Review: In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune

Title: In the Lives of Puppets
Author: T.J. Klune
Source: Netgalley. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Sci-Fi
Explicit? No.
Trigger Warnings: The terrifying inevitable control our robot overl
Summary: In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots–fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe.

The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio-a past spent hunting humans.

When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio’s former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic’s assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming.

Along the way to save Gio, amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?

If you ever need to fall in love with a cast of characters who are misfits, and then care so much about them you’ll end up having a good healthy cry, you should pick up a novel by TJ Klune. You will get all that and more, trust me.

This book has a wonderful cast of characters, such as Vic (Pinocchio’s stand-in), Gio (Gepetto), and their wonderful, hilarious, amazing, intimidating found family, Rambo, Nurse Ratched and Hap (Hysterically Angry Puppet), all of whom I love.

The settings of this world are so vividly described I could close my eyes ad picture both The Forest and the City of Electric Dreams (formerly Vegas) easily, both holding their secrets and threats.

This book takes place post-humanity but is so filled with heart you’ll find yourself wishing you could walk alongside the bots that exist in it, and protect Vic for yourself. Though there is coldness when it comes to those outside the inner circle, it is more than matched by the warmth provided by Vic, Hap, Gio, Ratched and Rambo (and oh how I love Rambo).

This book contains love, and wonderment, and it made me so happy to read.

I am not a big fan of Pinocchio, it’s freaked me out since I was a child, but this version? This version is one I will re-read again and again.

“Because all beings deserve a change to find out what life could be when they don’t have to serve others.”


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