In the Lives of Puppets
by TJ Klune
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Pub Date 25 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 25 Apr 2023
Tor Publishing Group, Tor Books
New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune invites you deep into the heart of a peculiar forest and on the extraordinary journey of a family assembled from spare parts.
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“An enchanting tale of Pinocchio in the end times.” —P. Djèlí Clark
In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots—fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe.
The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio–a past spent hunting humans.
When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio’s former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic’s assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming.
Along the way to save Gio, amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?
Inspired by Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio, and like Swiss Family Robinson meets Wall-E, In the Lives of Puppets is a masterful stand-alone fantasy adventure from the beloved author who brought you The House in the Cerulean Sea and Under the Whispering Door.
★ “An epic quest of rescue and discovery [with] the author’s trademark charm, heart, and bittersweetness.” —Library Journal, starred review
Praise for TJ Klune’s previous work: "Like being wrapped up in a big gay blanket." —V.E. SCHWAB • “Very close to perfect.” —SEANAN McGUIRE • “Utterly absorbing.” —GAIL CARRIGER • "It will renew your faith in humanity.” —TERRY BROOKS • “It healed me.” —CASSANDRA KHAW • “Compassionate.” —RYKA AOKI
"In the Lives of Puppets is a powerful story of humanity and what survives after we're gone. Do the new inheritors of this earth forge a new path? Or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of their makers? TJ Klune has created an enchanting tale of Pinnochio in the end times, offering up hard truths alongside humor, kindness, love and, most important, hope." —P. Djèlí Clark
"I dare say I am yet to read more humane robots than I've encountered in In the Lives of Puppets. This kind, caring, hopeful humanity that Klune weaves into his work tugs at the heartstrings. There are passages so affecting within, I had to pause. This was brilliantly offset by moments of levity. Literature at its very best opens up the potential of a better world than the one we're currently in. Klune's vision of a more considerate and compassionate society is immensely powerful. One can't help but fall in love with this book." —T.L. Huchu
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