'After Mind' by Spencer Wolf
"Cessini Madden lives with an extremely rare medical condition… then his physical life ends before he reaches age thirteen.
After an Artificial Intelligence breakthrough, Cessini is reborn as a young AI child named Packet. Scared and living alone in a technology center, Packet recognizes nothing from his past, save for one thing: he is deathly allergic to water.
When a mysterious doctor gives him a chance to recover his memories, Packet must face the tormented boy he once was. He must be the courageous lost son his family remembers and loves. But now as his world collapses around him, one thing remains … even a child’s best memories are made to be changed.
Robot or AI, no one can ever be the same human twice.
From the near-future suburbs to the lush Australian forests, from the depths of the oceans to the promise of space, Packet’s urgent struggle for existence grabs hold in everyday victories and extraordinary dreams. After Mind tells a story about the underlying nature of humanity, the impact of undying devotion, and the incredible next generation of us."
I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway programme in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not really sure how to describe ‘After Mind’ by Spencer Wolf. It has so many different themes and would fit into a number of genres (sci-fi, dystopian, coming of age, etc…) and strongly focusses of technology and artificial intelligence. Essentially, it is a science fiction novel about an AI who is trying to figure out his identity.
A boy wakes up in a hospital room unsure of who – or what – he is. But he knows a few things. The doctor, Daniel, is his father. And he’s afraid of water. He believes his name is Packet.
Packet is actually an artificial intelligence with the memories of Cessini, a boy who died in his early teens. Packet has dreams about Cessini's life, his father, his stepmom, his stepsister, but he can’t seem to connect the dots that he IS Cessini. Cessini was reactive to water. Even a small drop would burn his skin, so naturally he feared it. As a result of this he was a very withdrawn boy with no friends, but he did have a very intelligent mind and was building and creating complicated things at a very young age.
Packet sees these snippets of Cessini’s life through his dreams. Throughout the book his dreams become more vivid and abnormal. He sees himself on a ship that is dying, and figures out a terrible secret about the spray children are given to stop them getting sick.
Although this book is very futuristic science-fiction, it's really the story of a young boy trying to figure out his identity. Packet has to try and realise that Cessini isn't just a boy in his dreams, but is actually himself.
I loved the idea of this story and that we saw Cessini's life through Packet’s dreams. I did find the plot a little difficult to follow though as it tended to jump around a lot. Also, the reader is plunged into the deep end of this world, and has to figure out what a lot of the technologies are without a description. But this was a great read and a really different take on the science-fiction genre, as it was more about the journey of this boy than the futuristic technology.
Definitely not an easy read, but a great one all the same! I think this would appeal to both science-fiction lovers and those who love coming of age stories.
I would give this book 4 stars :)
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