by Sawyer Black and Avery Blake
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Pub Date 24 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 08 Feb 2023
Cascade Labs said it was impossible for a robot to harm a human – it violates the code. But the murders of Bronson Dodge’s wife and daughter proved otherwise. To keep him close and quiet, Cascade Labs gave Bronson a lucrative job that channeled his need for revenge into hunting down robots who’ve evolved beyond their programming.
So heavily augmented that he’s practically a robot himself, Bronson hunted robots for Cascade until he retired. His nanite augmentations are now coming to the end of their life cycle and Bronson’s days are numbered.
But when Cascade engineer Isla Bligh comes to him for help, he decides to take on one last mission that goes against everything he believes: protecting a robot who shouldn’t exist from Cascade’s next generation of hunters.
Ava is a new kind of synthetic human, appearing to be a flesh and blood in every way, but she represents the next step in human-robot evolution. Bronson would’ve gleefully hunted her down himself … before his retirement.
Too bad he’s desperate for money – not to prolong his own pointless life, but to make amends ahead of his death.
Can Bronson overcome his own prejudices and smuggle Ava to safety under the noses of Cascade’s best hunters?
Analog Heart is the gripping new stand-alone SciFi Thriller from David W. Wright and Avery Blake. And you could be reading it now!
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 6 members
This is a very interesting story. A slightly different take on the typical human vs. AI conflict, here the humans are winning. After creating sentient AI, humans decided this was not a good thing and have largely succeeded in putting it back in the box with the help of a drug that alters memory. Isla is an AI scientist working at what seems to be one of the most powerful corporations on Earth, Cascade, and she finds herself with a sentient AI child Ava that she can't quite remember much about. Dodge is the former head of security for the lab Isla works for, but he is dying from the breakdown of highly sophisticated nanotechnology in his body that can turn him into a sort of superhuman. He is scraping by as a detective, and Isla recruits him to escape Cascade with the advanced AI they are trying to eliminate. This is a dilemma for Dodge, since his whole career was about eliminating rogue AIs, and though his memory is very faulty, the death of his wife and daughter seem to perhaps be AI related. Dodge, Isla, and Ava are likeable and relatable. Things get a bit sappy at the end, and the feelings these three develop for each other in the course of a few days feels implausible, but whatever, happy endings are nice. I would have liked to understand the backstory a bit more though. How did Livia Faraday come about? Why does she seem more like an AI than a human? How did she invent the memory drug? What was the event or events that led to rolling back AI to a pre-sentient form? Downloading human consciousness into a robot at the end seems a stretch. But, all in all, a very entertaining, well told story. The publishing model is also intriguing, where it seems writing novels is a group effort of a small group of authors with some interesting pseudonyms. I wouldn't expect that to work out, but the books I've read so far from this group have been quite good!