JF Dubeau’s debut novel, The Life Engineered begins in the year 3594, where humanity is little more than a memory—a legend of the distant past destined to reappear. Capeks, a race of artificial creatures originally created by humans, have inherited the galaxy and formed a utopian civilization built on the shared goal of tirelessly working to prepare for their makers’ return.
One moment a cop dying in the line of duty in Boston, the next “reborn” as a Capek, Dagir must find her place in this intricate society. That vaguely remembered “death” was but the last of hundreds of simulated lives, distilling her current personality. A robot built for rescue and repair, she finds her abilities tested immediately after her awakening when the large, sentient facility that created her is destroyed, marking the only instance of murder the peaceful Capeks have ever known. For the first time in their history, conflicting philosophies clash, setting off a violent civil war that could lay waste to the stars themselves.
Dagir sets off on a quest to find the killers, and finds much more than she sought. As the layers of the Capeks’ past peel away to reveal their early origins, centuries-old truths come to light. And the resulting revelations may tear humanity’s children apart—and destroy all remnants of humankind.
Dubeau's uninspired debut mixes a few interesting ideas among the classic genre tropes it mines, but it isn't enough to sustain even such a short work. It's 5638 C.E., humankind has vanished, and self-aware robots called Capeks are doing their best to prepare the universe for humanity's mysterious return. New Capeks spend thousands of lifetimes in simulations as humans, until they achieve "Nirvana," at which point they're released and begin their work. But in a move that will surprise no one, some Capeks believe they need to stop working for humans and start working for themselves. Dagir, a Capek, finds herself caught up in the struggle while still navigating Capek society, and contending with the suspicious lack of information regarding the humans' exodus and their return. The pacing and writing are both too weak to carry the predictable plot, and too many of the choices the use of various human mythologies, the simulated human experiences, the lack of information given to Dagir about Capek society feel arbitrary and driven by a need to make the story get to a certain point.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Awesome Story could not put it down
The Life Engineered is a book that will make you want to read it till the end. From the begging of the story and the journey
you take with the characters leaves you rooting for them that it all works out well for them.
JF Has done a wonderful job and I am looking forward to seeing more from The Life Engineered.