I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is September 20, 2016.
Greta Stuart had always known her future: die young. She was her country's crown princess, and also its hostage, destined to be the first casualty in an inevitable war. But when the war came it broke all the rules, and Greta forged a different path. She is no longer princess. No longer hostage. No longer human. Greta Stuart has become an AI. If she can survive the transition, Greta will earn a place alongside Talis, the AI who rules the world. Talis is a big believer in peace through superior firepower. But some problems are too personal to obliterate from orbit, and for those there are the Swan Riders: a small band of humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult. Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan. But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her – or see her killed. Including Elian, the boy she saved—the boy who wants to change the world, with a knife if necessary. Even the infinitely loyal Swan Riders may not be everything they seem.
Sigh. Okay guys, I was trying to come up with something good about this book. I swear, I tried. But I just couldn't. I should have known better anyway because I wasn't in love with the first book. I did like it, but I was bored for the first 30% of that one. So how long was I bored while reading this one? Every. Single. Page. I am not exaggerating. It took two weeks to read this book and it usually takes me a day (sometimes two if it's a longer one) to read a book. Every time I picked it up, I would read a page before stopping because I would suddenly feel the need to sleep. I guess my boredom for part of the first book is what made me keep reading this one. I kept waiting for it to change and have more action and I thought that at SOME point, I would understand what was happening and the book would excite me.
So we start this book with Greta as an AI. Did I miss something in the last book? I don't remember her agreeing to do that, but maybe I missed it. Talis is there and I was just as bored by him as I was by Greta and the other characters. That surprised me, especially since I loved him so much in the first one. But in the first one, he had sarcasm and humor and witty banter. There was none of that here. Sure, he had the occasional quip but for the most part, he was just bland.
I don't really understand what Greta and Talis were trying to do at the beginning of the book. They were making a journey with some Swan Riders and stuff happened and some more stuff happened and there were a few characters that I didn't know or care about and these characters betrayed Talis and then . . . well, that's it. There was no action, no story. And I was confused by all the secondary characters. I was also confused by all the names they called Talis: Michael and Rachel were his other two names. I didn't get it. Actually, there was a lot of this book that I didn't get. There was no chemistry between any of the characters, no action and no drama and just . . . nothing. The children at the school weren't around and the school wasn't really mentioned, except to talk about Greta's memories of the place. So where were they? I started to get the Swan Riders a little, but I still didn't understand their full goal because they weren't clear on it. This book was just slow and confusing. When I got to the last ten percent of the book, I admit it: I just skimmed. At that point, I just couldn't take the boredom anymore and just wanted to finish it. I would not recommend this one at all.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.