"When machines take control, who is a real human?"
Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted September 12, 2016
Science Fiction Suspense/Thriller
This dystopian tale starts in Alaska where we learn that
Anchorage is a ruin. A young woman leading a small ragtag
band of people who tried to rescue a survivor, has been
lured into a trap. By machines. MACHINATIONS posits that
humans have been largely killed off by machine
intelligence. How and why we come to learn. But right now,
Rhona Long is getting shot.
The action moves to a facility in the icy mountains where a
pocket of people hide, under attack. Rhona wakes here, with
incomplete memories, a clone of the earlier version. Her
companions are arming themselves with EMP grenades. Their
servers are down and the machines are breaking through the
walls. Will this version of Rhona fare any better?
Through memories we see that the AIs created to control
self-driving cars were connected to international flights.
Crashes were blamed on sabotage but programmers suspected
that AIs were warring between one another. Then machines
started attacking populations in cities. Now in a scenario
reminiscent of The Terminator or The Matrix, learning
robots hunt down people and kill them or enslave them. But
the AIs were only carrying out idealised human orders; they
had been ordered to end wars.
Rhona alternates normal moments of friendship and hiking
with periods of terror and loss. This isn't a read for
anyone too young or prone to nightmares. When she reaches a
secure area with a group of fighters, there is doubt as to
whether she should be considered a leader like the original
version - she's just a clone. She asks if a young man
dislikes her, and is told, no, he really loved the
original. Can she become the leader, communicator and
diplomat the first Rhona apparently was?
look at identity and personal experience makes MACHINATIONS
different to other dystopian books. I find it odd that
people use tech like building climate control, personal
computers when the machines would have been linking
everything via net-enabled chips. And can every person be
trusted? Features of Alaska are important to the
adventure. I would head for the tropics, because computers
don't function well in heat. Maybe that'll be the scene of
the next scary instalment in the MACHINATIONS series by
Hayley Stone, who is a freelance graphic designer in
California and a longtime SF fan.
Perfect for fans of Robopocalypse, this
action-packed science-fiction debut introduces a chilling
future and an unforgettable heroine with a powerful role to
play in the battle for humanity’s survival.
The machines have risen, but not out of malice. They were
simply following a command: to stop the endless wars that
have plagued the world throughout history. Their solution
was perfectly logical. To end the fighting, they decided to
end the human race.
A potent symbol of the resistance, Rhona Long has served on
the front lines of the conflict since the first Machinations
began—until she is killed during a rescue mission gone
wrong. Now Rhona awakens to find herself transported to a
new body, complete with her DNA, her personality, even her
memories. She is a clone . . . of herself.
Trapped in the shadow of the life she once knew, the
reincarnated Rhona must find her place among old friends and
newfound enemies—and quickly. For the machines are inching
closer to exterminating humans for good. And only Rhona,
whoever she is now, can save them.
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