‘Mila 2.0′ fits nicely amongst the ranks of other YA sci-fi happy futuristic books that have come out in 2012/13; ‘Cinder’ by Marissa Meyer, ‘Dualed’ by Elsie Chapman, ‘Altered’ by Jennifer Rush.
Mila, at sixteen, believes she is a normal girl, newly moved to a small town after the death of her beloved father. As the novel progresses she discovers her true origins as an android, a built machine. Her purpose in this small town? To stay hidden, both from her creator and a group who would use her technology for themselves.
Mila’s grief and kindness is what makes her a ‘human’ character we can relate to, although I initially found her almost too likable, too bland. Thankfully, Mila becomes more assertive as the storyline progresses and her abilities take centre stage. I really enjoyed how her past was gradually unveiled as this maintained a sense of suspense. The side characters, like Hunter and Lucas, had well drawn personalities and enough mystery was left (as we do not learn much about their pasts in this novel) that there’s room for the development of their characters in future books.
Side note: Is it just me or does Debra Driza have an obsession with facial moles?
There is some romantic tension in this novel between Hunter and Mila, but the actual conclusion to that plot-line is withheld – since I didn’t find Hunter particularly appealing, this didn’t bother me very much. Instead, the emphasis in this novel is on the character development of Mila and the discovery of her world: abilities, bad guys, good guys. And this ultimately makes this book more accessible for younger readers (13-upwards).
I found the pace of the novel a little challenging, as some scenes felt drawn out – slow, wordy, lacking in sufficient humour. In the end I think this once again goes back to my inertia where Mila was concerned; I like my narrators feisty and inventive, so Mila’s take on her world was just a little too Android for my enjoyment.
In conclusion, ‘Mila 2.0.’ has conspiracies, military technology, action (some violence), a possibility of a future romance, and a plain Jane narrator with super amazing abilities. People who want an immersive sci-fi without spaceships read should give it a try.
This book was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.