Author Blog Tour Review & CONTEST: Mila 2.0: Renegade by Debra Driza

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Debra Driza's blog tour for Renegade, the second book in her action-packed sci-fi series Mila 2.0. We are so excited to be part of the tour, hosted by the Fantastic Flying Book Club, and to bring you a chance to win a copy of both books in the Mila 2.0 series. You can follow the entire tour over at their site. But first I had a chance to read the book and it was pretty awesome.

Mila 2.0: Renegade
Debra Driza

Katherine Tegen Books
I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of participating in this tour.
Releases May 13, 2014
448 pages
YA / Sci-Fi / ROBOTS! (well, androids anyway)

Goodreads

There is no one left for Mila to trust. Except for a boy she barely knows.

But Hunter has no idea who—and what—Mila really is. She can’t bear to reveal her secret, even though he’s unwittingly joined her search for Richard Grady, a man who may know more details of Mila’s complicated past.

Yet the road to the truth is more dangerous than ever. With General Holland and the Vita Obscura scouring the earth for her whereabouts, Mila must rely on her newfound android abilities to protect herself and Hunter from imminent harm. Still, embracing her identity as a machine leads her to question the state of her humanity—as well as Hunter’s real motives.

Perfect for fans of I Am Number Four and Divergent, this action-packed and heart-wrenching second installment of MILA 2.0 will leave readers breathlessly awaiting the series conclusion.

The world needs more badass robot ladies like Mila. Even after the trauma she suffered in her first outing, Mila 2.0: Renegade had our heroine running at full speed to figure out the mysteries set up in the first book in the series while dodging trouble from all sides. I can honestly say this was an exhilarating ride with several science fiction android tropes taken for a new spin.

SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK MILA 2.0

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Breaking the Spine and serves to showcase those books we’re not so patiently waiting to arrive!

It's been some time since I've done a Waiting on Wednesday, but I've dragged myself away from Benedict Cumberbatch videos on Youtube long enough to become giddy about an up coming Strange Chemistry book. For those of you who aren't familiar with Strange Chemistry, they are the YA branch of my friends over at Angry Robot.

The Almost Girl
Amalie Howard

Strange Chemistry
Releases January 2, 2014

Find it on Goodreads

Preorder it from Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. Coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more.

Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

There is no wrong in this book's description. It's YA scifi with androids in space and a parrallel world. Time travel too? I mean, seriously, this book is going to be awesome!

Review: Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Mila 2.0
Debra Driza

Katherine Tegen Books
Releases March 12, 2013
480 pages

Find out more about it on GoodReads

Preorder it from Amazon

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

Androids are the humanist of all the members of the robot family and the one most likely to twist my brain into a mush trying to comprehend a machine thinking it’s human. Mila 2.0 did a really good job of convincing me that the android character of Mila had absolutely no idea that she was made of computer components. Once she did find out, her own brain was as twisted as my own had become.

Mila 2.0 starts out with a normal girl recently moved into small town middle-of-nowhere where she doesn’t really fit in after emotionally shutting down from her father’s death. Somehow she falls under the wing of a popular mean girl who then quickly turns on her when new cute boy Hunter enters their school. This part of the book was a little too Mean Girls for me until the accident that starts to trigger Mila’s memories happened and it became less high school drama and more scifi mystery. I kept expecting Hunter to come back into the story later on and somehow tied into the larger story. It just seemed a little convenient that he suddenly arrives in small town middle-of-nowhere a few weeks after Mila, but perhaps I was trying to make this story more complicated than it was.

Because it’s not a very complicated book. Mila spends most of her time monologing  about if she’s a human or a machine while a shady government taskforce hunts her down and puts her through trials to see if she’s even worth keeping up and running or if she’s too emotional to be useful. If I were one of the scientists, I would have quickly sided with “too emotional”, but the mustache twirling bad guy, General Holland, seems to get off on torturing machine girls in hopes of making them cry. Meanwhile a crazy young sensitive scientist takes pity on Mila and befriends her, sort of.

I think that’s the part where I was lost. Lucas is described as an 18 or 19-year-old boy solely entrusted with the care and programming of the multi-billion dollar androids. Perhaps he is a super genius and he’s working off some favor that evil General Holland has done for him, but essentially running the technological division of a military contractor technology division with no adult supervision? Lost me. Yes, he’s sweet and sensitive and acts as a catalyst of a key plot point, but I had a hard time staying in the story with such a convenient and unlikely character playing an important role in the story.

But other than that, Mila 2.0 is a fun story with a lot of action and a very Bourne Identity sort of feel to it without all the nausea inducing shaky cam. The characters may not be all that deep and there are of course giant implausibilities even outside the concept of an android so human that it doesn’t even know it’s a machine, but it doesn’t matter too much. This is a fun mystery scifi story with lots of action and maybe just a little too much whiney self-analysis.

By the time it comes to a conclusion, I was kind of exhausted, as much from the crazy car chases and excitement as the high levels of emo and self-doubt that seep into every moment of Mila’s life once she knows she’s a robot. Despite that I’m really curious to see how Driza carries this story forward and how all the characters will continue to be more closely tied together. There are a lot of ways this story can go, especially with the passing mention of a third party group wanting to steal Mila for her technology and sell her off to the highest bitter acting as a shadow in the background for most of the story. As the beginning of a series, the plot and action hold this novel together, especially when Mila gets a little too whiny for my taste.

But in the end, it’s about robots and robots thinking they are human, which always melts my brain a little bit. Even emo robots are pretty cool.

 

I received a copy of this book via the Around the World ARC tours. I have since mailed it out to the next person on the tour.

Random Tuesday: Star Trek, Robots, Hawkeye Initiative & Book to TV Adaptations

Working 10+ hours a day is not really conducive to collecting items for Random Tuesday, but this week it WILL NOT STOP ME BEING RANDOM! Oh no, I shall post things so unrelated that it might give you whiplash. Monkeys and popsicles. Basketball and baby rattle. Or something.

I might be a little delirious from lack of sleep, too much work and my yoga instruction attempting to kill me on Sunday, but whatevs. That just makes being random more fun.

First things first, we still have an INTERNATIONAL CONTEST open for submittals. Not a lot of people have entered, which makes me kind of sad. But do you know what that means? If you enter now, you have a VERY GOOD CHANCE OF WINNING. And winning is always fun. Go enter to win your choice of Shadows or Ashes by Ilsa J Bick. You will not regret it. I promise.

 

I really liked JJ Abrahm's first Star Trek movie. Like, really, really, watch-it-over-and-over-again liked it. Toss in some Cumberbatch and I get all grabby hands. Is it May yet?

 

Have you heard of the Hawkeye Initiative? If you haven't, you really should check it out. I can't even open that page at work for fear of the long-running giggle attack it will induce.

I'm also happy that it introduced me to the great fanart of Blue. More art for me to convince Fernando we must have! I mean, this belongs in my house! And this!

 

Have your weekly dose of ROBOTS! If you're not satisfied, you can find more robots at TheMarySue.com.

Bookstores are awesome. You probably think that too because you're here. This particular bookstore is covered in extra awesome sauce because they had someone create Sauron's tower using Lord of the Rings box sets. (via geekologie.com)

 

For those of you who are single sci-fi geeks, io9 has their top 16 pickup lines from science fiction properties. Some of them I think could be incredibly awkward to say to a stranger in a bar, while others would definitely start a conversation with me (though not so much with the picking-up).

 

Someone else is attempting to make a Wonder Woman television show. I'm not going to hold my breath to see it.

 

And going back to robots, the Japanese are apparently creating a friendly robot to keep their astronauts from getting lonely in space. Luckily there probably aren't many Japanese astronauts named Dave, so things should be fine.

 

I always knew there was something not quite right about that Superman guy...

 

The BBC is going to adapt Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, a giant doorstop of a book that had me sucked it from the first page to the very last. Magic! War! Faeries! Craziness!

 

Also MILA 2.0 has already been picked up to be turned into a television show even though the book doesn't come out until March 2013. The lady behind Grey's Anatomy is developing it, which makes me leery but it has androids, so WIN!

 

And now I'm taking my delirium off to watch The Walking Dead. What random things have you come across lately?

Waiting on Wednesday: Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Breaking the Spine and serves to showcase those books we’re not so patiently waiting to arrive!

Mila 2.0
Debra Driza

Katherine Tegen Books
Releases March 12, 2013
480 pages

Find it on GoodReads

Preorder it on Amazon

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

MORE ROBOTS! The number of YA titles I've been coming across lately that involve androids or robots or AI is making my robot-loving heart incredibly happy. This sounds like a thriller with action and lots of fun science fiction android craziness. I'm in!

Review: Amped by Daniel H Wilson

Have you ever found yourself at a complete loss of what to say in a review of a book, not because you don’t have things to say about it, but because you’re so preoccupied with thoughts of other books that you can’t piece together a coherent sentence? That’s me tonight. All I want to do is gibber incomprehensibly about Dearly, Beloved (which I haven’t even read yet) and how seriously cool Ilsa J Bick is and how Gabriel Rodriguez is possibly the best comic artist of ever. I can’t seem to find it in me to write something comprehensible about how Amped gave me the heebie-jeebies in a matter of pages, how freaked out I was at the thought that intelligence – even artificially created – could become a character trait to shun and segregate against. How I had super bizarre dreams about androids fighting red necks all ninja-style.

Okay, I think I’m ready to write this review now.

Amped
Daniel H Wilson

Knopf Doubleday
288 pages
Releases on June 5, 2012
SciFi / Action

Preorder it from Amazon here

Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. Enter a stunning world where technology and humanity clash in terrifying and surprising ways.

Some people are implanted with upgrades that make them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities—and rights—of “amplified” humans.

On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, 29-year-old Owen Gray discovers that his seizure-suppressing medical implant is actually a powerful upgrade. Owen joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as “amps” and is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps are about to change the world—or destroy it.

Up front I have to say that the idea of a microchip implanted in a human’s brain that could not only solve all the problems of fetal alcohol syndrome or Down’s syndrome or general mental retardation, but also turn the human in question into a super genius is amazing. I think the smarter people are the better. I do not fear intelligence and love listening to people talk about things they’re so much smarter about than I am (as long as the subject is interesting, of course). I don’t think being smart makes you elitist or a bad person or evil. I just think it makes you really smart.

But I also am aware that there are some people who fear intelligence, who don’t like feeling stupid or unknowledgeable, who probably were never that fond of learning. Because I know those people exist, Amped gave me serious mental issues. I mean, there were times I had to put down my Kindle, take a few deep breaths and try to get the chill bumps to go away. This is because I am paranoid and don’t underestimate the cruelty of which people are capable.

The beginning of this book is my waking nightmare.

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