Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement.
In a future Utah, Valentine is a trans salvager, scraping together enough money to get a visa to Salt Lake City, a place with free healthcare. Free testosterone and the chance to live his life as the person he’s meant to be. When he meets an AI out in the wastelands, that dream becomes closer to reality. One simple job to retrieve some stolen androids, payment in the form of a visa, how hard can it be?
Pirates aren’t going to take us seriously if they see us bearing down on them with terrifying weapons while holding hands.
It’s time to melt those cold hearts, World Running Down is so, so sweet. The world might be falling apart but it is brimming with kindness and compassion. When the AI of this future gained sentience, they didn’t rise up, instead they negotiated rights and now work alongside humans managing their cities.
It’s not without conflict or danger, there are pirates in the wastelands of Utah after all, but it doesn’t feel a hopeless future. Instead it feels like one where the people left behind, those who might have been rejected by society before, have made a better, more accepting place. The cinnamon rolls of the world have not been crushed.
It poked Osric in the tenderest spot in his heart. Humor was an attractive quality in a man, but kindness was even better.
Osric being downloaded into a flesh body gives space for the story to explore body dysmorphia and relate to Valentine’s own experience in a body that doesn’t feel right. At the start, Osric’s distress is palpable, and it is not hard to feel what has been done to him is wrong. So in that same thought, it should also be wrong that Valentine must live in a body he is uncomfortable in.
The stolen androids that Valentine and his partner are hired to retrieve are owned by an escort agency. While Osric makes it clear that the androids are not the same as him, if they have the possibility of becoming sentient, is it fair to leave them in that position? Bodily autonomy and choice are an important theme of this story, explored from several angles.
It’s presented as a post-apocalyptic world, but only briefly mentioning what happened. Climate change followed by the rich abandoning the planet in their spaceships… So I’m sat there thinking, this doesn’t sound too bad. However I was left wondering why somewhere like Utah would still be populated in post climate collapse world. The world-building is pretty lightweight, which is fine, because the stars of the show are the characters and all their adorableness.
My loneliness in this body subsides when I’m with you.
World Running Down is published by Angry Robot and is out today in paperback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review and letting me kick of the social media tour!
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Follow the social media tour to find lots of new blogger, bookstagrammer and booktok friends:
Tues 14 Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
Tues 14 Civilian Reader excerpt
Wed 15 @cklockwork
Thurs 16 @brittni.in.ink
Fri 17 @bookish_black_hole
Fri 17 Reading Reality
Sat 18 It Starts At Midnight
Sun 19 @dexterous_totalus
Mon 20 @TinasAlwaysReading
Tues 21 Scrapping and playing
Wed 22 FanFi Addict
Thurs 23 @intothevolcano
Fri 24 E. J. Dawson
Sat 25 @kevinscorner
Sun 26 @thespineofmotherhood
Mon 27 @Booksforscee
Wed 1 @from__my__bookshelf
Thurs 2 @moyashi_girl
Fri 3 @chippyreads
Sat 4 SparklyPrettyBriiiight
Sun 5 JamReads
Mon 6 @sophi3saur
Tues 7 @bookstagramrepresent
Wed 8 @pufflekitteh
Thurs 9 @emilysarahart
Fri 10 FanFi Addict
Sat 11 @luchiahoughtonblog
Sun 12 @josephina_rae
Mon 13 superstardrifter
Tues 14 @bookwormescapes
Wed 15 @kevinscorner
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