The Crying Machine eARC Review

Hey guys, I know, two reviews in a row. I have a good reason though! This book’s publish birthday is tomorrow AND I have BESpring19 posts to do cause the other hosts were on point with their prompts and I wanna do so many.


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GoodReads Blurb: 

A sharp, lyrical thriller of power, religion, and artificial intelligence.

The world has changed, but Jerusalem endures. Overlooked by new superpowers, the Holy City of the future is a haven of spies and smugglers, exiles and extremists.

A refugee with strange technological abilities searches for a place to disappear.

An ambitious young criminal plots the heist that could make or destroy him.

A corrupt minister harnesses the power of the past in a ruthless play for complete control.

And the wheels of another plan – as old and intricate as the city itself – begin to turn…

I’ll be honest, I was hesitant after the first chapter, wondering what I’d gotten myself into but I kept on and the other chapters were still a bit ‘hmm’ for me until about 30 pages in and then it all just clicked, Chivers had me hooked.

The premise was already right up my alley, Sci-Fi/Dystopia and I’m always a sucker for books about AI (or movies or anything else lol).

Clementine is a nugget and I want to protect her with all my heart and hiss at anyone who gets near her.

But, not to go crazy and mention a whole bunch of names that will mean nothing to you all, let’s start small.

The story switches between three characters, each chapter is told in the first person and no two chapters in a row are from the same perspective/character. The characters are Silas, Levi, and Clementine who I’ve already mentioned. It’s fun to have the perspective go from one of the ‘good guys’ to the corrupt minister and I really enjoyed that. The story is set in Jerusalem and I like that the reason it is, is because the Mechanicals/Machines have taken over Europe and the US. This means that the people coming to Jerusalem from those people are mostly refugees and that’s a pretty interesting take. As this is set in the future, Jerusalem’s history is mentioned but nothing is in depth on it, which is pretty good for this particular book, I applaud Chivers on balancing that well enough. He doesn’t try to write about what he doesn’t know as far as setting the book in a different country goes and that’s always a nice and refreshing thing, and his own take remains in our futuristic world he’s built.

I would have enjoyed more of his world building for this dystopia setting and that was probably my biggest let down in this novel. But this is more character driven and not only that but the plot doesn’t need you to know more than what he gives.

Overall this book really touched on humanity, showing an AI hybrid what it means to be human, and along the way perhaps a few others learn the meaning too [such as our ambitious criminal] and though there is talk about religion it’s not to shove it in your face, it’s part of the ties to the past and I really LOVED that there is a religion based off worshipping machines, and not to mention God is referred to with she/her in this so, I’m already like ‘damn straight’ lol.

The minor characters were interesting as well and I can say Yusuf and Amos were my favorites in that regard but I won’t give away too many details.

Really loved this and was so satisfied when I finished, it was an unexpected favorite for me.

Time for the breakdown.

Pros:
– Future with intricate levels of technology incorporated into humans.
– Insightful, makes you think about what humanity means in the world this book is set
– Clementine is a wonderful nugget
– Religion is interesting in this day and age but it doesn’t shove it in your face constantly
– Character depth in small and unexpected ways
– You get to see the point of view of the bad guy, pretty fun
– Jerusalem is the place where people flee, and I love that mechanicals are not fond of it, machines do not love sand, and Europe and the US are paying for the advanced technology that US brought upon the world

Cons:
– First few chapters are a little awkward
– At first, the setting isn’t what it seems, it’s not so sci-fi and dystopia that you can clearly read that the first couple of chapters. [Personally, I liked that after I got over the little hump]
– Sometimes you just didn’t want to switch POVs so much
– Not enough background information which may affect someone’s enjoyment of the book.

[***I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.***]