It was in 1999 that I first was faced with the issue of robotics and humanity as I watched Robin Williams’ humanity develop over 200 years. In the final scene, Robin’s robot character is worn out - he lays down and “dies”. His current owner, the great-granddaughter of the original owner, has had so many body parts replaced with computer upgrades that the only way she can die is to ask the nurse (another robot) to turn her off.
Synapse addresses many of the same issues - only it does not occur 200 years into the future but 30 years into the future.
Kestrel has just lost a baby during childbirth; her brother, Trevor, buys her “an artificial”, Jordan. Jordan is special in that he has a history and he begins to question his own relationship to God. It takes three explosions, a corrupt technology company, and groups of normals, plussers (those augmented with technology - be it arms, eyes, hearts, etc.), and artificials, to find a resolution to the crisis facing that future world.
The book read like a light cozy mystery, but it is science fiction that addresses difficult issues - grief, evil, love, forgiveness, etc. Written with a strong Christian message as it addresses these issues, the book is a well-written novel offering hope. I do not know if the author is considering additional books based on these characters, this reviewer hopes so.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.