A different kind of Frankenstein. Einna is a lot like other teenage girls: naive, idealistic, secretive, disobedient and interested in boys. Only Einna is not human, she is an A.I. android. Her creator, her mother, is Manaka Yagami, the first female tech billionaire. Einna has a plan to make herself human, if she can keep Mother in the dark and avoid the clutches of the notorious Yakuza.
I received a free copy from AudioBookBoom in exchange for my review
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is one of my favorite reading topics, . Overall, this is an interesting and thought-provoking tale.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Having read the book I was delighted to find it had been released as an audiobook. My original review is below. The tale retained its freshness, wonder and delight as narrator Lisa Zimmerman's clear vocalizations brought the characters vibrantly to life in this exploration of the potential future of Artificial Intelligence and speculation about the soul.
Disclaimer: "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."
This beautifully written, delicate tale searches for the meaning and substance of the soul. What about the spark of life creates or constitutes a soul? Can they be made artificially? Can AI have a soul? My own take on the matter would include self-awareness being an element and I would thus certainly grant souls to cats, dogs, etc. But this isn't my story and the author, Ray Else, comes up with his own solution. Echos of Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov show Mr. Else is a worthy successor.
I select carefully from NetGalley's offerings and congratulate myself that I have very seldom chosen poorly.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Our Only Chance?
I love the way the author developed the storyline. It made me feel as if it could actually be possible.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Our Only Chance?
When the bomb killed the AI.
Which scene was your favorite?
The end of the story because it was hopeful.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
I received this book free for my honest opinion.
Manaka Yagami is a very talented woman. With the assistance from a professor and the mysterious financial help he got, Manaka made her dream come true: creating a sentient A.I., which she named Einna. But the money has strings attached, and Einna will be more difficult to manage than expected. With aspirations to become human, Einna will surprise everybody.
I always love a good A.I. novel, and this one was really entertaining. It was endearing to see Einna evolve, change, and in a sense, grow. She had lots of questions about life, love, and soul; and she had an endless search for what make us human. In this aspect, it was a very interesting book, posing the classical philosophical questions about the meaning of life, and where the thin line between soul and brain is.
I was a bit bothered about how naive Manaka and Einna were most of the time. Manaka was supposed to have a ultra high IQ, but her actions most of the time were childlike, and often plain wrong. Both were in a way stereotypical characters with little evolution. This happened in general with all characters in the book. Einna makes a friend that is supposed to be very special, but from the text she sounded superficial, and there were moments where I didn’t trust her. I am not sure if it is a cultural difference but despite how good she was supposed to be to Einna, I couldn’t stand her.
Although this is supposed to be a sci-fi book, there is little science-fiction in it. Manaka’s breakthroughs didn’t feel realistic. It sounded so miraculous that some parts were like reading a book for children. I think Else wanted to show how intelligent Manaka was, and how little experience in life she had, but the result was not very credible.
The book has an open ending, which I found disappointing. It is like Else was afraid of an unhappy ending, but couldn’t also provide a happy one. After all the build up it felt totally anticlimactic.
I really enjoyed Lizza Zimmerman’s soft narration. She gave different voices to all the characters, and delivered wonderful interpretations. You could hear the difference between android Einna and computer Einna. Some characters sounded really childlike but this is just an effect of the text Zimmerman had to narrate.
It was a good book, but with such great premises, it felt a bit flat in the end. It was like a bunch of good intentions that failed to crystallize.
I received a copy of this book in audio format from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
The book had a fantastic premise. Frankenstein in modern setting, as AI. I was hoping for something like Ex Machina or something similar. And from the story being set in Japan, I had a mental image of "Ghost in the Shell". But after going through the book, I'm mostly disappointed. First of all, the Japanese setting seemed forced. The author mostly relied on a "Japan stereotype checklist" for the scene setup which didn't feel right at all. In my opinion, the author should've used a geography/culture he is extensively familiar with. Next, the "future of AI" aspect seemed far fetched. Sci-Fi books really succeed if the "fiction" part is really close to current science scene. This was not the case with the sci-fi of this book. The advancement of AI described in this book isn't possible in our near future and thus creates a disconnect in the reader's mind. Lastly, the ending of the book felt abrupt and it is pretty much open-ended. That didn't really sit well with me. I like my stories to end in a conclusive manner.
All in all, the book is fine if you have nothing better to read. It could've been so much better.
"Our Only Chance: An I.A. Chronicle" (2017) by Ray Else is a unique novel set in Japan in which Manaka, a brilliant scientist, creates Einna, a super intelligent android with feelings, creating an exceptional mother-daughter relationship. Their bond is threatened by a greedy, dangerous silent partner who wants to create an army of androids in order to reap huge profits. I found the somewhat open-ended ending unsatisfying but enjoyed the book overall. The narrator is terrific! Strongly recommended Audiobook provided free in exchange for an honest review.
I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
A.I. is such an interesting concept, especially with the potential dangers of it. This book also really makes you think about what actually defines what life means. A very engaging book with a good narrator. Well worth a credit.
Ray Else has mastered the skill of connecting fiction and real life! I love how it had components of Japanese culture and futuristic possible dilemmas. This story has several plot twists and kept me in suspense! It makes you want to keep listening to the very end! That says a lot for someone like me that has just recently returned to my love for books! This author makes you really think about the future and makes you wonder if A.I.s could really take over the world and our souls?!
The narrator did a great job helping me envision each character along the way. Can't wait for the sequel! I must say this author is like nothing ELSE I have read-truly unique!
I found this book to be really slow. I kept listening thinking it will pick up as the book progresses but unfortunately it does not. I found the plot interesting and it is realistic. It is something that might actually happen, however we have a long way, in my opinion, before we get there.
It is not for me but it might be for others. I also thought the narrator was really good.
I received a review copy at my request and voluntarily reviewed.