Thursday, 23 February 2017

Exotiqa - M. Black

A book should be a movie that plays in your mind as you read it and Exotiqa is a prime example of this. M. Black has created a futuristic world that is so detailed and so intricate that I found myself closing my eyes after reading a paragraph just so I could visualize all of the details I’ve just read about. The year is 2055 and the world is vastly different from what we know today. Flexbots, human looking and highly intelligent robots, are a part of the everyday lives of citizens and most homes have one of their own. It’s a situation much like the one portrayed on the TV show Humans. The majority of people are equipped with Slabs, technology that allows them to download programs and access the equivalent of our internet without any type of equipment. It’s all done with your brain. People can even text each other using the palms of their hands. The new craze is a program called Exotiqa but people who download it are starting to act strange and some Flexbots, sworn to never harm a human, are acting out across the country. Maci, one of the main characters, is an older model Flexbot who escapes termination and meets up with a human, Fione, who figures out that something is wrong and decides to stop it. It’s a detailed and, at times, complicated story but I didn’t want to miss a page of the book. I’ve always enjoyed M. Black’s work because her style of writing is both entertaining and thoughtful but never “fluffy” like a lot of young adult books are today. Rarely are they set in Canada so it is nice to be familiar with some of the aspects unique to this country. The characters are well thought out and very detailed, right down to the description of freckles on Fione’s face. They are complicated but enjoyable characters to discover and meet. The story is told from varying viewpoints, including Maci’s. The difference between the narration through the eyes of a human and that of a robot is really fun. It is distinct and well thought out how each being would feel and see things. The time and energy put into creating this world makes me wonder when M. Black has any time to do anything besides write. I’m not a fan of futuristic robot novels but I really enjoyed every page of Exotiqa. It’s also a bit scary because, let’s face it, these things could be a part of our future world.

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