iD (Madeline Ashby)

iD is the second Machine Dynasty novel by Madeline Ashby. [Here’s my review of the first book, vN.]

[Trigger Warning: Rape]

Javier should be happy, living on Amy’s island with Amy and his sons. But somehow he is still ill at ease, especially since Amy refuses to disengage his failsafe, leaving him vulnerable to humans still. And then just that is used against him and makes his entire world falls apart, leaving Javier to try and pick up the pieces of their lives.

iD was fantastic. The pacing issues that were one of the weakest points in vN, were greatly improved here and with that, the brilliant world building and the way Ashby explores the humanity of AIs, you got a clear winner.


While Amy does her whole white Gandalf shtick, the story sticks with Javier this time round. And I loved his perspective. Scratch that, I loved him. It really is amazing how Ashby not only makes me never doubt his robotic humanity, he’s also sexy, and I just liked him so much and when he is raped, it hurt so freaking much. He might be a robot, but rape is rape and it’s ugly and Ashby lets you feel that reality.

And it’s especially fascinating because Javier is a man who goes through the story as a woman. He’s a (sexualized) object, he can’t show open aggression, he has to scheme and beg and use his weakness as strength. He is obsessed with his children. All things that are usually only attributed to women and only happen to women.

The plot is also pretty cool and really tense. I need to know how things continue asap. And I’m just as excited as after the first book to see what aspects of robot life Ashby will explore next. So now the long wait for the third book begins.

Summarizing: excellent, wonderful, exciting.


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