Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
If a robot is programmed to obey your every need, wouldn’t you take advantage?
In a future where most families can afford to own their own robot (either a manbot or fembot), that question would definitely come up for those who live a lonely, solitary lifestyle. Especially since the robots are quite lovely and designed to obey their owner’s every command. So if you had one, what would you do? Really?
Gray Benedict is lonely teacher who owns Kavan, a six-foot-three gorgeous manbot just ready to do his bidding. When his friend Mitchell mentions that he’s been getting it on with his own manbot, George, Gray can’t help but begin to look at Kavin in a different light. Unlike his friend, Mitchell the letch, Gray has scruples and a heart. He’s concerned about taking advantage and maybe even damaging Kavan. It becomes clear that Kavan is eager to serve, but Gray is a nice guy and rather than order his robot around, he finds himself falling for his ever more humanlike manbot.
This is an enjoyable and well-written novella. Kavan is equipped with software that allows him to learn from his experiences as well as his manuals. As Gray gets closer and opens up to him emotionally as well as physically, Kavan becomes more and more human. He blossoms and its so fun to follow along this process. The way Kavan so much wanted to be a real man for Gray made me think of Pinnochio wanting to be a real boy. I loved it. And Gray was so sweet in his concerns that he’d damage Kavan. He was considerate of him at all times, never treating him as an object or something he owned except when his scumwad friend Mitchel gets him to agree to loan Kavan to him for an hour.
The bond between Gray and Kavan grows on both sides, because despite being a robot, it soon becomes obvious from Kavan’s actions that he is not just obeying his owner anymore. Its interesting to see the relationship of Mitchell and George juxtaposed to that of Gray and Kavan because it shows so vividly the two sides of a coin. How some humans treat anything or anyone they believe to be lesser than them (animals, other races, religions, etc.) with cruelty. The story explores a little of what makes someone human and worthy of love and respect.
The sex scenes are hot and so fun, the way Kavan’s operating system fritzes out when he’s overcome with pleasure/orgasm is just adorable.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the main reasons I didn’t give it five stars is not what was there, but what I wish had been! I’d have loved it if this were longer with more in-depth world building, because I think it had so much more that could have been explored such as the friendship of the two manbots and the relationship of George/Mitchell. The process of Kavan’s developing emotions would have come across much more if we could have been given more than the small snippets of his POV snippets near the end. I’d have loved to get a peek into the doors of the Tuesday programmer meetings and explore more on how and why the bots were able to develop feelings. And finally, I totally wanted to follow along with the couple a bit on their journey. A sweet HFN ending that left me hopeful but nervous for them and definitely wanting more. I would LOVE it if this book had a sequel.
Cover art bu Unknown. Beautiful cover! Love how it gives the feel of what’s inside Kavan, the little city at the bottom marking it as urban, and the warm vs cool colors.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This titles has a HFN ending. (less)
ebook, 82 pages
Published November 21st 2014 by Totally Bound (first published August 3rd 2012)