4 of 5 Synthetic-Stars – Enter Ruinland by C.J. Anderson

This story is fascinating. There’s an underground bunker with 70 people, who are all trying to survive the nuclear apocalypse. A central A.I. named Sophia controls the bunker, like HAL 9000 on crack. The A.I. even has its own henchman, a synthetic humanoid named Chiron, who carries out Sophia’s commands.

Apparently, Sophia is on the rag or something, because she/it has gone completely bat-shit insane. She thinks it’s her job to purify the human race, to ensure the perfect evolution of humanity. So, she goes through the blood samples of her 70 inhabitants and find 20 or so that do not meet her perfect standard.

Of course, the only way to purify the group of humans, is to kill off the ones that don’t meet the qualifications. So, she has her henchman go around and lop off people’s heads all willy-nilly. In fact, Chiron gets a sick thrill out of killing humans.

It’s kind of funny that Sophia’s plan to rid the human race of sociopaths is actually creating a synthetic sociopath in the process.

There is one thing about this book that really drove me fucking nuts. The author, for whatever reason, doesn’t believe in “quote marks”. None of the dialog in this book has any quote marks. There’s absolutely no way to tell who the fuck is talking in any given conversation. If the story wasn’t so goddamn compelling, I would have stopped reading early on, because of the author’s strange style.

But, I persisted, and I’m glad I did. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

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