Finn is an android, but human in appearance, and nearly human in the way he behaves. From the time Cat is five years old, Finn acts as her tutor, but as she grows, he becomes her friend. Eventually, she has fallen in love with him, and knows that though he can physically respond to her when she asks him to, he will never be emotionally tied to her, nor will it ever be “right” to be in love with a robot.
This was an interesting book. I worried about the whole robot bit, but it was pulled off well. While there was definitely some suspension of disbelief in the whole situation, it was a familiar enough concept, and the same could have been written about, say, a southern white family in the early 1900s and a daughter who fell in love with a black servant. Even society’s attitude toward various forms of robots and androids changes throughout the book, and by the end, many new laws are enacted to protect them. In some ways, the metaphor was almost too strong, but honestly, I didn’t mind. The story was interesting.
I appreciated the exploration of whether a non-human can feel the same way a human can feel. Again, it’s the same as a person trying to confront their own prejudices about how other races/genders/religions/orientations etc feel. With Finn being an actual robot, the dynamic was even more interesting.
The writing was good. I was surprised just how sensual and evocative the human/robot sex could be, but it was.
The book wasn’t all perfect. There were some strange personality shifts that didn’t seem to quite mesh 100% of the time, and I have a hard time believe Richard would never find out about his son. But for the most part, it was well-written. I wish it had been published by a bigger publisher. It needed some copyediting and consistency checking. A professional team of editors would have shaped it into even better shape than it already is. But for being small press, they did very well – I noticed far fewer errors than I normally see in small press printings.