Saturday, July 15, 2017

Made for Me (Made for Me, #1)Made for Me by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Abrielle has trouble making decisions. She relies on her personal computer to make them for her, even to the extent of what to order for dinner on her first date with Sampson. Sampson was less than forthcoming when he completed the online dating questionnaire. Being an android didn’t seem like essential information. He was also a little careless when he decided to join Abrielle in a glass of wine, because alcohol shorted his circuits, but he was able to tell her how to reboot him and the rest of dinner went well. Sampson was commissioned by an elderly ballet dancer for companionship. She emancipated him in her will, but he had developed a taste for human females. Abrielle was liberal enough in her thinking to not be prejudiced toward androids. This unlikely couple became an item, and due to a glitch at the fertility clinic, find themselves in a position to adopt a child. Life would seem to be idyllic except for the fact that androids have an expiration date.

Made for Me starts well. The reader is attracted to the somewhat ditzy idiosyncrasies of Abrielle, and the voice of her character shows the first few scenes in an engaging way. Then Sampson takes the viewpoint, and he reveals his doubts and worries, again in a convincing way. However, the narration fails to remain consistent and turns into telling the story in place of showing it. There is very little dialogue that might allow the characters to present the story in their own words. What the reader gets instead is a recitation of often sterile facts. When the adopted child, Norrie, takes a turn with the narration, her voice is anything but child-like.

Ms. Schloesser Canepa has created some interesting concepts in this futuristic tale. One that I liked was the idea that Abrielle is working in a fertility clinic at the start of the book. After she and Sampson agree to adopt a ‘mistake’ that the clinic made, she goes to work for a cemetery that specializes in biodegradable ‘burial pods’ that sprout into apple trees. A story about the marriage of an android and a human has great potential. It might resume where Blade Runner ended. Made for Me didn’t satisfy me in that regard. Sampson and Abrielle’s life together was just too mundane. This is petty, and I know it, but I couldn’t shake the idea that Sampson (with a ‘P’) was supposed to be Samson. Made for Me is a quick and breezy read. Don’t let the ranting of one cranky old man dissuade you. See for yourself.

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