Title: Emily Eternal
Author: M.G. Wheaton
Genre/Themes: Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Artificial Intelligence
Blurb from Goodreads
Emily is an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.
Her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome that may save them all. But not everyone is convinced Emily has the best solution–or the best intentions. Before her theory can be tested, the lab is brutally attacked, and Emily’s servers are taken hostage.
Narrowly escaping, Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions–college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra. As the sun’s death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. Soon it becomes clear not just the species is at stake, but also that which makes us most human.
I really love science fiction. Especially speculative science fiction. Anything that really provokes thought and brings about much soul searching on the grounds of questioning what it is that truly makes us human beings. Basically I’m always eager to read anything that tries to define ‘the soul’ of a human by exploring human interaction with artificial intelligence and by contrasting the potentially more coldly logical thought processes of AI technology.
So when I heard about this book I thought wa hoo!!! A book that speculates not simply about artificial intelligence but ARTIFICIAL CONSCIOUSNESS!!!!!!!! Because basically it’s about what happens when humanity creates a godlike character….
I WAS SO HERE FOR THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And it started out so well!
IT STARTED TO SUCK SO QUICKLY!!!!!!!!!!!
The writing style lacked an engaging quality… The dialogue… wow cringe-fest!! Honestly for a futuristic book this book sounded like a reject script from some dodgy 90s SciFi show. The slang and colloquialisms used really jarred badly with the supposed futuristic setting of the book.
The plot quickly got messy and sadly descended into a very dull (and super weird) romance… I mean the romance between AC… I can’t use AC can I, that acronym is synonymous with air conditioning…
So the romance between human and artificial consciousness just… it was weird okay. Like *spoilers* but Jason and Emily had sex and it was icky… I mean she had no body and yet they had sex and experiences???
LOOK IT WAS SUPER AWKWARD TO READ AND NOT VERY WELL EXPLAINED. All I could think of was is he just humping a pillow that he thinks is her????????????? Like lol no…
And really I couldn’t understand how Emily had a crush on Jason in the first place. It wasn’t ever fully explored how this artificial consciousness developed a crush, feelings… how did she make the leap from artificial to sort of realistic??????????? Honestly this felt like a sub-par YA Sci Fi with insta-love….
So really I just stayed reading this book just so I could get to the end. What does goes in Emily Eternal’s favour is that I didn’t know how it would end…
What goes against it is that cringefest that was the epilogue.
LIKE OH MY GOD NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about hilariously tidy. Like humanity is facing mass extinction and then lol three months later sure we are all grand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*cackles with laughter*
Add that to the whole weirdness of the artificial consciousness overtaking people’s memory and then the book awkwardly talking about agency just so it feels relevant to current consent discussions?????? THAT COULD HAVE BEEN INTERESTING BUT LOL NOT LIKE THAT!!!!!!!!!
Yeah I’m just not sold on this book at all.