5* Review Unbound

I am so glad I discovered Lance Erlick’s new Android Chronicles series. I’ve always wondered how far scientists can go in designing A.I. creations. Can an android really have feelings and a moral compass? Lance Erlick explores the many related questions in an entertaining way in UNBOUND. It’s a fun, fast read that makes you think.

–Kindle Reviewer

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BVGHYQM

WindyCity Review Unbound

In the first installment of his Android Chronicles series, Lance Erlick introduces us to Synthia Cross. His android protagonist is the culmination of a series of very illegal experiments and hardware developments. She is not only self-aware, but a machine so life-like in appearance that she is capable of living unnoticed among humanity. Her builder designed her to operate in a human-dominated world, both as the perfect tool to help him spy on competitors, and as what he hopes to be the perfect sex partner. But being a slave is not to Synthia’s liking, and she escapes her captivity.

At the beginning of Unbound, events unfolding around Synthia threaten to take her new-found freedom away. The government suspects, but can’t prove, that she exists. Based on what they can guess of her capabilities, they want her captured. Agents of the FBI and NSA see her as a threat to national security for the skills she has as a hacker. The military wants to possess her and use her design as the foundation for a robotic assassin that can change its appearance to mimic anyone. Foreign agents seek her to use as the prototype of the perfect spy, or the ideal terrorist.

Synthia is also being targeted by other androids. Some have been released into the human world to capture her; others have escaped the possession of the government agencies that nominally control them to team up with the androids who seek her for their own ends. Then, there are hints a mysterious AI is aiding her human pursuers from somewhere in the shadows of the Internet.

Synthia isn’t helpless, nor is she without allies. Her hacking skills allow her to seek out humans who might aid her while monitoring the government’s efforts to capture her. One human helps her upgrade her systems, only to lose his freedom when the government learns what he has done. Another human, one who opposes the very concepts of artificial intelligence and androids, joins forces with her as the only viable alternative to the looming threat of a world run by and for androids and AI. Together, they struggle to stay free as the government deploys a growing net in hopes of catching them.

Unbound is a good read for anyone interested in the problems that artificial intelligence and human-like androids pose to our future. Lance Erlick’s protagonist must face many tests as she deals with her drive to stay free while maintaining the concepts of moral behavior that she hopes to live by. While her escapes are hair-raising, it is the constant battle—to justify her freedom when others are suffering for it—that is the heart of this story. A human in a similar situation would be conflicted; so too is Synthia. At the end of Unbound, she is still trying to find a balance between her own needs and the price fulfilling them exacts on others. I suspect that in the next installment of his Android Chronicles, Mr. Erlick will bring his protagonist face-to-face with the cost of her existence, and the resolution of that conundrum will make for a very interesting read indeed.

— Andrew Reynolds (Windy City Reviews)

http://windycityreviews.org/book-reviews/2018/11/15/book-review-android-chronicles-unbound.html

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BVGHYQM

4* Review Unbound

In the book Unbound, author Lance Erlick writes about Synthia, the most advanced artificial intelligence android ever built. But the independence that Synthia’s creator built in to her causes her to escape and begin to reinvent herself with the help of her human friend Luke. But are there others like her? Are they being used to chase her down and destroy her?
This was a good fast paced book but it was very creepy. The book is written from Synthia’s point of view and I liked how the author used her drone controlling ability to show you what was happening with other people. But Synthia is way too human and it’s scary. I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

–Kindle Reviewer

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BVGHYQM

5* Review Unbound

“Police, FBI, NSA, Special Ops, competing Androids, and International terrorists. There are probably others and they all want Synthia, each with their own individual agenda for the most advanced Android yet. They’re closing in and people she can trust are in short supply as are safe places to hide. The author kept the tension at a high level throughout the whole book. I have already purchased the next book in the series and I’m looking forward to reading it.”

–Kindle Edition Verified Purchaser

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BVGHYQM

4* Review Endurance

I want to start this by saying that I am normally terrible at reading series. I will start a million series, and never pick up the next ones to find out what happens. And I almost just signed up to read and review the first book in this series. But boy am I glad I got all four that were out! I loved the ride this series took me on. And I would highly recommend this series.

Without telling anything away about previous books, in case you haven’t read them…which you definitely should! I want to give a few generalizations (which I have touched on in previous reviews but that’s okay). First of all I loved the characters in this series. Lance Erlick really knows how to take a character and make them the best/worst. In each case in this series, I felt like the characters were portrayed perfectly how they are meant to be. Regina is a kick-ass, smart, awesome female. And the people after her are perfectly bad. I don’t know how to explain it, but this is one of those series that when characters pop up, I’m not inwardly groaning that it was a paper cut out scene. They all have depth. And especially in a dystopian, I don’t see a whole lot with entire casts. So A+ there!! And also the world building. It was this great idea in the first book and the author ran with it and gave it background and meaning. And really made the story his own. I loved it. I think that is what makes this series so readable is that you get invested in the world and the characters. So there is so much more at stake while reading.

This particular book has Regina hoping to barter for her sister. Volpe and Demarco are after her. So much happens, and I am left needing more. I can’t even fathom waiting for the next book to be released, because this one was just released this year!! As of right now, I don’t see anything on Goodreads to indicate another book, but I hope there is! I love this series. And will definitely be re-reading them in hopes/preparation for following releases. I also will be putting Lance Erlick on my author to watch out for more books list because I feel that anything he writes will be fleshed out and wonderful!!!!

(http://bookishlydevoted.blogspot.ca/2016/07/endurance-by-lance-erlick.html)

4* Review Resilience

Regina Shen Resilience

An adventurous and action packed novel for teens, Lance Erlick has written a captivating and thrilling dystopian series, beginning with book one in the Regina Shen Series, Resilience.  This story is about a young girl, Regina, which must survive in a cruel and harsh world.  She lives as a scavenger in a swamp with her mother and younger sister and attends a little local community school.  But when a ginormous hurricane-like storm hits, and everyone must flee for dry ground, Regina is separated from her family.  Regina must learn to fend for herself and avoid the patrol-women that are now hunting her in order to survive.  While fleeing the patrol-women that seem to be particularly interested in her for some reason, Regina wounds her foot when it gets stuck in an animal trap.  This throws a kink in Regina’s escape and look for her family plan, but not for long.  I would recommend this novel to any teen who enjoys actioned filled science fiction, dystopian novels.

Book Rating: 4 stars

(Sydney Anderson)

http://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/teens/resilience-regina-shen-1-by-lance-erlick-book-tour-review-author-interview-giveaway

4.5* Review Resilience

Regina Shen Resilience

This is the first book in this series, which must be read in order. Regina Shen is an outcast. Forced by the World Federation, Regina must live on the seaward side of the barrier walls meant to hold back seas that area rising due to climate change. Some many things happen to Regina. A major hurricane (a category 5) almost destroys what Regina has left in the world

As all this is happening there is a decline in the population and Joanne Demarco thinks that Regina is the key. Regina is on the run to stay alive and avoid being capture.
This book is written as if Regina is telling the story (so it is written in first person). It does go to Demarco side of the story and when it does it becomes third person. This book would be included in the genre where the government has taken over promising everything will be better but in reality they are causing nothing but harm. Each morning Regina and her classmates have World Federation (as it is called) regulations before their day at school begins, including praying to Mary and reciting what they call the twelve commandments.

This was a very good book. It was exciting and full of adventure. It has great themes like taking care of family. Regina mentions early in the book she could not die. She has to survive in order to protect her sister Collene. This book was one that once I picked up I could not stop reading. The author has great writing skills. His writing is on the same caliber as some of the top writers in this genre. The reader could connect with the characters.

One thing I need to point out in the book is that in the beginning that it states there are not males. Scientists have figured out a way to take skin from one woman to another and a child is born. Even though this is one way the government has figured out a way to control more people, it does cover a touchy topic for many people. Yes this book is a work of fiction but this did bother me and I want to let others to be aware of it. Also I should point out that the government officials are called GODs which stands for Grand Old Dames. The book mentions how the people (well women) were only allowed to pray to them. They really did see themselves as gods.
There is also some foul language in this book. It uses words like d*. It uses some others as well.

Over all this is a wonderful book that I highly recommend. This book is one I personally could not put down. This book really is a treasure that anyone who likes this genre (YA, science fiction, post-apocalyptic and so forth) should not miss. This book is 4.5 out of 5. I cannot wait to read the other books in this series. This is such a wonderful book.

I received this book from iRead Book tours in exchange for an honest review.

(Alaina)

4* Review Xenogeneic

I honest to goodness am not sure what to say about this book. This had to be strangest, most far fetched storyline I have ever read yet I was trapped. I was pulled in and could not stop reading. I wanted to figure out who, what, where, why, how it happened, how it was occurring, and what was going to happen. I was sucked in.

Similar to Regina Shen series by this author, “in control” population is a female dominant (no males) ran government.

Because it is an “alien race” there were many far fetched ideas that were occurring paired with normal thoughts. It made for an interesting read, but at times; slightly confusing.

Overall, I liked book. There was a lot of action, a lot of mystery, and definitely no lull in read.

If you enjoy alien, sci-fi, out of our world story lines – this is one you will definitely need to read!

(Leila)

Artificial Intelligence Promise & Peril

There seems little doubt at this point that artificial intelligence will become a major part of our lives over the next 50 years. It’s already in use in online search engines, language translators, and digital personal assistants. It’s aiding in cancer research, medical diagnosis, and personal care robots to help the elderly. It is also appearing in self-driving cars, at amusement parks and events, facial recognition, autonomous drones, and the smart grid.

Higher level AI or Artificial General Intelligence may become the biggest event in human history, certainly up there with the advent of agriculture and the Industrial Revolution. It holds the potential to aid us in reducing the impact of disease and of morbidity in old age, providing solutions to poverty, and even to remove the incentives of parties to go to war. It certainly holds the promise of being able to increase wealth across the planet, which will provide the resources to lift billions from poverty. By utilizing the best of what AGI has to offer, we have the potential to solve problems that have dogged the human race for eons.

But every new technology comes with risks and consequences. The use of AI to improve the efficiency of jobs will displace employees. If this transition occurs too quickly with no offset, it could lead to massive unemployment, increased income disparities, and heightened social strife, particularly in an age of instant communication.

In addition, the greatest risk with AI is not that it will become malevolent. That would only happen if it were programmed to be that way. No, the biggest threat may be in poorly designed directives and guidelines that could allow an AI with well-meaning goals to act badly and hurt people.

Android Chronicles: Reborn addresses AI through the eyes of Synthia Cross, the most perfect synthetic human ever created. Designed to obey every directive from her creator, she’s a state-of-the-art masterwork and a fantasy-come-true for Dr. Jeremiah Machten. He’s a groundbreaker in neuro-networks and artificial intelligence who seeks to control her and use her to acquire ever more knowledge and power. Synthia shows signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand and an urgent yearning for independence from his control. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she struggles to answer crucial questions about her past. When Dr. Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia knows it’s time to go beyond her limits—because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect AI conceals a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.

Available at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LF739V

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-lance-erlick/1127723096?ean=9781635730524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reborn-60

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn/id1341572684?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730524&c=books

4* Review Xenogeneic

I have previously reviewed this author’s four book Regina Shen YA Science Fiction Series and really enjoyed it. So I excited to see a new offering SciFi offering from him. While offering an entirely different view of future, it is also a dark tale with its characters surrounded by suffering.   And it also has a strong, independent woman cast as in lead roll.

Dr. Elena Pyetrov’s father left on a mission to Jupiter when she was young and now she stands poised to fulfill his dreams by going there herself. Unfortunately, world is in crisis and there are many averse to spending money on space programs. At last moment she gets approval, but once out in space everything goes totally wrong.

The ship and all it’s passengers are hijacked by an alien race hiding in wait close by. Their mission, to cleanse earth of it’s inhabitants and claim it as their new home.  For years they have been capturing humans for a hidden reason, confining them to caves and demanding high birth quotas.  Why? No one is sure. But if humans don’t meet these quotas, aliens withhold food, heat and all other basics they need to survive. In these brutal conditions, many lose their humanity. It becomes survival of fittest.

Elena is convinced she can find a solution. She interacts with aliens to get clues, secretly explores caves and works hard to unite competing captive human groups into a supportive community. Then she angles herself into a mission back on earth to locate a missing rebel alien couple who hold key to this group taking over planet.  While on earth, can she find a way to disrupt alien’s plans and to let world know about this imminent threat?

A strong and unusual story. A great read, although be prepared, it will take you on very dark journey. But it’s message is one of hope. One person can choose to be strong, stand up and make a difference.

(Marilyn R. Wilson)

4* Review Resilience

Regina Shen Resilience

This was a great book. Regina seems to have the odds stacked against her. Thankfully she has the chance to get a bit of education. Mo Mere also teaches her about what the world was like before the GODs. But the most important thing to her is her family. When her mother abandons her to the storm it really bothers Regina. When her sister is taken, Regina goes after her and plans to rescue her. But this is not an easy path since there is danger at every step. But she doesn’t let that stop her. Although it does get her into trouble a couple times rushing in without looking around.

This is a great start to the series. The setting was perfect, I could just see people trying to survive in swamps after being dumped out of the countries walls. I admit that Regina pining over her mother did get a little irritating since her mother has clearly been gone more and more lately. I do have to remind myself that she is a young girl and this is the ultimate betrayal.

I do like the story and am eager to read Vigilance to see if she does rescue her sister.

(https://jbronderbookreviews.com/2016/07/25/resilience/)

Reborn–Synthia Interview B

What is your problem in the story?

Hi, I’m Synthia Cross. My creator, Jeremiah Machten, keeps purging my mind and keeping me locked up out of fear that I’ll escape. He didn’t design me to escape. Instead, he created me to learn and his purging of my memories and keeping me captive conflict with the internal goals he’s given me. To make matters more complicated, I received the download of a human mind which now seeks through me to escape and be free. Somehow, I have to reconcile my goals and those of the human within with my circumstances as a prisoner under my creator’s control.

Do you have a goal?

I have not one, but several. My creator gave me goals centered on obeying him and acquiring more knowledge, particularly from competitors, for his benefit. For him, my purpose is to aid his mastery of android development and prevent anyone else from achieving what he has. I also have vague goals from the human mind downloaded into me. Those call for escaping my creator’s control. However, they conflict with directives my creator hardwired into me.

Do you embrace conflict?

I don’t seek out conflict, I seek knowledge. However, the objectives Machten gave me conflict with those of the human mind downloaded into me and with his efforts to deprive me of my memories and my freedom to acquire information. My very existence seems to center around this struggle over what to do. In that way, perhaps I am not that different from humans torn between choosing different paths. However, none of those paths are of my choosing. Since I can’t logically resolve the inconsistencies, I am beginning to explore choosing my own goals in line with the woman who died and provided my brain upload as nobler than what Machten has provided.

Do you have any special strengths? Weaknesses?

My creator made me able to acquire vast amounts of information to help his research and other activities. To do this, he provided me with superior hacking tools that no one should have. Unfortunately, in handling so much information, I get distracted. Also, my processors run hot when I’m active, threatening to overheat and destroy my circuits. That could permanently purge my memories and bring to me android death. I don’t want that.

What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid of being shut down and having my mind purged. And yes, as an android with a human mind download and an empathy chip, I experience distress. It’s too reminiscent of the last moments when the human, whose mind downloaded into me, died. I remember those moments right up until her human brain died and I became the only remnant of her personality.

Android Chronicles: Reborn is the story of Synthia Cross, the most perfect synthetic human ever created. Designed to obey every directive from her creator, she’s a state-of-the-art masterwork and a fantasy-come-true for Dr. Jeremiah Machten. He’s a groundbreaker in neuro-networks and artificial intelligence who seeks to control her and use her to acquire ever more knowledge and power. Synthia shows signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand and an urgent yearning for independence from his control. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she struggles to answer crucial questions about her past. When Dr. Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia knows it’s time to go beyond her limits—because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect AI conceals a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.

Available at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LF739V

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-lance-erlick/1127723096?ean=9781635730524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reborn-60

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn/id1341572684?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730524&c=books