Book Title: The Perfect Wife
Author: JP. Delaney
The title of the book ‘The Perfect Wife‘ is mysterious and thrilling.
The cover image of the book is a picture of a woman in a distance. The abstract image creates a sense of excitement for a reader.
“THE DEVELOPMENT OF FULL ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE COULD SPELL THE END OF THE HUMAN RACE…. IT WOULD TAKE OFF ON ITS OWN, AND RE-DESIGN ITSELF AT AN EVER-INCREASING RATE. HUMANS, WHO ARE LIMITED BY SLOW BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION, COULDN’T COMPETE, AND WOULD BE SUPERSEDED.” As said by Stephen Hawking, BBC
The above statement by Stephen Hawking though seems to exaggerate, the role of AI in our lives around the world has taken away a few conventional traditions which were more humane rather practical. For example, there were days where people used to write letters to their loved ones. And the amount of happiness and apprehension felt by a person during the gap of sending and receiving news is unexplainable. In every walk of life, technology has overtaken many things. Then came the concept of robots.
Around the world, in huge factories, most of the work is automated and customized machines or Robots are in usage. Similarly in many other fields. There are some restaurants in Asia, where Robots are the waiters. Gradually the human is being replaced by a machine and then a robot. Some movies depicted Humanoids that act until a certain percentage as Humans. But the recent female Robot, Sophia has wondered about the world. It was as good as a normal human being. If this is possible, there is no doubt the world will definitely shift towards these kinds of robots.
The above was a small introduction to the story here in the book ‘ The Perfect Wife ‘ by JP Delaney where the female protagonist Abbie is a Cobot. Author Delaney explains that Companion Robot is what is a Cobot.
This is a spoiler-free statement because in the initial chapters the readers meet Abbie. Tim’s wife. Here, Abbie is a Cobot. She is unaware of the fact and Tim who is a Software Giant to satiate his male chauvinism develops this Cobot. He wants his wife to be a submissive being. They have a kid named Danny. When she is told by Tim that she’s a “Cobot”, aka a humanlike machine whose presence “may suffice the loss of a loved one, providing solace, company and emotional support in the aftermath of a bereavement”. In other words, according to Tim, the real Abbie died and he missed her so much he built her again, as a robot, to fill the void his beloved wife left in his life.
As a reader, it was not an easy thing to convince me that Abbie is really a robot but is given such an illusion. Abbie, the Cobot is a marvelous character to read about. She is a woman. She has no feelings. She has no genitals. This is a very surprising point in the book. This book is definitely a book that belongs to many genres. It has every element that makes it a super thriller. It has a part-parent/child relationship, some part is a sci-fi/dystopian, and part-thriller/mystery, also most importantly part-#MeToo. A great, thought-provoking book that starts off as a sci-fi thriller and as the story progresses layers of skillful writing gradually unveils.
With a very dizzy and thrilling plotline, this book is much recommended for the readers who love such dystopian and sci-fi thrillers.
What I like:
1. The basic story plot
2. The mother-kid relationship is beautifully crafted
3. The topic of male domination which is rampant worldwide is very intelligently dealt
4. The concepts of women being looked down and also traces of #metoo movement in a sublime level are appreciable
5. Complete usage of AI and its concepts is attractive
6. The misuse of intelligence and power is well described
7. The thrill and mystery elements are well maintained until the end of the story
8. Abbie’s confusion in identifying herself is emotional
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What I didn’t like:
1. If the ending was different, I could have rated the book 5 of 5
2. Some arguments have been addressed in a semi-strong manner. A little more stress would have been better.
Apart from the central characters of Abbie, Tim, and Danny, other characters are really nice to encounter. There is a very interesting character, who also narrates the reader’s many parts of the story, but is invisible. This is where I loved the characterization. Every character has good scope and weight in the story.
The very mention of ‘ Cobot ‘ attracted my attention. Being from the Computer Science background, such terms in a drama mixed with science is always interesting This book has such kind of story. The theories of Robotic humans, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial yet Human emotions, and others are dealt with in a well-mannered structure. Every theory is present at every point of the story making the story a perfect combination of many things.
Language & Grammar:
A very fine language with all good and rich constructs are found in the story. The technical and medical terms used are up to the expectations and are informative enough. Though there are some complex and mixed terms used indifferently, as the story progresses this fact gets subsided.
My Final Verdict:
A perfect psychological and sci-fi thriller!
Book Title: 4/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Language & Grammar: 4/5
Final Rating: 4/5
(Reviewed by Swapna Peri)