Book Cover
Title Sammi
Series ---
Author W.D. County
Cover Art Lobke Peers
Publisher CreateSpace - 2013
First Printing CreateSpace - 2013
Category Science Fiction
Warnings None

Main Characters

Sammi, Terra, Sara, Gibbons

Main Elements Androids

Sammi, the world's first android, is stronger, faster, and smarter than any human, and he's the top secret ultimate weapon of the US government. But Sammi has become depressed and unable to work effectively. The government isn't worried about suicide - he's programmed not to take his own life - but they are concerned that the machine isn't doing its job as a spy and assassin, so they hire a psychologist, Terra Smithwell, to cure him. Terra and her daughter Sara, are soon pulled into Sammi's world of secrecy, intrigue, and danger. But Terra, whose husband is missing and presumed dead, falls in love with the robot, and is torn between restoring Sammi's abilities as a weapon, or helping him to escape from government control. The stakes raise when a second government android, a female named Ixchel, goes rogue and decides to destroy humanity. She knows Sammi is the only being smart enough to stop her, so she fakes her own destruction and goes after Sammi's weak spot - Terra and Sara. With them as bait, she lures a desperate Sammi into a trap from which there is no escape.

Now the first thing one notices when in possession of this book is the extremely intense eyes of "Sammi" on the cover. He really stares right into you!

The book has an unusual premise, an android requests therapy sessions because he's suffering from depression. See, his quantum brain is programmed with emotions and now he no longer wants to work as a government assassin. In fact he doesn't really want to do much of anything. He stopped painting, writing poetry, composing, inventing, and, well, killing. The government could turn off his emotions, or wipe his mind and start from scratch, but that would make him less effective of a tool. Sammi was a fascinating character capable of many things, and had perhaps the strongest sense of empathy of all the characters. Strangely enough the other character I liked was Powers, who was a bit of a Watson to a supercharged Holmes. He seems a little slow at times but you have to remember who/what he's dealing with.

But I cannot say the same for Gibbons, and that's pretty much where I took a star away. The guy is a brilliant inventor, skilled in developing prosthetics due to his own loss of limbs, and thus valuable in designing android bodies. But his actions...and I'm not talking about the lewd ones, much as I went ewww they were believable...he might be a brilliant designer but he was a bit of idiot otherwise, incapable of flying under the radar when his career is all about confidentiality and security. Even when his life was at risk I wondered how he could mess up so badly and not get caught. Because of that I found him less convincing of a villain. There was also a fair amount of Terra and her daughter wandering around high security areas which didn't feel all that secure to me considering all the reporters hanging around outside the windows. Everyone knows something is going on at Area 51, but no one has managed to waltz in a find out exatly what. Why not keep Sammi in a place like that?

On the other hand, the plot keeps moving, and the battle of the android minds was exciting, leaving you to wonder how Sammi could possibly win against someone who may not just be his equal, but his better.

When Sammi describes the way he sees and experiences the world it makes you wonder what exactly it is that makes us human. I recently watched the movie Her which has a similar theme but very different treatment. Human, not human, or more than human? In fact if all we've got is the Turing test to determine if someone, or something, is human, the definition is a little blurry. While there have been many books and movies that have taken on this theme, Sammi adds another level that keeps you thinking.

However, that said, I'm not certain I would continue with the series (if indeed it becomes a series), maybe if I got the next installment for free?

Posted: January 2014


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