ReV (Madeline Ashby)

ReV is the third and final novel in the Machine Dynasty by Madeline Ashby.
Finished on: 9.4.2021
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the series.]

Amy’s decisions have changed the world and the relationships between humans and vNs forever. Now Amy’s grandmother Portia basically runs free in the world to do whatever she pleases to humans, and what she pleases is rarely something nice. Humanity is therefore gearing up its efforts to get rid of vNs. Meanwhile Amy is in relative safety in Mecha with her family and is trying to come up with a new plan for them all. The question is is whether Portia is actually part of her family, or just a threat.

I’ve been waiting for the conclusion to the trilogy for nearly a decade and now it’s finally here. And while I did enjoy it was more than just a little, I think I was expecting a bit more from the novel, especially considering how long I waited.

The book cover showing a female face that looks half human, half robot beneath a glass space helmet.

ReV feels a bit patchworky. It is told mostly from Portia’s perspective, but both from Portia as she is now, as well as fragmentary documents she left behind and that are found in the future. But there are also flashbacks that aren’t from her perspective. All of this should have come together as a kaleidoscope, but instead it feels fragmented and a little all over the place.

Portia’s perspective was interesting, or rather, what was most interesting to me was how she relates to Amy and her family and vice versa. There were some interesting developments here that were really engaging. But I probably liked the parts that weren’t from Portia’s perspective best – Hammerburg (what an awesome beginning) or Javier’s past.

One of the things that was already present in vN and iD is that some transitions, especially regarding action scenes, seem a bit abrupt, leaving me wondering what just happened, was also very present here. Especially towards the end, I don’t really know how [SPOILER] Amy and her family got off earth and towards Mars. [/SPOILER]

That being said, I found ReV engrossing. The series ponders big ideas and that doesn’t stop here, to the contrary. I like how it engages with its own concepts and really thinks them through. And I like the characters. So, I’m far from saying that I am disappointed by the finale or the series in general, but I did wish for just a tad more to be perfectly satisfied.

Summarizing: Really good.

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