WILLFUL MACHINES by Tim Floreen
Kirkus Star

WILLFUL MACHINES

Age Range: 12 - 17
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Same-sex dating is tricky when your dad is a right-wing political figure. Then there’s that whole robot-fueled terrorist attack thing threatening to directly strike at any second.

In the not-so-distant future, robotics enthusiast Lee Fisher is the closeted son of the ultra-conservative U.S. president. With only one kiss under his belt, Lee has earned his nickname, Walk-In (as in closet). His father has a strict moral agenda to steer the country back to ancient ideals, proselytizing the dangers of technology; indeed, Lee's mother was murdered by an “artificially conscious” robot named Charlotte who is now plotting a terrorist attack. Lee, tailed by the Secret Service and scrutinized by the media, wants to keep a low profile. When svelte, charismatic, Chilean Nico Medina arrives at Lee's stuffy prep school, the stakes change. Lee decides to explore romance even if Nico might not be who he says he is—and even if Charlotte has Lee in her cross hairs. Many au courant topics are challenged: equal rights, conservative closed-mindedness, terrorism, global acceptance of same-sex couples, the stickiness of coming out. From a first-person perspective, Lee fumbles from self-deprecation to self-confidence. As varied as his opinions are of himself, so too is the landscape, mixing technology with gothic settings à la Poe and Stoker.

Gothic, gadget-y, gay: a socially conscious sci-fi thriller to shelve between The Terminator and Romeo and Juliet. (Science fiction. 12-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4814-3277-1
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2015




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