Human Sister by Jim Bainbridge – Not what I was expecting
I was hoping for a bit more than I got with this book. The perspective primarily focuses on Sara Jensen, a young teen girl who has lived a sheltered life, becoming an experiment of her grandfather as she is used to create an android. Though the world has been populated with thousands of these beings, this new android, Michael, grows and develops by being directly tied to her experiences. This helps humanize their kind a little more. However, the government wants to outlaw these practices and eliminate the world of all androids, believing that they pose a thread to the human race. So her family must keep the existence of their beloved Michael and their other androids a secret, going to amazing lengths to do so. But will their efforts be in vain?
To be quite honest, the beginning had a lot of promise, but it slows down for me immensely for the majority of the book. This book is classified as science fiction and that’s honestly all you get. The themes are thought provoking, but not to surprising. There is not a lot of plot progression, just pages and pages of useless detail. While the jargon wasn’t totally over my head, it’s an extremely cerebral read and you should be prepared for that. It’s so cerebral that it comes off as clinical and I honestly felt as if I was reading a text book most of the time. I really wanted more story, conflict, and drama. It gets there eventually, but I was tempted to stop reading for the majority of the book. It didn’t really feel like a climax either; it just happened.
This also reminded me at times of the film Artificial Intelligence(starring Haley Joel Osmet) with similar themes and an anti-android agenda. But I was genuinely more attached to that story.
I think the book would have been improved if it featured Michael’s POV as an android. I think it would have made more of an impact to get into his head and compare it to our own thought processes and emotions as normal humans. I would have enjoyed comparing the nuances that would give away that his kind is not quite right, but still ambitious.
I don’t see myself reading this again and I can’t really recommend it. It’s certainly strange and out there at times, but I’m sure there are other sci-fi books that accomplish this while moving the plot along at a good pace.