Author: Katie M. Flynn
Genre: Literary Fiction/Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Book Description: Station Eleven meets Never Let Me Go in this debut novel set in an unsettling near future where the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service by the living.
In the wake of a highly contagious virus, California is under quarantine. Sequestered in high rise towers, the living can’t go out, but the dead can come in—and they come in all forms, from sad rolling cans to manufactured bodies that can pass for human. Wealthy participants in the “companionship” program choose to upload their consciousness before dying, so they can stay in the custody of their families. The less fortunate are rented out to strangers upon their death, but all companions become the intellectual property of Metis Corporation, creating a new class of people—a command-driven product-class without legal rights or true free will.
Sixteen-year-old Lilac is one of the less fortunate, leased to a family of strangers. But when she realizes she’s able to defy commands, she throws off the shackles of servitude and runs away, searching for the woman who killed her.
Lilac’s act of rebellion sets off a chain of events that sweeps from San Francisco to Siberia to the very tip of South America. While the novel traces Lilac’s journey through an exquisitely imagined Northern California, the story is told from eight different points of view—some human, some companion—that explore the complex shapes love, revenge, and loneliness take when the dead linger on.
Rating: 2 1/2 stars
Review: This seams to be the year for dystopian novels, because this is the fifth one I read published in 2020 and there are just so much more coming out. Unfortunately this one falls short.
This story begins after a virus has gone rampant. The state of California is under a quarantine. The people who get this virus can upload their consciousness into other bodies, where they can become Companions.
That premise sounds very interesting, but the book just felt incoherent at times. There are so many characters and jumped time so frequently, it was very hard to follow. The saving grace was that this book was short.
The comparison to Station Eleven is completely unfair, as we all know that is one of the best books ever written. Read at your own risk.
Thank you NetGalley and Gallery/Scout Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.