Early Review: Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

, by Kt Clapsadl

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza 
Mila 2.0 #1

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

Mila thought she was an ordinary girl, one touched by a scarred past, but ordinary all the same. Little did she know that she's actually an android, and not really a girl at all. Her "mother" stole her from a dangerous group and erased her memories, hoping Mila would never find out the truth about herself. But like all big secrets, it was only a matter of time before the walls came crashing down. Now Mila's dealing with the harsh reality of not know who or what she really is, all the while being forced on the run as she fights for her very existence. With danger coming from all sides, she'll have to embrace what she's becoming, yet hold onto everything that she has been if she's to have any hope at making it out alive.

I absolutely adore Mila's character. You can't help but love her and want to root her from the very start. My heart nearly broke for her when she found out the truth about herself, and honestly her emotions were about as real as they get. But more than that, I greatly enjoyed her progression throughout the book. At the start of the book she is almost weak and rather whiny. Although to be honest, I'm almost surprised that she didn't lash out more than she did considering the non-human bombshell that was dropped on her. But then things happen, and she's forced to stop wallowing in self-pity and take a hard look at her circumstances. There's an inner core of strength in her just waiting under the surface, and I really enjoyed watching her slowly build on it. That being said, what I felt was more important was that despite some of the other character's best efforts, she never lost that inner goodness and humanity.

Speaking of humanity, MILA 2.0 really made me think about what it truly means to be human. Are we just the sum of our parts, only human because of our biology, or is it our very nature and soul that makes us who we are? At first thought, I wouldn't call any machine human. I mean how could a hunk of wires and metal possibly be human? Humans are born, not made. But when real emotions become involved, the line gets a little blurry I think. Mila wasn't just mimicking emotions, she actually felt them, everything just as real as you or I would. Just because her body is made up of circuits rather than blood and bones, does that make what she feels any less real? But to actually call her human, well that is the question of the hour. I have no doubt at her inner goodness, or "humanity," as she's got that in spades. In fact, despite being an android, she's a much better person than most can claim to be. So when push comes to shove, the question of whether or not she is human is irrelevant, as no matter what she is made of, she has more than proven her worth and her right to live.

There's always a problem with reading a really good debut. I get so wrapped up in the new world and fall in love with the characters, but then once I finish, I feel almost bereft at the loss. It only makes matters worse, knowing that the next installment won't be available for a year or more. MILA 2.0 is definitely one of those cases. In fact, I am nearly desperate to get my hands on that installment as I cannot wait to see what happens next for Mila. Be prepared to set aside a solid block of time to read this book as once you start, you won't be able to put it down! A fantastic ride from start to finish MILA 2.0 is an absolute must read.

(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)



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