Originally posted over at just-cassie.com on January 8th, 2011.
Well, I finished my second read for the ABC Indie Fiction Challenge today. It was His Robot Girlfriend, by Wesley Allison. I’d love to say that I enjoyed it, but quite simply, I did not.
Mike Smith’s life was crap, living all alone, years after his wife had died and his children had grown up and moved away. Then he saw the commercial for the Daffodil. Far more than other robots, the Daffodil could become anything and everything he wanted it to be. Mike’s life is about to change.
Allison does a pretty decent job of imagining the future – there is nothing over the top or far fetched – and I thought for sure that a story with androids would manage to hold my interest. What would his take on them be? How had they been integrated into the world? etc etc.
But it just wasn’t that interesting. They were part of normal life – other than not being allowed to get married in some areas, not being allowed in casinos and being unable to get her ears pierced at some places, there seemed very little prejudice against Patience, Mike’s robot girlfriend. Hell, even his kids don’t seem to mind that he’s moved in a robot companion – though the son briefly has some concerns, raising theories that the androids are stealing information. They just want him to be happy – the same thing that Patience wants.
While neither character is unlikable, I didn’t really find a lot to like either. Mike says he loves Patience – and there is one scene where she appears dead, to him, and I felt his very real concern that he’d lost her – however that doesn’t stop him from letting her do absolutely everything for him. She becomes his mother, his lover, his trainer, his cook, cleaner, personal shopper and whatever else he needs her to be at any given time. It’s an awkward kind of love, if it can really be called love.
Patience on the other hand is likable enough, but man I found myself getting annoyed by her – I think there is nothing worse in life than someone who agrees with everything you say, do or think. Obviously I’m not cut out for having a robot lover.
I pushed on, regardless, and had a tiny bit of hope that something resembling a plot had emerged about 75% of the way through the book (reading on Kindle for PC). Sadly, this is all over and done with within another 5% or so of the book. I feel like there was potential there, for several different types of conflict and plot, but they weren’t fully realized. There was so much that could have been done with the story, that just wasn’t. It is drowning in small details which personally, I find dull (I hope never to read a book again that tells me how high the female leads heels are every time she had a new pair on).
Not my cup of tea. But if you are after a meandering read, with all the details of every day life, and little conflict, then maybe it’s yours.
Next on my list is Silver Thaw, by Amy Rose Davis. It’s fantasy, so hopefully there won’t be any high heels in it.