R. S. Burghardt’s Experiment 93 demonstrates good storytelling mechanics. The story of Nina, an alien-made robot-with-a-soul trying to fit into life on Earth as a high school student, serves a light and enjoyable read. Though the characters are not deep, they are likeable and sympathetic, and the author does well in using Nina’s naivete about her new home world for both humor and bits of insight. If the story has one negative, it’s that this light tone cannot support the weight of some heavier themes, such as death, grief, and severe religious persecution. Like the black diamond that reinforces the story-world’s structures, shifts to a more serious tone could have better supported the serious issues raised.
Best for: Teens and young adults; science fiction fans.
Discern: Statements about characters’ Christian beliefs, such as regarding prayer.