Thank you to Jo Fletcher Books for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.
Book: A Strange and Brilliant Light by Eli Lee
Release Date: July 22nd 2021
Tags: Sci-Fi | Adult | Artificial Intelligence | AI Revolution | Future Earth | Moral Implications | Open Ending | Family | FF Relationships
Trigger/Content Warnings: Semi-Explicite Sex Scenes
Lal, Janetta and Rose are living in a time of flux. Technological advance has brought huge financial rewards to those with power, but large swathes of the population are losing their jobs to artificial intelligence, or auts, as they’re called. Unemployment is high, discontent is rife and rumours are swirling. Many feel robbed – not just of their livelihoods, but of their hopes for the future.
Lal is languishing in her role at a coffee shop and feeling overshadowed by her quietly brilliant sister, Janetta, whose Ph.D. is focused on making auts empathetic. Even Rose, Lal’s best friend, has found a sense of purpose in charismatic up-and-coming politician Alek.
When vigilantes break in to the coffee shop and destroy their new coffee-making aut, it sets in motion a chain of events that will pull the three young women in very different directions.
Change is coming – change that will launch humankind into a new era. If Rose, Lal and Janetta can find a way to combine their burgeoning talents, they might just end up setting the course of history.
If you are looking for an active AI revolution scifi story, best turn around now. A Strange and Brilliant Light is a character driven story that takes a look at the consequences of AI use on people. The moral implications,and what is good and bad.
It makes the book an interesting read with questions about the politics that would be needed around AI use and the effect this will have on the day to day lives of people. What about freedom when the government gives you money? And can we really use AI when we give them a concience? Not only that but we explore the lives of our three female mc’s. How does it personally affect them and what role do they play?
I sometimes struggled with this book. It was boring in places, the AI revolution being a backdrop for the lives of these women. Who I unfortunately didn’t much care about. And if you don’t much like the characters in a character driven book than it falls down a lot with that. I thought I would have liked Lal at the start but she took such a sharp turn as a person and the way she treated those around her. Somewhere she said she was close to her sister when they neither have any idea what is actually happening in each others lives. Rose on the other hand seemed judgemental but grew out to be the character I did like best. She questioned and tried out things. Learned and was active with so many things. Janetta was a wet potato, a smart one at that.
I do wonder if this kind of a plot would have perhaps been more powerful as a shorter story. The point that the author wants to make through these characters and the open ending are great and thought-provoking. But the length took away from some the punch by dwindling in the lives of the women. I also wondered why they were so adement that concious AI would kill them if they couldn’t control them when the AI had never given them any reason to think that.
Even so, if these kind of thought provoking books interest you I do think that it is a great one to read.