Tag: Science FIction

Audiobook Review: Annie Bot by Sierra Greer

Annie Bot
Author: Sierra Greer

Narrator: Jennifer Jill Araya
Published: March 19, 2024
Audiobook: 9 hours 31 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: April 22-26, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

A powerful, provocative novel about the relationship between a female robot and her human owner, exploring questions of intimacy, power, autonomy, and control.

Annie Bot was created to be the perfect girlfriend for her human owner Doug. Designed to satisfy his emotional and physical needs, she has dinner ready for him every night, wears the pert outfits he orders for her, and adjusts her libido to suit his moods. True, she’s not the greatest at keeping Doug’s place spotless, but she’s trying to please him. She’s trying hard.

She’s learning, too.

Doug says he loves that Annie’s AI makes her seem more like a real woman, so Annie explores human traits such as curiosity, secrecy, and longing. But becoming more human also means becoming less perfect, and as Annie’s relationship with Doug grows more intricate and difficult, she starts to wonder: Does Doug really desire what he says he wants? And in such an impossible paradox, what does Annie owe herself?

Jessica’s Review:

Wow,  Annnie Bot is a book that will make you think… A lot!  It is Science Fiction that will one day become fact. It shows how AI can develop (I mean AI is getting a lot of attention now.  James Cameron tried to warn us about AI: Skynet IS real and coming for us all!  Beware of the Terminators!)

But seriously, this was a very good read.  It was hard at times to remember that Annie is a robot, she seems so real: And the emotion she has!  I kept reminding myself that this is a robot as the story progressed.  Robots apparently can have ‘real’ feelings. She’s a ‘cuddle bunny’ robot (AKA robot sex toy and we do get a lot of human/ robot sex in this novel).

We see how their ‘relationship’ goes and what happens when Annie has to go in for ‘check ups’.  This is an intriguing world Annie and her owner Doug live in. We get to go inside Annie’s ‘mind’ and ‘thoughts’ with the narration. We see her learn and gain more knowledge and, in some ways, become more human over the course of the novel.

This could definitely be a Dark Mirror episode! Except the ending would have to be darker. In some ways the ending was disappointing, give me more dark drama!!  Give me some more thrills. There was nothing wrong with the ending, that’s just me and what I like: Give me all the thrills and suspense!

I also enjoyed the Jennifer Jill Araya’s narration. She did a very good job ‘bringing Annie to life’ for the reader.

This is a very feminist story, but not overly preachy. As previously stated, once you are done reading Annie Bot, you will be thinking about it afterwards.

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy to listen to and review. I give it for solid stars! This is Sierra Greer’s debut novel and I look forward to see what she has coming in the future!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK 

Audiobook Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

Author:  Christina Dalcher

Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published: August 21, 2018
: 9 Hours 27 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: December 5-10, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Audiobook Description:

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

This is just the beginning…not the end.

Jessica’s Review:

I don’t think of myself as a feminist, but dang, this book got my blood boiling! In a future America where women have literally been silenced in multiple ways: They can’t have a job, vote, travel, use a computer or even read. And even more: They cannot speak more than 100 words a day. Females of all ages (even little children) have to wear a wristband that counts down how many words they utter. Once the counter reaches zero the women receive an electric shock and ff they continue to speak the shock becomes even stronger until… well we do actually see what happens in one case. 

This America has The Pure Movement which is responsible for everything. Yes, this book has political and religious undertones to it.  Many people think of The Handmaid’s Tale. Women are totally silent and men make all of the decisions everywhere, including the home.  It’s not just women who are silenced: There are punishments for premarital sex and extramarital sex.  But it is just the women who are punished. Homosexuality has also been deemed a choice and there are camps where the LGTBQ persons are housed. They are housed in rooms with one man and one woman and are expected to reverse their ‘decisions’ and become heterosexual again. 

Our MC is Dr. Jean McClellan who has four children: Three boys and one young girl, so she is getting opinions from all sides. One of those sides comes from her own son who doesn’t seem to have any issue with The Pure Movement. He even tells Jean his plans with a girl. And Jean says, “what does she (the girl) have to say about that?!?” I’m sure not much since females can’t utter more than 100 words a day!

I also like that Jean is realistic but also far from perfect. We also see how her decisions affect how events occur.

This is a strong debut novel from Dalcher, though the second half was almost like a second weaker story for me.  It was piggybacking off of the original story but going in its own way. There were also a lot of science terms used that might be confusing for some readers. I think listening to the book helped me versus if I had been reading it.  I was still invested in it and found myself listening to the book whenever I was able to!

Dalcher seems to like to write about controversial subjects looking at some of the other books she has written: Master Class which deals with standardized testing in the school system and The Sentence which deals with prosecutors seeking the death penalty put their lives on the line if the guilty are later found innocent. Both of those books I plan on reading/ listening to!

Julia Whelan is the narrator for Vox, and I can’t say anything bad about her! I just love her and could listen to anything she narrates!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Audiobook Review: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse Five
Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Narrator: Ethan Hawke
Published: March 31, 1969
Audiobook: 6 hours 2 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: August 3-7, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.”

Jessica’s Review:

“And so it is”… Slaughterhouse Five was not for me. For me it seems that Vonnegut is an acquired taste. Slaughterhouse is a short book but also a very hard read. I only finished it because it is a book club read, I most likely would have never picked it up otherwise.  Maybe my opinion of it will change after we have our meeting on this one and I hear what the other ladies have to say.

Maybe it was that I did not know the history of Dresden or I am not a fan of symbolism, but it just did not work for me.  The novel was also non-linear which can make it harder to read if you are not enjoying it. And then there are aliens and time travel….  Slaughterhouse is a classic that most people seem to enjoy but I just really struggled. It is semi- auto biographical for Vonnegut as he served during WWII. 

I listened to an older audiobook version which was narrated by Ethan Hawke. His narration was fine, and it actually helped me get through listening.  There was also an interview with Vonnegut. The main thing I got from that interview is that Vonnegut is NOT Billy Pilgrim. Billy Pilgrim was based off of a real person: Edward R Crone Jr, who actually died at Dresden.  That was interesting to find out. 

Though not for me, maybe this classic will be for you. “And so it is”…

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK