4 out of 4 stars
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After her body transplant, Zip thought she was done with Zara and her dark past. That was until Peter Morris came to her for help in finding his daughter's killer. She smelled trouble around him, but she couldn't place her finger on the nature of it. She declined the job at first, but her curiosity got the better of her. A desire to take a peek turned to a head-on plunge into a bottomless pool of secrets, exploitation and deception that lead her to confront her past and gave her a second chance to make things right for those she loved.
Set in a futuristic technology-driven London environment, this book had me from the first page. Tara Basi is extremely gifted with words; she layered subplot after subplot to craft this masterpiece called The Orb. Just when I thought I knew what would happen next, a new twist emerges to pull the carpet from right under my foot. Each page brings a different level of intrigue and excitement to the plot.
I have mixed feelings about living in a world with shape-shifting, self-aware machines, but the machines are easily my favourite part of this book. The similarities and differences between them and humans are some factors that made the book a magical read for me. The author portrayed them as needing human activity such as sleep to function effectively and being as capable of deception as humans. It's hard to believe, but some machines even have religious affiliations.
There is scarcely anything I don't like about the book, but the end wasn't what I expected. Just like the pilgrims, the unravelling of an idol I had grown to adore as much as they did utterly bemused me. But like The Orb message says "It is a work of art."
I have thought long and hard, but I can't fault this book, so I am awarding it 4 out of 4 stars. The characters were amazing, and I enjoyed watching them grow and learn from their experiences. I wasn't enamoured with Zip at first, but she grew on me and I was reluctant to let her go even after the book ended. Also, the idolisation of The Orb gave me an inkling into the nature of the human mind
Considering the violence and explicit descriptions of nudity, I wouldn't recommend this book for children. However, adults that enjoy science fiction will find the book very entertaining.
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