Utopia is overrated: a review of ‘And Shall Machines Surrender’ by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Doctor Orfea Lueng has come to the Shenzhen dyson sphere to escape her past and her present. All she wants is safety from the past that threatens to kill her if she’s discovered. All seems well, miraculously so, until her past shoves itself in her face in the form of Krissana Khongti, a spy who left her for dead, who has now become an AI-Human hybrid and semi-religious symbol to the people. Worse still, she is unwillingly forced to work with her former lover thrust into a mystery that has the potential to destroy the Mandate.

What can I say about this book except wow. From the outset you know you’re being launched into something intense; “Shenzen Sphere, Even at first glimpse the vastness confronts, built like complex ribbons wrapping around the red pearl of its star: scintillant and ophidian.” The level of detail in the way things are described, while leaving enough for the imagination to chew on, creates a beautiful sweeping vision of a utopia. I remember one instance where the skyscrapers of Luohu, against the backdrop of night, are described as making a cosmos of their own. And this is just one example of hundreds I can point to that made me sit back for a moment and breath it all in.

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Book Review: The Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin

Seventeen year-old Princess Esofi of Rhodia— a cold and barren mountainous state— has been sent off to the kingdom of the Ieflaria to wed her betrothed and provide military assistance against the fertile kingdom’s dragon problem. Even before she arrives, she is greeted with the news of his death. But not wanting to cancel, and go back, Esofi makes a bargain; her troops for the marriage of the next in line. Much to her chagrin, though, her new betrothed, Adale, does not want to be a Queen and the responsibility that comes with it. With the dragons becoming increasingly violent, Esofi must make hard choices to save the people of Ieflaria and fulfill her duty.

Amazon Link

And now I get to review it.

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