Thank you to Razorbill and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinin in anyway.
Book: Devil in the Device (Goddess in the Machine 2) by Lora Beth Johnson
Release Date: August 24th 2021
Tags: Sci-Fi | Young Adult | Apocalyptic | Humanity | AI
Trigger/Content Warnings: Alcohol Consumption | Grief
Other books in this series I reviewed
Goddess in the Machine
Zhade’s power might be going to his head.
He’s still getting used to wearing Maret’s face, but he can’t deny that the influence it affords him has its perks. But when the magic of Eerensed starts to turn deadly, Zhade must master the Crown if he’s going to save his people, and Tsurina’s destructive plans for Eerensed aren’t going to make that easy. Worse, he’s starting to see her point.
Meanwhile, Andra is in hiding.
Assumed dead by the people of Eerensed, she must stay underground if she’s going to live long enough to build the rocket that will finally save the colonists from this dying planet. But when Andra hears voices urging her to destroy everything, she starts to dig deeper into her subconcious. What she finds leads her to question whether she’s destined to be a savior after all.
Battling the dangerous forces buried within their minds, can Andra and Zhade truly decide their own fates? They must find a way to work together before two power-hungry leaders and a deadly swarm of rogue technology destroy humanity for good.
Devil in the Device is the sequel and conclusion to A Goddess in the Machine. I love it when series are duologies these days because there is not going to be a middle book syndrome. That doesn’t mean that this book lived up quite to A Goddess in the Machine here.
Now it might be because we start on such different footing here. A lot is known now. We know who Andra is and how she came to be. We learn things along the way but it felt like we were dragging our feet around the information twists and turns we get thrown. The miscommunication between Andra and Zhade was normal, as were their insecurities regarding each other, but it slowed everything down so much. Because they didn’t tell each other things we ended up with a big ass fire at the end there.
On the other hand, diving into Andra who has discovered that she is an artificial intelligence, she questions her humanity. A stark difference to the other AI around her who continues to shout she is human because she needs to believe that to not fall down. And once more we question where does it stop? How far do we develop AI and how far can we create something that starts living for their own? And what then? When they are sentient, do they become human? Do they have to be to be able to be on their own?
Also I am happy that she didn’t just take Zhade’s appology when he made it but that she told him he had to work for it.
I also loved how other characters got different roles to play like Maret. But also Tsurina (where I wanted to shout at Zhade to not be so stupid). There is still a lot to be developed with Maret. He doesn’t know what was him or what was the crown/Tsurina. The epilogue hinting at a story with him made me happy. Seeing more of this world through very different eyes I would love.
Despite the slowness in places there is still a lot left to be discovered in this book and overal I do think it is a worthy conclusion to the duology.