An incredible job. An exasperating android. An all-too-human secret.
Fresh out of art school, Abigail Huntley gets the chance of a lifetime working for Sphinx Architecture. Her remarkable talent has also landed her a remarkable work partner: a cutting-edge android named Rory, who appears so completely human that Abigail struggles to remember he’s just a machine. If only his stiff interactions and coldly logical approach to everything didn’t stifle her creativity.
As time goes by, however, Rory shows subtle changes in behavior, making Abigail wonder if he has achieved self-awareness. Despite her reservations, she finds herself warming to him, even attracted to him. Then an accident crashes Rory’s programming—and leaves him bleeding, with human memories of a medical experiment inflicted by the mysterious organization, PRISM.
Abigail races to recover Rory’s identity and find justice. But without his neurological programming, Rory suffers from a dangerous health condition that slows them down and threatens them both. Only a jaded doctor and his enigmatic assistant stand between Rory and the organization that stole his humanity—the organization that will do anything to keep him silent.
Abigail has started a new job and knows she can’t be picky about her colleagues. But what if her newly assigned partner is an android? A machine’s human behavior proves confusing to human emotions in the gentle science fiction of Mary Schlegel’s The PRISM Conspiracy. Founded on futuristic technology, the story is yet warm and human in its focus. Its tone is set by the heroine’s well-apportioned mix of sincerity, buoyancy, and naivete. The novel’s limited cast makes its story cozier, and the similarity of the world to our own lends familiarity. Two happy coincidences save the failure of the heroes’ plans, which seems one coincidence too many. Still, The PRISM Conspiracy offers an attractive blend of sci-fi possibility and sweet romance.
Best for: Young adult audiences, especially young women, as well as fans of romance and sci-fi.
Discern: Attempted kidnapping, unethical medical experimentation, threats made against vulnerable patients, two or three vulgar words.