CONSCIOUSNESS IS IN THE CODE
The year is 2045. 18-year-old Charlie Nobunaga creates the world’s first sentient AI and becomes an overnight sensation. But amid the red carpet galas and TV interviews, Charlie is diagnosed with cancer, and her promising future grinds to a halt.
To save her life, an ambitious tech company uploads Charlie’s mind into the body of a cutting-edge robot. The procedure is a success, but with a horrifying catch. They create additional clones for their own ends.
Charlie wakes up four times as four distinct entities: a robot named PRIME, a holographic assistant named SHADOW, a mysterious four-armed killer named ECHO, and the original dying human renamed ZERO. Separated and imprisoned, each version of Charlie begins an arduous journey alone. But their paths soon intersect in surprising ways as they retaliate against the people determined to destroy them.
ZERO ECHO SHADOW PRIME is the story of one young woman who splits into four…and fights to become whole again.
For many people Science Fiction is about spaceships and the exploration of far flung planets, but to me science fiction is all about the exploration of ideas, and Zero Echo Shadow Prime is packed full of them.
Set in the very near future, a young coder creates the very first sentient AI and everybody wants a piece of her. The problem is, she’s dying of cancer. When rich industrialist father calls in a few favours and with the help of Jude Adler, CEO of the technology firm Rivir, decides to save Charlie’s life against her wishes, Charlie’s problems are only just beginning.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s packed full of ideas, exploring some of the questions around human consciousness – what makes a person who they are, what is sentience, along with some of the thornier philosophical issues around the rights of synthetic beings and who owns a copied consciousness – all wrapped up in a fast-paced thriller. The world building is very well done, providing the small elements of detail required to show what areas of society and culture have changed without resorting to pages of backstory and setup.
In Charlie Nobunaga, Samet has created an intelligent, strong-willed female lead that had real agency despite her physical limitations, who is also a fearsome four-armed killer; a holographic personal assistant and a supercharged android warrior. The fact Samet manages to flick between each point of view without causing confusion is great testament to his skill as a writer.
There were a couple of areas where I thought the book could bi improved, the Echo storyline, while interesting, felt a little superfluous and the love interest never quite came off for me, but in a book this fast moving and complex, these are just minor issues. Overall this is a great read, and if this review doesn’t persuade you to buy the book then the cover surely will.
If you are looking for a fun-filled thriller with substance and ideas, this is the book for you. Recommended.
To buy Zero Echo shadow Prime from Amazon.co.uk click here
To buy Zero Echo shadow Prime from Amazon.com click here
Recommended reads are either independently published books – or those that are published via a small press – that I have bought and enjoyed. They are part of a commitment to ‘pay it forward’ to other independent authors by buying their work and promoting those that I have enjoyed, both here and on Amazon and Goodreads. I don’t accept submissions but instead focus on people who have helped or inspired me through their blogging or who actively support other writers, but I only recommend those books I have personally enjoyed. If you are an independent author I would encourage you to do the same and help pay it forward to the community. For more information please see my blog post here.