Published Date: March 10, 2015
Publishing Co.: Orbit
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Three different antagonists take on the Dutch, in secret, to bring down their empire of mechanical servitude.
The Dutch empire rules much of the world. They invented mechanical slaves called Clakkers, and use them to control everything. They use them for household service, they make up much of the military and others yet, are used to subdue anyone violating the laws.
One thing the empire cannot abide to let the public become aware of is, rogue Clakkers. Clakkers granted Free Will. They are to be hunted down and destroyed at all costs. Their enemies cannot know that their Clakkers have any kind of soul, it would unravel all they have built if people knew that these weren’t just mindless robots.
Jax is a rogue. Accidentally granted Free Will in a mishap, Jax flees before his secret is found out. Unfortunately for Jax, other Clakkers can sense his difference if he slips up even a little. One command ingrained in all Clakkers, is to do everything to take out a rogue when detected. He’ll need the help of humans if he’s to get out of the Dutch grasp.
Only one country resists the Dutch, they’ve been at war for years and recently had a cease fire. New France. Their draw is precarious. One wrong step and war can begin again in an instant. Berenice is in the business of knowing everything about the enemy. When given a chance to study the inside of a military Clakker, she will risk everything to unwind the Dutch’s secrets. She’ll even risk the King’s wrath if he finds out she went against his wishes.
Pastor Visser works in secret through the church. He’s apart of a network of people working to bring about the destruction of the Dutch, free Clakkers that they believe are sentient and bring back the Catholic church, currently outlawed as heresy. He’s willing to martyr himself to do so but the price may be more than he expected, for the Dutch are especially cruel.
This was a decent read for ¾ of the book. I wasn’t really connecting with any of the characters but the premise was interesting enough. It began to really come together in the last quarter when a couple of the antagonists joined forces.
My lingering question is, how can robots taste or smell? It was mentioned briefly in the beginning of the book and I’m left wondering if it was a mistake. Or, are these sciences really THAT advanced?
I’m on the fence about continuing the series.