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Posted February 14, 2015
Artificial Absolutes follows Jane and Devin Colt, children of mogul, Victor Colt. Jane is working in an office and Devin is hoping to bury his dark past when he finally marries the woman he loves. Their lives are changed dramatically when Devin discovers a secret and Jane witnesses an abduction of her best friend. Disbelieved and with Devin falsely accused of murder, Jane sides with him to chase around the galaxy, looking for her friend and hoping to find the proof of Devin's innocence.
This book is great.... it really is great. The world is so well realised that the story flows beautifully. There is nothing here that requires willful suspension of disbelief because the author has a great grasp of society and how it may evolve. I loved the fact that we weren't on Earth and that Earth was barely mentioned.
Jane is a great female character, feisty, independent, cynical yet whimsical. Her desire to help her brother and her friend are genuine and she leaps off the page.
Devin is also a great character. He is someone who has failed and tripped badly in the past but is trying to put it far from him.
I haven't read a science fiction book that I've enjoyed this much in a long time. It's well written with excellent characters and I thoroughly, wholeheartedly recommend it.
Posted May 28, 2014
Devin and Jane Colt are the heirs to the Colt family corporation. However, neither one of them has ever lived up to their father’s expectations. Devin had been involved with criminal elements when he was younger and Jane dreamed of being a singer/songwriter. Now they both work for their family’s company and toe the line. Devin’s dating a beautiful singer and Jane’s best friend is a cleric. When Jane witnesses her friend Adam being kidnapped by an unknown enemy, she is told she made it all up. The only one who believes her is Devin. When the enemy conspires to have Devin framed for murder, they run and with the help of some unlikely allies, they search for the true face of evil.
ARTIFICIAL ABSOLUTES is set in the future, where the original Earth (Earth Zero) is a long distant memory. Dark secrets lurk in the heart of the Colt family, but when Jane sees her best friend being kidnapped she knows her brother can help. On the run, Devin and Jane discover the nature of the evil hunting them. Shaken and surprised, they face the evolution of consciousness in unexpected way. I loved the juxtaposition of artificial intelligence and physical world. ARTIFICIAL ABSOLUTES will make you question the nature of reality. The characters, both main and secondary, were very well developed and the action takes you through the story seamlessly. ARTIFICIAL ABSOLUTES is a very enjoyable and thought-provoking story!
Posted February 12, 2014
Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite
In Artificial Absolutes, a cyberpunk novel by Mary Fan, Jane and Devin Colt are on the run. After her boyfriend had been kidnapped and her brother framed for the murder of their father, she and Devin must travel the universe to clear his name and discover the face behind the mysterious intelligence know as No Name. Set in a far distant world in a far distant future where data is considered absolute and justice infallible, Artificial Absolutes is a tale that questions the realness of reality and what makes us truly human. Fast-paced and filled with loads of action, Artificial Absolutes grabs you from the first page and refuses to let go.
Artificial Absolutes was a very engaging read, I really enjoyed it. The world building was very in-depth with no two planets being alike. The plot was just as detailed, filled with twists and turns that I totally didn't see coming. Both Jane and Devin made for very compelling characters with Jane being the more scrappy go-get-'em type while Devin has a mysterious past that is slowly but surely being revealed. Together they make a good team.
Since Artificial Absolutes is cyberpunk, it's filled with AI, cybergangs, conspiracy theorists, as well as groups similar to out-world's Anonymous, to other more sinister groups. Mary Fan's novel also features a healthy dose of POC characters which, as a person of color myself, was greatly appreciated. Also as a cyberpunk novel, Artificial Absolutes tackled faith and religion in a way that was neither overly insulting or an attempt to shove things down people's throat. It added another dynamic to Artificial Absolutes and kept things interesting. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Posted October 26, 2013
Posted July 11, 2013
There's nothing better than a action filled science fiction story with philosophical underpinnings that challenges our beliefs and this one delivers. Technology blurs the lines between white and black and absolutes turn to questions about what constitutes a conscience life. You will not want to put this page turner down as you follow the main character on her quest.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2013
Posted June 9, 2013
ARTIFICIAL ABSOLUTES by Mary Fan was one of my most expected releases of the year, and now that I’ve finished reading it, I want to say it exceeded all of my expectations!
Artificial Absolutes is a terrific sci-fi book featuring Devin and Jane Colt. From the beginning, I was impressed by the depth of the characters’ characterization. The flashbacks that the author provided in the first chapters let me connect with Devin and Jane on a much deeper level than I usually do with characters in other books. The author does a great job bringing her characters to life.
Devin meets Sarah DeHaven, the most famous singer in the galaxy, while Jane meets Adam Palmer, a Via priest, who makes Jane like him in a way she cannot explain. It’s when Devin proposes to Sarah that action picks up. Jane witnesses Adam being kidnapped. Devin and Jane’s father is shot, and Devin is #1 suspect. From now on, Artificial Absolutes turns into a real rollercoaster of a read. Devin flees together with Jane who hopes to find Adam. What I loved about the book is that I felt like I was watching a movie – the descriptions are so well done that I had no problem visualizing everything I was reading about.
What I appreciated in AA was that the characters’ thoughts and discussions are changed by breathtaking action, and you never know what to expect from the next page. I was deeply moved by the story of Devin and Jane’s mother’s death and the impact it had on Devin.
I was immensely impressed by the author’s mature writing style. The characters, the plot, the setting – everything is so well done that it’s surprising that AA is a debut novel. I can’t wait to read the next book by this author!
I really enjoyed reading about the futuristic sci-fi world created by Mary Fan, and I’d like to thank her for the superb read! If you are a sci-fi lover, Artificial Absolutes is a must-read for you! And I can’t help mentioning how much I love the title of this book!
Posted March 17, 2013
In order for science fiction to work for me the characters and the conflicts the characters have to overcome has to be something I can relate to. Technology that (if it ever really happens) is too far in the future to seem possible does nothing for me. Cities on other planets and space ships traveling through space don’t either. If it feels like that’s the majority of what the book has to offer, I’ll take a pass.
Although Artificial Absolutes has plenty of space travel and the Earth is only a distant memory, it also has some engaging characters and a story with conflicts and struggles that are universal to all humans across time. The characters experience familial clashes and learn lessons about being true to yourself. There are questions about faith, reality, and resolving conflicts between the two. Given the right characters and story, the setting doesn’t matter. That’s the way I felt about Artificial Absolutes.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Posted March 12, 2013
Having grown up with some of the best of the sci-fi genre, I am a huge fan. As such, I get a little nervous about futuristic worlds and universes. I shouldn't have worried.
Artificial Absolutes is much more than spaceships and robots. While there are plenty of both, this story is not all laser guns and space battles. It is a timeless exploration of the complexity of family dynamics, the conflicts between faith and non-belief, and what truly defines a human being. What is the soul and where does consciousness originate?
I'll admit, it took me a while to embrace the flashbacks that explain personal backgrounds and relationship histories. While some felt distracting, overall, they work pretty well to get and keep the story moving. And, when it really counts, readers are just as clueless as Jane and Devin.
Speaking of clueless? Another thing I loved about Artificial Absolutes was the thoroughly convincing, perfectly set up red herrings. Just when I had it all figured out, I was ... not so right. I'll confess, I was not-so-right a lot. With one or two notable (no, I'm not telling) exceptions.
While more of a YA feel than I expected, the combination of youthful bravado and deeper philosophies made for a tremendous read. One can't help looking a little more closely at long-held beliefs. And, just perhaps, gaining a new perspective.
I'm hoping for many more amazing stories from this talented young writer.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book from the publisher [...]. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted March 5, 2013
Artificial Absolutes is a roller coaster ride. There are slow paced moments interspersed with action, action and more action, so that the words seem to fly off the page and hit you in the face. The characters are well developed: some of them thrill you, others annoy you, still others make you think ‘why are they there?’ much like real life.
The plot revolves around Artificial Intelligence, that holy grail some tech geeks think will set them free. Many people have postulated what a truly thinking machine would do to humanity, and most of it isn’t pretty. So what makes this book different from the rest?
The mother AI seems to have a different mindset from most fictional portrayals of sentient, man made creations. Without spoilers, I’d have to say this book combines some of the best robotic AI, like Asimov, yet without the complete destructiveness readers have grown to know and love/hate about their evil artificial intelligence.
Artificial Absolutes has some standout plotting and narrative. The author must have taken her time and delved deeply into spiritual and philosophical issues in order to do some of the themes justice. There’s monotheism to atheism in this book, all represented with respect and knowledge.
The main crux of the book, of course, the rogue AI is quite interesting once you meet it, late in the book. It’s reasoning is valid and logical. What it wants to do to humanity is frightening, but also compassionate and understandable. It is unlike anything I’ve read before on this subject.
Devin and Jane Colt start off on an adventure that is sure to change their lives, when their father is nearly killed by... someone. The authorities have it all wrong, even though the evidence is strong. Fugitives, they flee into the darker recesses of this galaxy/solar system, looking for answers. What they find, along with Jane’s and Devin’s friends, is both shocking and impossible to believe. The story leads to a logical and successful conclusion when the killer is at last revealed and its plot exposed. Without giving away spoilers, that’s about as detailed as I can get, lol.
A fantastic read, fully worth it by the time you finish. At times, the pages fly by so fast you don’t eve realize it, at others, the pace creeps along, almost begging you to put it away, then the action slaps you across the face. I would give it 4 ½ stars if I could, rather than 4. James Butler
Posted March 5, 2013
First I have to say that I love me some Sci-FY books. I love anything about the future and what it holds for humans in general. Plus I love the world build up that authors give us when telling us about another life that will come and take over the world. Artificial Absolutes had me thinking about a lot of things as I was reading it because it is a story that is about consciousness and computers. Intelligence at it's finest.
Jane is a recent grad from college and she is excited to be starting in the real world. She works in the office of the interstellar confederation. One day while at work she sees her friend Adam being kidnapped and no one is helping him. As she looks into the kidnapping she realizes that everyone is covering it up and she wants to know why. As she digs deeper what she uncovers both scares her and makes her more curious to unlock the truth behind Adam's kidnapping.
To make matters worse Devin her older brother is the only one who believes her. All Devin wants in life is to live a happy life with his wife but he finds himself agreeing to help his sister find Adam and find out the truth behind the kidnapping. What Jane and Devin uncover is more than the two of them can handle because not only are there secrets and lies about Adam's kidnapping Jane and Devin find out some disturbing news about themselves and the people they love.
What will Jane and Devin do? Is it worth it to rescue Adam? This is a must read!
Posted March 3, 2013
A fast-paced, easy read that envelopes you in an intricate sci-fi adventure; while at its core the story ponders the essence of human consciousness--what does it mean to be human.
The first three chapters involved many flashbacks to form expository background. At first, I was thinking: "Don't tell me, show me." And then the author does. The action picks up rapidly and the world Fan creates comes alive. Every nickname has a meaning (so look up the words if you don't know them).
The scenes shift vividly, creating a rich variety of locals from a desert planet to a city of sin.
The main characters grow with the story, especially Jane, whom I really didn't like at first. But her sharp tongue soon unveils an unyielding soul & a brave heart. It was a pleasure to see such a strong female character.
In general, beings are not (or may not be) what they seem, which creates a central element of tension in the story. Without spoiling too much, I'll add that the thing I wished the story would do, it did-- exploring AI's in an unexpected way.
Deftly using the question of whether artificial intelligence can be as real as humans--the author delves deeper into the question of what makes us human; i.e.: what constitutes the soul and its relationship to a creator.
My philosophy is different from Fan's in that I am a follower of Objectivism, and define consciousness as the faculty of perceiving that which exists, not the reflection of a higher being. Rationality, therefore, is a process of consciousness in my eyes, not something to be treated apart. I also treat emotions differently, in that I consider emotions to stem directly from ideas (both rational and irrational ones).
To the author, on the other hand, there is a dichotomy of emotion and thought. Emotion and values are hence excluded from reason and ascribed to the mind, or consciousness. The conclusion that man is a being of both consciousness and reason is one both the author and I agree on, of course. But though Fan turns to a higher realm to complete man; I think consciousness can fulfill its essence via reason and its study of existence.
STYLE & CHARACTERIZATION:
The novel is written for YA or readers who enjoy a quick, easy read. Despite this, the language is rich and beautiful. Descriptions like the family estate of the Colt's are outstanding.
The characters are very young in spirit, especially as manifest through their dialogue, bravado and humor. The unemotional nature of artificial beings is probably why I liked them more. Their humor was more sophisticated, even if unintended on their part.
To sum, in combining a light spirit with an analysis of philosophical issues, this novel provides a compelling read for lovers of YA sci-fi.
Posted March 1, 2013
Posted February 24, 2013
Review of Artificial Absolutes by Mary Fan
At the heart of this science-fiction novel is the theme of consciousness. What does consciousness entail? Are only humans conscious? Set in the future on a far-flung solar system, wealthy siblings Jane and Devin Colt must confront these questions, while simultaneously on a race to preserve their lives, and to acquire the right and capability to live those lives as they choose to live. Much of the novel revolves around “Artificial Intelligence.” In our world today that simply signifies computers which can think for themselves; in the future, in this world, it means so much more. Of course, nothing is going to be as or what it seems, and both Jane and Devin will discover this, and then need to find the strength in themselves to break out of the mold their powerful father has chosen for them. “Artificial Absolutes” is a story of evolving consciousness, and evolution in personal growth.
I reviewed a complimentary e-book copy provided in return for my fair and impartial review.
Posted May 16, 2013
No text was provided for this review.