Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blog Tour: Artificial by Jadah McCoy

The always delightful Curiosity Quills Press let me join in on this blog tour for Artificial by Jadah McCoy. This is science fiction with a heart. And some really freaky, bio-engineered monsters. As, you know, science fiction tends to have. 

This book is the first in a planned trilogy, and with a cover this gorgeous, I couldn't resist hopping on board!

The Book


In 2256, the only remnants of civilization on Earth’s first colonized planet, Kepler, are the plant-covered buildings and the nocturnal, genetically spliced bug-people nesting within them: the Cull. During the day, Syl leaves her home in the sewers beneath Elite City to scavenge for food, but at night the Cull come looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the Android War a century ago. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, Elite city rebuilt, and the population replenished. She’s wrong.

Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments which result in her own DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child on Kepler is transformed into the abomination they fear.


For Bastion, being an android in the sex industry isn’t so bad. Clubbing beneath the streets of New Elite by day and seducing the rich by night isn’t an altogether undesirable occupation. But every day a new android cadaver appears in the slum gutters, and each caved in metal skull and heap of mangled wires whittles away at him.

Glitches—androids with empathy—are being murdered, their models discontinued and strung up as a warning. Show emotion, you die. Good thing Bastion can keep a secret, or he would be the next body lining the street.

He can almost live with hiding his emotions. That is, until a girl shows up in the slums—a human girl, who claims she was an experiment. And in New Elite, being a human is even worse than being a Glitch. Now Bastion must help the girl escape before he becomes victim to his too-human emotions, one way or another.

Artificial is available now!

My Review

Straight off the bat, I loved Artificial. It's unlike anything I've been reading lately, and was a really welcome breath of fresh air. The book is science fiction with a very light romantic undertone. The story's told from the perspectives of the two main characters: Syl, a human focused on survival and giving her all for the survival of others, and Bastion, an android who glitches

Syl's a fantastic female character. She's tough, she's fiesty, and her quick temper get her in an appropriate amount of hot water. There's no glossing over her character flaw. Bastion's chapters were also excellent, though I think he reads a bit flatter and overly polished in the ones from Syl's perspective.

I did find that the first few chapters were slow, but after that, things moved forward at the perfect, frantic pace. There were a few other odd little things that didn't hit me quite right. Syl's relationship with one of the men she grew up with was complex, but simplified at odd moments - either they were friends or enemies, and never did Syl recognize the relationship as anything shaded in between. I also thought her ability to bounce back from injury needed to be either better explained, or the injuries should have had a more lasting impact. But I was willing to go with it, because the story here is *so compelling.*

I also thought that while the world of Artificial was really intriguing, with its remnants of humanity, with the Cull and so on, but there were some parts that were never adequately described for me. I never really sunk into New Elite, never really visualized it in a way that made it come alive. 

Because Artificial is the first of a planned trilogy, I expect more of the background of the world to be shaded in, as well as for the relationship between Syl and Bastion to be fleshed out. The story ends on quite an intriguing note, and I'm very curious to see where author Jadah McCoy takes it.

Bottom Line

If you like your science fiction to be on the edge of survival, with androids in the mix, grab this one. Despite the sex industry implication, the most adult things in this book are the violence, so don't be put off if you like your romance kept PG.

4.5 stars
For fans of science fiction, androids, badass female characters. 

About the Author

Jadah currently lives in Nashville, TN and works as a legal coordinator. When not babysitting attorneys, she can be found juicing her brain for creative ideas or fantasizing about her next trip out of the country (or about Tom Hiddleston as Loki - it’s always a toss up when she fantasizes.)

She grew up in rural Arkansas, yet can still write good and sometimes even wears shoes! She did date her first cousin for a while but they decided against marriage for the sake of the gene pool.

Her true loves are elephants, cursing, and sangria - in that order. If you find an elephant that curses like a sailor whilst drinking sangria, you’re dangerously close to becoming her next romantic victim - er, partner.

She cut her writing teeth on badly written, hormone-driven fanfiction (be glad that’s out of her system), and her one true dream is to have wildly erotic fanfiction with dubious grammar written about her own novels. Please make her dreams come true.

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