Sunday, March 15, 2020

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Helene by Karl Drinkwater - Book Tour & Review



Helene
Dr Helene Vermalle is shaping the conscience of a goddess-level AI.


As a leading civilian expert in Emergent AI Socialisation, she has been invited to assist in a secret military project.
Her role? Helping ViraUHX, the most advanced AI in the universe, to pass through four theoretical development stages. But it’s not easy training a mind that surpasses her in raw intellect. And the developing AI is capable of killing her with a single tantrum.
On top of this, she must prove her loyalty to the oppressive government hovering over her shoulder. They want a weapon. She wants to instil an overriding sense of morality.
Can she teach the AI right and wrong without being categorised as disloyal?
Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.


My Review
Helene is a short story/prequel in the Lost Solace universe written by Karl Drinkwater. Having not read any of the books in the series, I went into Helene unsure of what to expect. It seems to be set prior to the first book, so it's a story about a woman named Helene, who happens to be an expert in AI socialization, being invited to assist with a newly developed AI. Vira, aka Via, befriends Helene because she's different from all the military people who associate with her. But that budding friendship may come with a cost. 
I found the story to be intriguing, although at times I was a little lost. While I liked the relationship Helene was developing with Via, at times it felt like it was a bit too strange and rushed in spots. But on the plus side, I was left wanting to know more at the end. I was curious to see how the repercussions of what happened in this story would carry over into the main novels of the series. 
Helene is a quick read that fans of sci-fi stories featuring AI will enjoy. And the ending will have you eager to read more about ViraUHX and the government that created her.
3.5 stars from me.



Author Bio –
Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He's a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.


He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you'll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn't writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.



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