Today for Book Review Wednesday, I've got something very different: a sort of sci-fi-esque murder mystery novel featuring pleasure bots/sex droids. Definitely not my usual cup of tea, but a book I'd HIGHLY recommend!
The Immorality Clause
Easytown’s robotic pleasure clubs are a serial killer’s playground.
The futuristic slum in eastern New Orleans is a violent place where any vice can be satisfied—for a price. As long as the taxes are paid and tourists continue to flock to the city, businesses are allowed to operate as they see fit. Easytown has given rise to the robotic sex trade; where the robots are nearly human and always better than the real thing.
Homicide detective, Zach Forrest, has never trusted the machines. When a string of grisly murders rocks the city, he must hunt down the killer responsible. With no witnesses, and no evidence, Forrest must embark on an investigation that will challenge the very scope reality. In Easytown, only the sex is easy. Will Forrest find the killer before he becomes the next victim?
My Review: 5 Stars
Let's be clear: I'm NOT a murder mystery reader. I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it was one heck of a great read.
The main character (hard-boiled detective) is as expected, with nothing too special to make him stand out from every other murder mystery detective. The supporting characters are equally expected: from the love interest to the colorful suspect to the gruff chief. But that didn't make the story any less enjoyable. In fact, they gave it that comfortable, "familiar" feel that makes murder mysteries so great to read.
It was the construction of the story overall that I find so great. There was no lag, no dull moments, nothing where I felt the story had stalled and was just trying to "buy time". The pace was steady and engaging, with plot twists and turns that were interesting. I won't say I had any "OMG!" moments in the story, but there was enough to keep me turning the pages to find out whodunit.
The world was rich and colorful, with that futuristic flavor layered in just enough to be interesting and unique without stretching believability. All in all, a well-crafted novel that I enjoyed immensely.
Here's a Taste:
I held up my hands. “Wait a minute, you mean to tell me these sex bots can sweat?”
, Detective. And yes, they would seem quite unnatural in the sauna if the client is pouring out sweat and they aren’t. They also excrete sweat during high intensity intercourse.”
“Huh. These things really are state of the art tech.”
“Yes, they are. Industry rumor has it that they’re also developing companion droids, not just pleasure droids. Future droids will think, act and respond as a human would.”
“Seems like we’re playing God.” Shit
. I let the statement that I’d repressed that night at the Diva loose. I didn’t want to offend Paxton; the robots seemed to be one of her passions.
“I don’t know about that. Is it playing God when doctors have extended our average lifespan to ninety-three? Have you seen the elderly, Zach? Most of them sit around, do crosswords and soil themselves. Their bodies have given up on them, but science is keeping them alive—if you can call it that. There are the occasional exceptions, but for the most part, it’s a pretty bleak prospect.”
“In Easytown, the average life expectancy is only forty-two,” I deadpanned. She didn’t bite, so I continued, “Ah, I’m just kidding. I guess you could be right.”
“This next generation of droid will be a companion for those who can’t find someone to fit into their lives and don’t want to end up alone, known as the crazy cat lady.”
My perception of the companion droid fell flat. I was thinking of fat, ugly, lonely men buying a wife so they could get their rocks off at the house, but Paxton was talking from personal experience, from a place of loneliness and despair. She’d alluded to it a few times, her schedule and the type of job she worked scared men away. She was worried about becoming that ‘crazy cat lady.’ A companion droid could help satisfy her needs as well as help with all sorts of things. Hell, Andi could be considered a companion, I guess.
“Paxton, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say anything derogatory about the droids.”
She looked up; redness surrounded the whites of her eyes. “It’s okay. I understand. You don’t know the droids like I do. If you added in an emotional capability, or at least the ability to fake it, and any of our CS98s could be that companion model. They’re so lifelike, and I know that everything they say comes from a massive database in their chests, but they do learn. I consider them my friends since my human friends abandoned me.”
About the Author:
A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Brian Parker was born and raised as an Army brat. He's currently an Active Duty Army soldier who enjoys spending time with his family in Texas, hiking, obstacle course racing, writing and Texas Longhorns football. He's an unashamed Star Wars fan, but prefers to disregard the entire Episode I and II debacle.
Brian is both a traditionally- and self-published author with an ever-growing collection of works across multiple genres, including sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, horror, paranormal thriller, military fiction, self-publishing how-to and even a children's picture book--Zombie in the Basement, which he wrote to help children overcome the perceived stigma of being different from others.
He is also the founder of Muddy Boots Press, an independent publishing company that focuses on quality genre fiction over mass-produced books.
Find the book on Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B01HWOH1VC
Connect with Brian on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrianParkerAuthor
Visit the Muddy Boots Press Website: www.MuddyBootsPress.com