This was so good and different, and I loved it!
A unique premise that put a really cool twist on the “self-aware artificial intelligence with emotions” theme.
A likeable, interesting, witty, anxious, realistic, imperfect but trying his best, developed main character.
A sexy, sweet, rebellious, tattooed, eyeliner-wearing love interest.
A complex, caring, sensitive AI secondary main character.
A gruff and stony but good-hearted supporting character / secondary love interest.
A believable m/m romance that had struggles and mistakes as well as chemistry and sweetness.
A sweet enby/enby romance with a character who doesn’t open up easily.
Diversity and representation that felt so organic and well done and was just part of the characters. Reed, the main character, was autistic and had anxiety. Jax, the love interest, was diabetic (he had some sort of futuristic insulin mod that took care of it, so that was just a brief mention) and Latinx. Mazarin, the AI character, was genderfluid (she/her and he/him) and asexual (not sex-repulsed, and according to the author’s site, I think gray ace). Em, one of the main supporting characters, was nonbinary (they/them) and disabled. And I think they were all either pan or bi, except Reed who was gay.
Side note: Man, Mazarin is living the dream! He has a body that can switch between genders whenever he wants! You might think the fact that his body is a hologram would be an issue for me, but considering my chronic illness and chronic injuries, not having a solid body would just be a nice bonus. Anyway, back to the review…
An unpredictable plot.
A setting in the future but with Art Deco-inspired subculture.
This is one of those books that managed to break the mold and really stand out for me, which is saying a lot considering I read roughly 150 sci-fi/fantasy books a year. This had a cool take on AIs having emotions, likeable and developed characters, lots of great inclusivity, sweet romances, and was overall a great story!
Anyone who likes AI with emotion, future settings, the Art Deco Era, LGBTQIA+ characters, disabled and neurodivergent characters, complex characters who are imperfect but good people, sweet romance side plots, and unpredictable stories.