by M.G. Wheaton
Review by Bronwyn Eley
I always love being able to say that a book was not what I was anticipating at all. Emily Eternal, the debut novel of M.G. Wheaton, really took me by surprise, and was honestly a little mind-blowing.
This book is about an artificial consciousness (very specifically not an artificial intelligence, thank you very much) called Emily. When we meet Emily, she is being used as a glorified and infallible therapist. She was designed to help humans process their trauma – kind of sweet right?
I love Emily because she is so human. Part of her programming is to consistently improve herself to become more human. She is witty, sassy, intelligent and, in so many ways, so very human. She is constantly torn between doing what a human would do or taking the easier ‘AC’ path. Then you start wondering: does she really care or is it just part of her programming? Being in her head meant, as a reader, I was often just as confused as she was. Is she human? Is she artificial? But she seems soreal…
Unfortunately, none of this really matters anymore. Why? Well, the world’s about to end and things that once mattered don’t really rank that highly anymore. When we join the story, the world has been told time is running out. The sun is dying and, when it does, the effects it will have on Earth will render it inhabitable. Humans will die off as a result.
So, many people have given up.The college that Emily calls home is a ghost-town. Only a dedicated few (mostly her colleagues) continue to work and live as they (mostly) did before. Of course they’ve racked their brains. The greatest minds in the world have tried to fix this problem… but to no avail.
Just as all hope seems lost, Emily stumbles across something that might just be the answer they’re looking for, but before she can do anything her lab is attacked and she is forced to flee. Emily’s not alone, however, finding friendship and much-needed help in Jason (a college student) and Mayra (a small-town Sheriff). This unlikely trio find themselves battling against a group who have their own ideas of how the world should be saved.
Emily Eternal is a really fun ride for anyone who loves chase-scenes, moral dilemmas, unconventional romances, and spectacular science!
~ Bronwyn xo