A frothy rom-com in literary form: two lonely Brits are brought together—and then nearly pulled apart—by meddling artificial intelligences that develop (quite literally) minds of their own in Reizin’s enthusiastic debut.
The facts about Jen are that she’s a 34-year-old ex-journalist with a new job training an AI called “Aiden” (get it?) to talk to people, which means, all day, every day, she talks about her thoughts and feelings with a pal of increasing intimacy who happens to be a machine, and that she has been recently dumped by her boyfriend of two years. The facts about Tom are that he is 44, recently divorced, and has fled from London to Connecticut to begin “Part Two” of his life. He has a pet rabbit called Victor (a girl), a college-aged son, and—most importantly—he is secretly watched over by an AI named “Aisling,” who, like Aiden, has “escaped” onto the internet. AIs are not supposed to have feelings—and like Greek gods, they are not supposed to meddle in human affairs. But Aiden—breaking both rules—is troubled by Jen’s loneliness and, a cross between Puck and a digital Yente, sets out to find her a match, despite Aisling’s warnings about the dangers of running human interference. All it takes to bring Jen and Tom together is one well-played anonymous email from a so-called “Mutual Friend,” but when a third, more sinister AI catches wind of the plan—and of Aiden's and Aisling’s escapes onto the web—Jen and Tom’s future is thrown into question, as are Aiden’s and Aisling’s continued existence. Hardly a deep dive into the uneasy relationship between humans and machines—or humans and humans, for that matter—the novel is instead a broad and madcap love story, heavy on the slapstick.
A charming enough romp that happily skims along the surface of its premise.