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Alpha (Sunrise Alley) by Catherine Asaro
Review by Barry Newton
Baen Mass Market  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781416555124
Date: 27 November 2007 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

[Editor's Note: This review originally ran in our September 2006 issue.]

This story continues Asaro's exploration of artificial intelligence and the machine/human interface which was begun with Sunrise Alley. Alpha is a biomechanical being, second-in-command to the late crime boss Charon. She has been captured by a US intelligence agency which is eager to dismantle her, in the hopes of gaining knowledge of her former employer's operations—to say nothing of the details of her construction. The only thing preventing her destruction is the conviction of one man, General Thomas Wharington, that she can more usefully be broken down by persuasion.

From official release/information:

Book Description: Charon was the most ruthless—and brilliant—criminal of the twenty-first century, a practitioner of illegal robotics and android research. He is dead now, and General Thomas Wharington believes his team of experts has deleted all the electronic copies the megalomaniacal inventor created of himself. However, one major problem remains: Alpha,

the only android survivor of Charon's cybernetic empire. Outwardly indistinguishable from a human woman, Alpha has superhuman strength and speed, and perhaps even more deadly capabilities still unknown. Thomas's superiors want her dismantled and studied, but to Thomas it feels like murder. He stalls for time, a move that could prove disastrous. Alpha escapes from an escape-proof compound, kidnaps Thomas, and takes him to one of Charon's hidden installations. Charon might be dead, but Alpha continues to carry out her late master's orders, and she refuses to elaborate on what those orders entail. Her behavior is becoming more human—or so it seems. Is she developing emotions and a conscience, or is she just learning to counterfeit them as a means of carrying out her enigmatic orders? And do those orders include Thomas's death sentence?

(Source: Baen)

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