Willful Machines by Tim Floreen | Review

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Willful Machines by Tim Floreen | ReviewWillful Machines by Tim Floreen
Published by Simon Pulse on October 20, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 356
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

They look like us, think like us, love like us…kill like us.

In the near future, scientists create what may be a new form of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public.

Charlotte’s attacks have everyone on high alert—everyone except Lee Fisher, the closeted son of the US president. Lee has other things to worry about, like keeping his Secret Service detail from finding out about his crush on Nico, the eccentric, Shakespeare-obsessed new boy at school. And keeping Nico from finding out about his recent suicide attempt. And keeping himself from freaking out about all his secrets.

But when attacks start happening at his school, Lee realizes he’s Charlotte’s next target. Even worse, Nico may be part of Charlotte’s plan too.

As Lee races to save himself, uncover Charlotte’s plan, and figure out if he can trust Nico, he comes to a whole new understanding of what it means to be alive…and what makes life worth living.

(Last Updated On: June 10, 2022)
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I was extremely eager to begin reading Willful Machines by Tim Floreen, as I’ve been spending a lot of my time reading contemporary this year. It was, therefore, a very refreshing read for me!

Summary of Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

The story follows Lee, who is the son of the President of the United States in the future. In this future, the world has kind of gone backward a bit.

Girls and women have lost some rights, among other things. It’s an extremely frightening future, but Floreen’s world-building is impeccable.

Anyway, Lee has a crush on a new kid named Nico, who’s completely different. The two of them begin hanging out a bit, with the help of his best friend. However, he starts getting attacked at school by machines, and everyone believes that Charlotte could possibly be behind it.

My Thoughts

I found the idea of Charlotte extremely creepy! I mean, the idea of a computerized robot going out and attacking the United States, even going as far as attacking the Statue of Liberty, is pretty darn scary. It got me thinking about if that could ever actually happen, and I, honest to God, hope that it can’t.

Lee’s mom was actually killed by Charlotte when she escaped the system because everyone was going to shut Charlotte down. In other words, Lee and his father are Charlotte’s number one haters. 

I loved that Lee was really into making machines. It was very steampunk-ish in that aspect, which I found really cool. He even had a little machine that he constantly kept in his pocket that would tug at his ear. There was a cute story behind that, but I won’t give it away! It just made me want to meet Lee’s mother even more. 

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The relationship between Lee and Nico was awesome. This was actually my first book featuring a protagonist from the LGBTQIA+ community, and I loved every minute of it, especially as a member of the community myself.

The two of them were extremely cute, and I loved watching the two of them gain a stronger relationship throughout the book. If you’re in the mood for a very unique science fiction read, I highly suggest checking out Willful Machines by Tim Floreen.

Notable Quotes:

“The first guy asks the second guy, ‘Do you believe in free will?’ The second guy answers, ‘I have no choice.”

“I don’t think I chose to be gay, if that’s what you mean. In fact, I didn’t choose a lot of things. Like being the son of the president. Or coming to Inverness. Or even being in the closet, really. All in all, I’d say I have about as much free will as an espresso maker.”

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  1. I like dystopian novels that get you thinking if it can actually happen or not. Although I'm not completely buying the idea of the world going backwards (women losing rights), I'm still quite interested about the world though.

  2. Sounds like a quite different "dystopian" that the one we're used to based on the latest releases… I think I will add it to my tbr list. Thanks for the great review!

    Laura (psilovethatbook.blogspot)

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