*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*
I’ve read multiple books about androids fighting for the same rights as humans, about whether androids can feel emotions, etc., but I think this book did it in a way that was really well done and maybe more thought-provoking than the others I’ve read so far. It really delved into the issues and had me questioning what I believed and weighing arguments on both sides. Part of the reason for that was probably because we got to see the perspective of all sides, not just the side supporting androids. I don’t mean there were a bunch of POV characters (there were only two), just that we got to hear from characters who were on the extreme for androids and others who were on the extreme for humans (I’m talking extreme to the point of violence and killing) as well as characters who fell at various different points in the middle. That was really the shining point of this book, how thought-provoking it was.
The other thing that really stood out to me was how realistic the characters, their dialogue, their actions, etc. felt. A lot of it was kind of low-key in a way that was real, rather than dramatic or extreme the way books often tend to be. And speaking of the characters, Tyri and Quinn were both good characters—not completely perfect but generally good and likeable. And Rurik and Kit, while not quite as good or likeable, were interesting. They were the most flawed and represented the more extreme beliefs, but they both had good character arcs and got some redemption by the end.
As for the relationships among characters, I think the chemistry between Tyri and Quinn could’ve been a little stronger. I really liked the relationship between Tyri and Rurik though because it was realistic and believable as one of those relationships that’s struggling and in which the people just aren’t compatible and are growing apart, regardless of what their feelings are and how much they may want the relationship to work. I like seeing different types of relationships and struggles in books. I would’ve liked to see the possible chemistry between Quinn and Kit explored a bit more too since I also found their relationship interesting. But the romance wasn’t really the point of the story anyway.
Another thing I liked was the robot versions of human things, like how they got drunk by using some sort of program that kind of scrambled their code in a certain way.
Music is another theme throughout the book, alongside the android stuff, that some people might really enjoy, since both Tyri and Quinn played violin. Quinn even ended up with a sort of synesthesia that made music and sounds have colors and smells.
I did see the twist coming, but it’s really not the type of twist that affects your enjoyment of the story, so that’s not a big deal. And I liked the ending overall. Important things were wrapped up, characters got their arcs, and things were good without being too closed and perfect.
So overall, this was an enjoyable, well-written book with realistic characters and a thought-provoking premise about androids!
Anyone who likes YA, realistic characters, and thought-provoking books about androids.
Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who gets her musical aspirations.
Q-I-99, aka ‘Quinn,’ lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power.
Tyri and Quinn’s worlds collide when they’re accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn’s love of music draws them closer together, forcing Tyri to question where her loyalties lie and Quinn to question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, will Tyri’s and Quinn’s passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?