Generations after robots conquered Earth, the remaining population survives in the ash of their defeat. Within their walls in Authority City, bots test and develop super soldiers. Rumors of horrible experiments are enough to keep humans in line. At least, most humans.
Eighteen-year-old Delilah O’Connor scavenges the ruins with her friend Zane, and Gen, a generation one bot they repaired off the grid. Gen’s curiosity gives Delilah hope for the future, but not enough hope to go against the Authority. She finds Zane’s dreams of a human resistance pointless, and it’s enough to keep their on-and-off relationship mostly off.
When they discover two dead guards in a shady trading stop known as the Banks, everything changes. Framed for the murders and pursued by Authority bots, Zane takes Delilah to the only safe space he knows—the headquarters for the Human Coalition. Even there Zane isn’t safe. When he’s captured, Delilah and Gen must join an unlikely alliance of bot and human to go in to Authority City and save him before he becomes another casualty. Things in Authority City aren’t as they seem, they’re worse. And Delilah might lose more than her friend within its walls.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“Sometimes you had to get dirty to survive. It was a trick she’d learned in the Banks.” This is a post apoc thriller full of the human spirit along with super bots that may have souls. Delilah’s life goes from a life of plain grimness scavenging in the outer lying areas with her best friends Zane and Gen (a generation one bot) to being an outlaw with everyone trying to kill her. Her life just went from one extreme to the next. After she and Zane find a couple of bodies that were murdered she is abruptly brought into the life of the human coalition and once she is in and understands what they are fighting for she has no other desire but to join them after Zane has been taken. Zane has been trying to protect her and not have her get in the middle of the fighting between the humans and the bots but now that she is in she comes to the realization that this is bigger than her and she must fight to help save humanity for the humans and bots alike. She has come to realize that some of the bots may have souls as she sees this with Gen everyday with her curious nature and human feelings. Not all bots are bad. Delilah has a dormant strength that comes out in full force as she is forced to decide what the right thing to do is. She goes from being fragile and needing protection to being a brave and fearless protector. The transformation was amazing! There is tons of action as they have to infiltrate Authority City where the bots reside and maintain the rule over humans. As they are basically planning a suicide mission they have to get as much intel as possible. As more of the plan comes forth she finds that more people are involved than she ever thought they would. It is so full of twists and turns that you absolutely have to keep reading just to get to the next part and find out what else is going to happen. I can’t tell you any more about the actual story because I don’t want to give anything away but the plot twist is INSANE!
The author does an amazing job with the world building and character building as well. This is one of those stories that you can’t help but being able to feel like you are there right in the middle of the action. You start to feel like you really know the characters and that they are real. The emotions run strong and are heartfelt. The story is rather mind-boggling and a little scary (in a good way) because it makes you think about all of the what-ifs as our technology advances….just something to think about, haha! The end of the story is set up perfectly for a second book. Amy Bartelloni is a new author for me and she has me hooked! I can’t wait to see what happens next. Bravo!