

This was an exciting thriller that isn't too unrealistic. I'm terrified of AI assistants. We have SIRI and Alexa in our house and I hate them both so much. The programming of a digital friend doesn't seem entirely insane and something like this....could likely happen.

I think this is an enjoyable book for anyone who reads domestic thrillers and Faith Gardner should have much success in this genre.

Thanks to NetGalley and Faith Gardner for the opportunity to read and review.
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Amen Maxine
by Faith Gardner

This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, Mirror House Press, and by #NetGalley. 
Amen Maxine was a wonderfully written book.  I have Alexa items in every room. It had me really thinking of how much info and power they do have.
A new marriage.
A perfect home.
A machine that says it’s all a lie.
I loved the ending, and the beginning, and damn, had me talking to Alexa. Best book for me this year.
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