posted at Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 at 2:00 PM | Reviews, Young Adult
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
Series: Mila 2.0 #1
Published by Katherine Tegen on March 12, 2013
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller
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.
First Sentence: “Beyond the eastern border of Greenwood Ranch, orange poured across the sky, edging the clouds like flames.”
I’m not going to lie to you: my deep desire for MILA 2.0 was entirely superficial. I mean, can you blame me? Look at that cover! It’s the cover that The Adoration of Jenna Fox was trying to be. As soon as I saw this cover, MILA 2.0 went to the top of my WANT WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS pile. Still, I’d been burned before by books from this pile and was naturally hesitant. Well, lucky me, because MILA 2.0 turned out to be a fast-paced thrill ride.
MILA 2.0 is about a girl who discovers she’s a robot. That premise pretty much can’t fail to make me excited. I really like the way Mila’s abilities are handled in here. Sure, there are things where I wasn’t entirely sure about whether they would be possible, but it wasn’t hard to suspend disbelief. Driza’s not trying to heavy science fiction on her readers, so she gives you just enough information, without ever feeling the need to over-burden you with technical terms or infodumps. Obviously, this might be a disappointment for hardcore science fiction readers, but it was perfect for a person like me, who has a rather tenuous grasp on science.
Driza does a great job with her action scenes. They’re clear and concise, easily distinguishing between commands issued from other people, from Mila’s programming, or from Mila’s own mind. Some of the robotic features could have been confusing, depending on formatting and handling in the text, but they’re really well-integrated, and not used so often as to be annoying. The real focus of the plot is on the action, which is great. I love when a book knows what kind of a book it is and runs with it.
Mila makes such a great character and is one of the best robot/manufactured main characters I’ve read. Most authors feel the need to make the character read as robotic, giving them stilted ways of speaking and limited vocabularies. Driza did not fall into this trap. Mila acts like a completely normal person, which is precisely the point. Since Mila is nigh indistinguishable emotionally from a person, it highlights the question of whether she has humanity. What makes a human human? I’m not going to pretend this is an original theme or even treatment thereof, but it’s well done, and way less preachy than most. Also, Mila is hardcore. She does some things in here that really took me by surprise. Let’s just say she’s willing to get her hands dirty.
The main weakness in MILA 2.0 lies in the more realistic side of the story. The opening where Mila thinks she’s just a regular student moves a bit slowly. Though I did find her dramas with her friend Kaylee very believable and unfortunate, I would have liked to see that element pulled out as something she learned from. On top of that, there’s a new boy in school (of course), who is immediately drawn to Mila (surprise!). They bond way too quickly. While I do understand her obsession with whom throughout the book, since he’s the only real, positive link to her human self, his side of things does not make sense to me.
Though I’m not completely sold on what, admittedly little, romance there is in this first book, I’m looking forward to the developments in the next…I hope. There’s a possible love triangle brewing, and I really hope so, because I’m rooting for Lucas, whether that’s happening or not. I would love to see a romantic hero with a limp because of his club foot. All kinds of people can be hot! Also, he probably wouldn’t feel the need to protect her, since he knows himself and his limitations so well.
MILA 2.0 is out today, so, if you enjoy fast-paced books with a lot of action and science fiction-y goodness, go out and find a copy! Now I just have to wait a full year to find out what happens next. C’est la vie.
“‘No two people ever view the world from exactly the same perspective, understand things the same way, human or not.'”