Quirk took a chance with me reviewing another literary mash-up of theirs, Android Karenina, and I will admit that for the most part I actually enjoyed reading this novel. But let me start with the fun contest that Quirk is running.
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The story still follows the original drama and romance of Anna Karenina & Count Vronsky, and Kitty Shcherbatskaya & Konstantin Levin. Unlike the original though, this newly imagined world is full of androids and technology that makes all their lives easy. That is until an evil underground group of Russian scientist begin attacking all that they hold dear. Will their government protect them and theirs, and what happens when truths are revealed about their very own characters?
Ben H. Winters first showed up on the Quirk scene when he co-wrote Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Now he has taken on the challenge of a Tolstoy mash-up all by himself. Instead of monsters taking on pivotal roles, there are companion androids and an overwhelmingly large assortment of advanced technology.
The descriptions for this book call it a steampunk inspired novel. I will agree with the inspired part, but Winters takes the mechanics way beyond simple steam driven engines. Everyone in high society has a companion android who anticipates the character's needs physically, mentally, and emotionally. The humans are completely dependent on them for every little thing, and this technology has been forced into every part of the story (i.e. robotic dice), which pushes the boundaries of reasonability with me. In the end, he makes use of these gadgets, and uses them or the lack of them to advance the story. Employing the androids as both characters and plot devices was successful, but reading the names of all these special gadgets was a tad burdensome at times, as I feel they were used with a bit of a heavy hand. It wouldn't have been so tedious at times if each mechanical device did not have a three part nomenclature. Luckily, Winters did not stick with just machines in this retelling of a classic.
Okay, so that is what I think, but remember folks it's just an opinion. Now click on Quirk contest and enter to win some great prizes. And for more information on Android Karenina published by Quirk simply click her name.