Friday, 9 November 2012

4.5-STAR Review: iFrankenstein by Bekka Black

Original Title: iFrankenstein
Author: Bekka Black
Release Date: September 16th 2012
Source: JKS Publications
Genre: Sci-fi, Young adult

Frankenstein comes to life for the wired generation.

Following her critically-acclaimed iDrakula, award-winning author Bekka Black breathes life into a modern re-telling of iFrankenstein, using only text messages, web browsers, tweets, and emails.

Homeschooled teenager Victor Frankenstein is determined to write his own ticket to independence: a chatbot to win the prestigious Turing prize and admission to the high tech university of his choice. He codes his creation with a self-extending version of his own online personality and unleashes it upon the internet. But soon he begins to suspect his virtual clone may have developed its own goals, and they are not aligned with Victor’s. The creature has its own plan, fed by a growing desire to win darker and more precious prizes: unfettered power and release from loneliness.

As the creature’s power and sentience grows and its increasingly terrible deeds bleed over from the online world into the real one, Victor must stop his creation before his friends and humanity pay the ultimate price. 


This is the retelling of the Frankenstein (original by Mary Shelley).  I do not know the original story of Frankenstein.  But, when I read a retelling, I have to know the original story right?  So, I referred the fastest way - Wikipedia.

So, coming back to the review of iFrankenstein, I loved it.  Victor is a computer geek, upset with his dad (calling him The Sperm Donor), never having time with Elizabeth - the girl he likes/maybe love, and on a mission to create a chatbot to win the prestigious Turing prize.  Soon, Victor creates a chat box with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and leashes it in the Internet world.  This chatbot is designed to act as a Virtual Victor, i.e., it takes the input from all of real Victor's cyber world - Facebook, Tweets, MySpace, etc.

Soon, Victor finds that his profiles are being hacked in Facebook and MySpace and bad content gets posted.  His dead mother's personal e-mail gets hacked.  And Victor finds himself stuck in something impossible to explain or explore.

Have to admit - I was thrilled.  And after a long time, I stayed late to finish this novel.  The characters are created just to support the story - not vice-versa.  I am new to this author - but I would love to try some more of her work.  This author can really write and knows how to deliver.

And the best thing about the author is "SHE RETOLD A CLASSIC NOVEL JUST IN EMAILS, BROWSERS, CHATS, PICTURES AND TEXT MESSAGES".  If someone told me that before, I would have laughed at the idea.  But, now, I am just amazed by the author's talent at giving a full novel with just a few messages.

And the other reason I love this book is its ending - okay, not going to spoil it for you.  But, I can't not say it - its not the same ending of the original Frankenstein.  I don't like tragedies - so, you have some sort of happy ending here.

The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars, is I lost my thrill once I finished reading.  Best books will have that quality of retaining the feeling for a long time.  But only hours from finishing the book, I don't have that excitement.   The other small flaw is the starting of the novel - its a bit slow and needs getting used to.

WARNING: Those who are not used to the cyber/mobile world, please download a sample, before buying it, so that you know whether you can understand them.

4.5 STARS!


About Turing Award:

The ACM A.M. Turing Award is an annual prize given by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) to "an individual selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community". It is stipulated that "The contributions should be of lasting and major technical importance to the computer field". The Turing Award is recognized as the "highest distinction in Computer science" and "Nobel Prize of computing".

The award is named after Alan Turing, mathematician and reader in mathematics at the University of Manchester. Turing is "frequently credited for being the Father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence". As of 2007, the award is accompanied by a prize of $250,000, with financial support provided by Intel and Google.

Source: Wikipedia

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