Customer Reviews


18 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful characters and narrative
I've started and restarted this review about a half-dozen times. Not because I don't have anything to say about vN, because I assuredly do - when do I not? - but rather because I don't know where to start. There is so much to say about vN, from the characters to the basic premise, to the writing and the power of the story, it's hard to begin. So I'll jump in at the...
Published on 28 July 2012 by W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glass half full ...
I have had vN on my reading pile for a few months now, and decided to finally crack it open after a good run so far of reading and being wonderfully surprised by Angry Robot's publishing choices. I'd heard good things, and was hoping for more of them. I got ... some of those good things. I prefer my glass half full. That said, I was a bit underwhelmed by the overall...
Published on 24 April 2013 by Lisa (Over The Effing Rainbow)


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concepts, 8 April 2013
By 
Mr. S. Hall - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: vN (Angry Robot) (Paperback)
A good read with some novel ideas. Kept me interested throughout. Passed it on to my nephew who is equally enjoying it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robots rebel, 15 Mar. 2013
By 
Ms. Theresa M. Derwin (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: vN: The First Machine Dynasty (The Machine Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
vN: The First Machine Dynasty
Author: Madeline Ashby
Publisher: Angry Robot
Page count/size: 332pp
Release Date: 29 July 2012
Reviewer: Steve Jones

vNs are humanoid robots created by a religious sect to be companions for the unfortunate humans left behind after The Rapture which never happened. When the cult collapses in a storm of abuse allegations the vNs are left to survive in a mostly uncaring world. vN is derived from von Neumann machine as they can reproduce by iteration, which leads to a generational divide as each iteration is supposedly better than its predecessor. A "failsafe" disables vNs if they are violent to humans or even see a human get hurt.

Amy is the sole iteration of Charlotte who lives with her human husband Jack. Amy is kept small by her parents restricting her diet so that she grows at the same rate as organic children. This leaves Amy permanently hungry so, when her grandmother Portia attacks the school she attends and kills a human child, Amy kills Portia by eating her alive. This rouses human suspicions that the failsafe has been disabled in her entire clade of vNs. She is taken away in a big white van (labelled "Isaac's Electronics"!) and escapes with Javier, a serial iterator (he constantly creates and abandons immature vNs).

This book takes a different take on the development of robots from the usual "Destroy all humans" and "Become more human" cliches where the robots are just a reflection of our own fears and desires. Jack's attempts to raise Amy as a human child turn out to be well-meaning but seriously misguided. The vNs need to find their own answers to getting along with humans and their own kind.

There are a few flaws. Amy's escape from the scientists who try to dismantle her seems too easy, and does not lead to the total human paranoia about killer robots I would expect. The back of the book lists four titles which sound like a series of books but instead describe the four sections of this book, while not matching the fourteen chapter headings. Maybe this book was written as four novellas which were combined into a single book.

All in all, vN is a thrilling adventure story with a well-developed cast of both humans and vNs, which challenges the meaning of being a person without ever being preachy about it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story. A really good take on artificial intelligence and humanities needs and wants., 8 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: vN: The First Machine Dynasty (The Machine Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
A fairly traditional intro swiftly turns into a fast paced and engaging read with vN characters that I couldn't help associating with, despite the fact most of the main characters were vN. It explores the darker side of humanity whilst embracing some key questions about civic rights. The tech side of Von Neumann machines, self replication, planetary ecology repair, virtual worlds, drone surveillance were all there, cleverly told through the eyes of a young, but wise vN girl. Full of wonder.

Definitely rates 4 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard Sci Fi with a heart, 29 Nov. 2012
This review is from: vN (Angry Robot) (Paperback)
As a reader of hard Sci Fi, VN just about keeps a grip on 'real' science to present a future with sentient AI's living amongst us.

There isn't enough female Sci Fi writers out there, especially in Hard Sci Fi which tends to be very boys own adventure stuff a la Kovac's et al.

While the novel spins out at the end into near fantasy, it still gripped me to the end and I look forward to part two (I hope not too far) in the future!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good and creative!, 2 Sept. 2012
This review is from: vN (Angry Robot) (Paperback)
Reasons you should buy this book:
You love complex, extremely creative and inspiring novels.
You like robots and action packed sci-fis.
You like a good female perspective that's unique and not whiny! Meaning, a well rounded compassionate main character that you really root for!

Plus other aspects which I found great. Most books I read lack the uniqueness that Madeline Ashby has. She certainly sounds well read and educated! She has many ideas which are explored throughout and if you love a plot that really drives forward, this could be for you! I found I never got bored. Normally, I get bored halfway through a book where writers get stuck but this author held my interest and came across as an intelligent person just brimming with ideas.

A few little things though. I didn't give this 5 stars because one second a nice scene is being built up and then we're suddenly elsewhere and thrown into a new place with little room for explanation. This happens a lot. If you dislike stories that jump from point to point lacking a smooth transition, this isn't for you. If you dislike endings that are bland, this one's not for you either.

Overall, better than most stuff I read. I'd still look out for another book from this writer, so I'd call it a success.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., 24 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: vN (Angry Robot) (Paperback)
Hard to believe this is a debut. Well written, with a great voice, the plot unfolds brilliantly and the characters are real. A very interesting advancement on Asimovs' robots. A good read, not only for SF lovers, but for anyone who likes good books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting insight into a robotic future where humans and robots co-exist, 27 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: vN: The First Machine Dynasty (The Machine Dynasty Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I haven't read much sci-fi before but this captured my interest a I read it quickly. A little romantic in places, maybe because it's written by a female author, I don't know. But none the less a great book and I'd read the second instalment :-)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, 3 May 2014
By 
H. Martin (Pembrokeshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: vN (Angry Robot) (Paperback)
Of interest to lovers of robot & cyborg science fiction. Main theme is how artificial being can fit in to human society
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews