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Mal Goes to War

Reviewed by

Coleen

Posted by

Countylib

Category

Posted

May 16, 2024

Coleen Staff Pick

After devouring both of Edward Ashton’s Mickey 7 novels, I was thrilled to read his new novel Mal goes to War, and it did not disappoint.

Mal is a free AI stuck in the middle of a war between “modded and augmented” Federals and the Humanists – a group intent on keeping humans human.  As a newbie to sci-fi, I am learning a lot about emerging technologies. This time Ashton sets his novel on Earth, Bethesda to be exact, rather than planet Niflheim.

I loved the camaraderie between Mal and his mish-mash group – a ‘former’ humanist, an augmented young girl, and Mal’s unwilling variety of hosts. You will fall in love with Mal as easily as Mickey – both are flawed, darkly comic characters.  It’s like a “scifi novel meets Don Quixote” blend of a book. Mal puts Mal first, but like a human, begins to develop feelings and empathy, which begs the reader to question what it really means to be human.

With the right mix of action, fantastical, if not realistic AI, and futuristic elements, it will keep the sci-fi fan “stem-ulated” and newbies like me “mining” for more great reads.

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