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I picked this one up because I liked the idea of artificial intelligence on the run from humanity and wanted to see where the author goes with it. The story got off to an excellent start examining sentience and humanity in artificial intelligence and whether artificial people created for military purposes should be treated as human beings or as the military weapons they were designed to be. Unfortunately after a good opening, it descends into a total mess, the author not being able to decide what this story wants to be. An exploration of artificial intelligence against a backdrop of life and politics in a near utopian society or an action packed military sci-fi. What we have is a clumsy attempt to do both, combinig overtly long political ponderings, many tedious descriptions and Iots of badly written info dumps, with long, pointless military action scenes. The attempts at world building are inept and it's a case of being told about this world rather than shown it. However, the real pity here is that we had an incredibly interesting female android with a human nervous system and human emotions, who could have had so much potential for character development. However she turns very quickly into a cardboard cut-out of an adolescent boy's fantasy woman. I must admit that I gave up listening with only four hours to go as I just couldn't take any more. There are quite a few books in the series so there should be more development to the android femme fatal as the stories progress, however I won't be taking the time to find out.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This had a great start to it and I really thought I was going to love it. The main character is not a robot, not an android, not a clone, but she is artificial. She is sentient, so should she have rights? She started out as a great character and there were some intelligent questions to be answered, but from chapter five on the story stagnated. There was the introduction to the character which was unique. There was an Unwinding episode which was disturbing. There was a trial which was stimulating conversation. Each chapter seemed to have it's own theme. After chapter five, we had a touchy feelie chapter and there was a political chapter, etc. I quit in the ninth chapter. There may have been more interesting chapters later, but I did not know how many of these mundane boring chapters I would have to listen to, to get there.
The drool narrator sucked.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
Crossover starts with a very interesting premise and begins with some real promise as Cassandra, an android, assumes a new identity and tries to start a new life as a civilian in a new society rather than as the soldier she has been. However, just as the story starts to roll out this idea of an android created to be a warrior who has philosophical problems with the war and wants to pursue normal human relationships, work a civilian job, and visit art museums, that whole story abruptly ends. Cassandra is captured and co-opted by her enemy and the entire remaining book (all but the first chapter) is unnatural dialog, incoherent political ruminations, and ridiculous sexual discussions/thoughts (although very little actual sex), and a few good fight scenes that Cassandra inevitably wins. The book would have put me to sleep if it weren't for how very aggravating Joel Shepherd's depiction of adult women is. Cassandra is an engineered humanoid designed to be the ultimate of the HK series (hunter-killer) so my assumption would have been that an android designed to be a warrior wouldn't have any inclination for sex. However, I could buy into Shepherd giving his androids a sex drive (his world after all), but for the fact that Cassandra's model type is imprinted with actual human brain patterns. In that case, Cassandra should think about sex the way a real woman does, not like a 15 yr. old boy does. Think I'm exaggerating? Here's a sample, you decide. This is Cassandra's internal monologue at one point (verbatim), "Damn, give her good food, nice surroundings, and a decent hard shag at least 5 times a week and she was happy. Let the universe rot, she just wanted to get nailed." The actual human women in the book aren't much better and certainly don't ring true as believable characters. Cassandra has a great deal of angst over the politics in her world and how much she loves art although she's a soldier, but in truth, the android doesn't actually seem to care a fig about anything but sex and fighting so the moral/ethical conflict of a thinking/feeling android used for fighting doesn't come off at all. And, I didn't give a flip about Cassandra either. She's a male fantasy - beautiful, smart, strong, and can't get enough sex (oh and of course, very skilled at sex) - she's not a real character. She's supposedly made of some super bio synthetic material, but to me she seemed to be made of cardboard. Her human compatriots aren't any more fleshed out either. You don't really see much political action, just characters thinking about it and talking about it and it's a bit simplistic and convoluted. And, the internal monologues are long, frequent and tiresome.
Dina Pearlman is OK as the narrator. As a previous reviewer noted, she does get better as the book goes on. But this is just not a good book, so it's hard to get too excited about the performance of it.
Thumbs down on this one - don't waste a credit!
31 of 37 people found this review helpful