Publication Date: 13 January 2021
Series: The Womanoid Diaries # 1
Narrator: Laci Powers
Genre: Sci Fi, Fantasy
Strong Point: The mixture of science-fiction and humour / sarcasm.
Weak Point: The narrator’s efforts to imitate a masculine voice without succeeding, of course.
Books on Tour Rating: (4/5)
Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.06/5)
New Stepford women are charming and lovely. They have a book club, they shop carefully using their many coupons, they clean their houses, take care of their husbands and perform their marital duties like any other woman would do outside their small community. Besides, all men work in the mines and there are no children.
Cookie Rifkin is one of these women. However, she suffers from severe anxiety and panic attacks. The reason why this happens is because her restrictions are set too low…She has no free will at all.
But what restrictions? What is the meaning of this? Well, Cookie is not really human. She is an AI. A humanoid. A Robot.
Cookie is a robot, and she knows this. But she suffers from anxiety because her settings are not right. Her husband hat set them very low. That is why she needs anti-depressant drugs, but her doctor refuses to prescribe them. For this reason, she cooks bananas and smokes them, which makes her relatively high…
Then one day, when she is at the supermarket, she encounters Office Margaret Rouser, a policewoman who shamelessly flirts with her. Outrageous!!! Women don’t hit on women in New Stepford.
However Maggie is more than a policewoman. In Cookie’s own words, Maggie is her “nemesis”.
Since their first contact, Cookie’s life will change forever. She would become self-aware of what is going on in her city with men.
Cookie would understand that she is a slave, reduced to a mere sexual toy under her husband Norman’s orders. She would learn what she means for her husband, the man she thought loved her and cared for her.
Furthermore, she would suffer the consequences of standing up against oppression and sexual enslavement because she would lose many good friends in the way. But it has to be done. Someone has to do it, even if it implies dying and losing your loved ones.
So Cookie starts a rebellion against her husband and all men in general in New Stepford. But this doesn’t mean that men should die, which is Maggie’s approach to the problem. Fanaticism is never good, though.
Because Cookie also meets Wayne Dixon. And Wayne is a man. But Cookie feels something for him. But does she really?
In addition to this, it is Wayne who helps her awakening, and leads her in her way to freedom.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT “ALPHA BOTS”
In “Alpha Bots” we accompany Cookie in her journey to get out of the oppression she has suffered her whole (robotic) life.
And that is the fascinating thing about this book. From the first page the reader knows that we are talking about robots here, not “real” women. But is it so?
The majority of the situations described in the book, even the most grotesque ones (The scene of Cookie’s friend reduced to a mere skeleton lying in the sofa and being abused by two men would always stay on my mind!) can otherwise be extrapolated to situations lived by “real” women nowadays.
I found this aspect of the narration fascinating. I think the author made an amazing job by creating such a science-fiction world that feels so close to our real world.
In addition to this, the witty conversations, word-plays and double meanings make it very easy for me to follow the narration and extremely entertaining. They also added an extra layer of humour which was much appreciated, taking into consideration that some situations of the book are quite dark. I listened to it in Audiobook format while strolling around in my neighbourhood and I found myself many times smiling widely.
But there is so much more in here…so many circumstances that I would need two or three reviews more to cover everything. Plus I don’t wanna say too much and spoil the experience to the possible readers.
I would recommend this book for lovers of science-fiction who want to reflect on women’s feelings in regard to their relationship with men in general. The whole book is a big satire of many social problems that women experience on a daily basis.
However, the book is quite special and I am sure not everyone would enjoy reading it, so handle it with care. 😉
Thanks to the publisher, Semiscope, the author Ava Lock and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of “Alpha Bots” in exchange for an honest review.