Mila 2.0 - Debra Driza
Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.
Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.
Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.
Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.
My Review: 4/5*
*E-book provided by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review*
*May contain spoilers*
The only thing which prevented this book being a 5* book was the beginning. I was worried that it was going to become a sort of chick-lit with a hint of science-fiction to go alongside it. It began with the new girl to school - Mila - who has recently lost her father to a house fire. She is now settling in with a new set of friends, a hot, brooding guy, a girl that doesn't like her. A lot of teen angsty stuff that I really did not want to be reading about. BUT, after persevering through the first few chapters, my mind changes completely. Once this book got going and got away from the school, I was completely hooked!
The beginning of the book introduces us to Mila, a teenage girl who has recently moved home and has lost her father to a house fire. She is now adapting to her new school, her newly strained relationship with her mother and the fact that she can't remember the majority of her childhood. Like I said above, I didn't get on very well with the beginning of the text. We meet Mila's 'friends', with her closes being Kaylee. She is very much a girls girl, absolutely preoccupied with the male sex and completely untrustworthy. I detested this character, so I have to give Driza her props here. Kaylee was willing to endanger Mila's life by having her ride in the back of her truck whilst she drifted incredibly fast in order to be sat next to Hunter. This is the event which throws Mila's life into complete turmoil. She discovers that she isn't, in fact, a teenage girl. Mila is an android, the result of scientists experiments in which they're trying to develop the perfect android which looks human but is able to function away from the true human emotions. Mila 2.0 was too human to be successful.
Although I was expecting this revelation, it completely threw me. I was right there with Mila as she discovered her new identity, as she discovered the past she believes to be hers is false. She has no parents. Her grief was a cover in order to help her fit into society. It was such a shocking revelation and I felt as if I could feel Mila's inner turmoil and betrayal. The slow rebuilding of trust between mother and daughter is one of the central points in the narrative. We see Mila's horror at discovering that she isn't her mum, but a scientist that helped create her. A scientist which stole her in order to protect her from further torture techniques and termination by Holland - the head scientist. He embodies the true notion of what it is to be a 'mad scientist'. Ruthless in his methods, heartless in his treatment of Mila 2.0, Lucas (another scientist) and Mila 3.0 - the most recent of the androids.
I couldn't possible write this review without mentioning Hunter. Hunter, the first guy at the new school to take an interest in Mila, to treat her normally despite the loss of her father. Even when he sees the wires within her arm following her being thrown out of Kaylee's truck, he still phones and visits her to make sure she is okay. He doesn't abandon her as does Kaylee. He is one of the only people remaining in the world which remind her that she, despite being an android, is still human. She is still more human than machine, her feelings, emotions, morals all function differently to what a machines would. Hunter is one of the very few humane and decent characters within this novel and I am certainly looking forward to reading more about him. I have a theory on who he may be, but I have no idea if it is going to turn out to be correct!
I loved this book. It was so well written, the characters had so much depth and I felt like I was in every battle Mila encountered. Thank you so much for allowing me to receive an advanced copy Net Galley and Harper Collins. It's a shame that it is going to be such a long wait until the next one is out! Definitely popping off to read Mila 2.0: Origins: The Fire right now :).