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Review: This is Me by C. E. Wilson

Review: This is Me by C. E. Wilson
This is Me. by C.E. Wilson

Genres: Science Fiction, Romance
Published by Live and Love the Fantasy Publications
Publication Date: August 11th 2016
Pages: 310
Format: ARC
Goodreads

Synopsis:

A-SIST
Anthropomorphic Sentient Individualized Servile uniT

Rogan is a robot. More specifically, he is an Asist – a personalized humanoid servant that provides protection, assistance, and companionship for a lonely young woman living on her own in the city. Chloe is trying to get her big break, singing at bars and clubs all over the city at night while she pays the bills as a substitute teacher during the day. Ever since she activated him many months ago, Rogan has been her beautiful, dependable, obedient, dead-eyed security blanket.

One morning she is shocked when he disobeys a direct command in an attempt to please her and his dull artificial eyes flash a hint of something new. Is this the result of the adaptive Asist servility programming or is Rogan actually thinking? Can a robot think? Can a robot feel?

As Chloe struggles with these thoughts she is blindsided by the singular Niven Adams, a handsome, confident man with the voice of an angel who is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for her, except for one problem. Niven doesn’t approve of Asists and takes an immediate dislike to Rogan. As Niven charms his way deeper and deeper into Chloe’s heart, Rogan tries to convince her that he is more than a mass-produced disposable servant.

With Rogan doing everything in his power to prove that his thoughts and feelings are real and Niven trying to persuade her to abandon her robot and have a normal human relationship, Chloe is trapped between the two things that mean the most to her. Does she embrace her relationship with the blond newcomer, or face that her Asist’s feelings may be more than features of his programming?

What really makes a person a person?
Is it a ticking muscle inside their chest, or is it something more?

 

My Review

The plot:

I am a huge fan of old fashioned science fiction, but I have trouble finding newer books that use those classic formulas so this was a bit of a treat.

 

Chloe is a young woman who lives in a world filled with androids. These androids are called Assist and their entire purpose is to please their human owners. When Chloe gets a job in the city as a substitute teacher, her parents will only allow her to move under the condition that she take an Assist with her for protection.

When the story begins, Chloe has already been living with her Assist, Rogan, for a while, and she has become very attached to him. Not only does she depend on him for protection, but she also uses him for companionship.

Things are complicated when Chloe meets a cute fellow music lover and teacher named Niven. Niven is fun, they have a lot in common, and most importantly he is human. But no matter how great Niven is, Chloe can’t shake the connection she feels with Rogan.

 

The characters:

I am going to preface this section by saying I didn’t really like any of the characters in this book. While they were all interesting, none of them were all that likable, but I still enjoyed reading about them. They were complicated and messy, and sometimes that is enough to hold my interest.

 

Niven was very well written. I think he kind of got a bum rap in this book because he had some hateful feelings towards Assist. Prejudice was a major theme in story. And because he hated Assist, Niven was treated like a bigot by some. I however don’t know how I feel about that. Even the people who claimed to view Assist as humans still treated them like property. Niven just didn’t like the fact that Assist were basically perfect human beings who could take everything from him.

It’s one thing to be born different and treated cruelly for that fact, but Assist were built and programmed not born. Niven was faced with the very real reality of his girlfriend having sexual and romantic feelings for a robot who had been programmed to fulfill her every wish. That is not an easy thing to compete with, and I just don’t think the dude was out of line for wanting her to get rid of Rogan.

 

Chloe was a very confusing character who came across as unreasonable when it came to both Rogan and Niven. On one hand she got angry with Niven when he kept secrets from her, but she kept her sexual relationship with Rogan from Niven for a very long time and even lied to him about it. She also wasn’t fair to Rogan because it was obvious that her relationship with Niven was hurting Rogan and she ignored his pain.

One minute she would yell at Niven for treating Rogan like a thing instead of a person, and then the next minute she would tell herself that Rogan couldn’t possibly be hurt by her because he was just a machine. She just never made much sense to me.

 

Rogan was a very interesting character. I always enjoy reading about machines becoming self aware, and this time was no different. However, since most of his personality was defined by his feelings for Chloe, I will discuss him more in the next part of the review.

 

The romance:

This book was much more mature that any other I have read by this author, and there’s no doubt that this book is intended for adults. Chloe and Rogan have a sexual relationship and the author makes it clear how much Chloe enjoys it. But the author makes that clear without any explicit details. Sex is used to drive the plot as opposed to becoming the plot.

At first, their physical relationship is more clinical than romantic. The romance involved the things Rogan would say to her more than the things they did behind closed doors.

 

I have to admit, I was very interested in who Chloe was going to end up with, but I had absolutely no dog in the fight. Niven had some great moments, but he was human and therefore imperfect. And Rogan was perfect in every way, but he had also been programmed that way.

So basically she could have a perfect man who had no choice but to love her, or a flawed man who loved her because he wanted to not because he had to.

 

Major spoiler. Do not click unless you want to ruin the book. I just need to get this off my chest.

View Spoiler »

 

Final thoughts:

As you can see, I had a lot of thoughts on this book. So even though I didn’t love the characters or the romance, I enjoyed the process of reading it. This book was messy and complicated, and sometimes that’s more fun to read.

If you are in the mood for something different, and enjoy Sci-fi, I highly recommend you give this a read.

 

Because of sexual content and language, I would recommend this book for ages 17 and up. There were no detailed sex scenes.

 

4 Roses

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Author Biography

About C.E. Wilson

C.E. Wilson is currently living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and her two dogs and two cats. They are all the loves of her life. When she’s not writing young adult fantasy novels, she enjoys writing short stories on her Deviant Art page. She loves to write stories involving giants and little people (also known as GT) and she can't decide what she loves more: horror movies or shoujo manga. She has a bachelor's degree in English Education so she has a soft spot for older literature authors including John Milton, William Shakespeare, and stories such as Paradise Lost and Beowolf. On a side note, nothing helps her to write more than drinking some tea and watching The Twilight Zone.

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2 comments

  1. Maja @MayaTheBookExplorer

    I love your review. I saw this book here and there and I wasn’t sure even what it was about. So thanks for your info about it. 🙂

  2. Danielle Pitter

    I agree with a lot of your points. I also didn’t love all of the characters in THIS IS ME. The only ones I found interesting and quite enjoyable were Rogan and Fitz’s little ASIST-mini, Bree. She reminded me of Iko from the Lunar Chronicles.

    Read my full review: http://poemsbyayoungartist.blogspot.com/2017/01/this-is-me-by-ce-wilson-review-spoiler.html

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