In Lee Fisher's world, one just a little ahead of our own,
an artificial human, Charlotte, has been created.
Unfortunately, Charlotte escapes and begins a series of
attacks on America. Lee is the son of the president, and he
attends his grandfather's prestigious school while trying
stay closeted. When the mysterious Nico shows up, flirty
eccentric, Lee finds himself opening up, but just when he
thinks all is well, he finds himself right in the middle of
Charlotte's plans, ones that possibly involve the boy
Tim Floreen's WILLFUL MACHINES powers an intensely quick
plot that, combined with shorter chapters, make this a
and breathless read. The plot twists are consistent and
powerful, giving readers just enough clues to keep their
minds thinking but plenty of open mystery to ferociously
turn the pages. The swoony romance integrated throughout
plot offers several cute, heartwarming, and sometimes
heartbreaking moments that reveal new depths to Lee's
Two overarching themes, life and masculinity, are complex
and offer brilliant discussions. The conversations around
machinery and human life, where the line falls between
and what it really means to feel, evoke strong emotion
without ever forcing any one answer. The minor additions of
Lee's personally built robotics are adorable and provide
nice comic relief from time to time. The portrayal of
masculinity, especially in father-son relationships, is
multifaceted and thought-provoking, excellent for anyone
finds the phrase 'be a man' or 'man up' rubbing them
Readers looking to debate ideas of will and hope among
humans and robots, get sucked into a sweet romance, and
into a fast plot should connect with WILLFUL MACHINES
immediately. Time Floreen shows remarkable skill as a
who knows how to keep readers interested, and I look
to his future works.
In this action-packed, high-octane debut, the closeted son
of an ultra-conservative president must keep a budding
romance secret from his father while protecting himself
a sentient computer program that’s terrorizing the United
States—and has zeroed in on him as its next target.
In the near future, scientists create what may be a new
of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well
until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the
Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public.
Charlotte’s attacks have everyone on high alert—everyone
except Lee Fisher, the closeted son of the US president.
has other things to worry about, like keeping his Secret
Service detail from finding out about his crush on Nico,
eccentric, Shakespeare-obsessed new boy at school. And
keeping Nico from finding out about his recent suicide
attempt. And keeping himself from freaking out about all
But when attacks start happening at his school, Lee
he’s Charlotte’s next target. Even worse, Nico may be part
of Charlotte’s plan too.
As Lee races to save himself, uncover Charlotte’s plan, and
figure out if he can trust Nico, he comes to a whole new
understanding of what it means to be alive…and what makes
life worth living.