Book Review: The Mother Code by Carole Stivers

Title: The Mother Code

By: Carole Stivers

Genre: Dystopian

Pages: 352

Release Date: August 25th, 2020

Publisher: Berkley

Rating: ★★★★★


Summary from Goodreads:

The year is 2049. When a deadly non-viral agent intended for biowarfare spreads out of control, scientists must scramble to ensure the survival of the human race. They turn to their last resort, a plan to place genetically engineered children inside the cocoons of large-scale robots--to be incubated, birthed, and raised by machines. But there is yet one hope of preserving the human order--an intelligence programmed into these machines that renders each unique in its own right--the Mother Code. 

Kai is born in America's desert southwest, his only companion his robot Mother, Rho-Z. Equipped with the knowledge and motivations of a human mother, Rho-Z raises Kai and teaches him how to survive. But as children like Kai come of age, their Mothers transform too--in ways that were never predicted. When government survivors decide that the Mothers must be destroyed, Kai must make a choice. Will he break the bond he shares with Rho-Z? Or will he fight to save the only parent he has ever known?

In a future that could be our own, The Mother Code explores what truly makes us human--and the tenuous nature of the boundaries between us and the machines we create.


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I absolutely loved this book. Although, yes, it is about a pandemic with a virus that is killing everyone off and it might hit a little close to home right now, but the whole story isn't about the virus, its about how humanity decided to survive afterward.

The concept of the mother robots is not a new concept, but the way it is done in this story is wonderful and works well. I really enjoyed the relationship between the mother bot and Kai. It was a strange symbiotic connection that made my heart warm.

In the end, the story ultimately came down to total destruction brought on by the old dying adults of the world or salvation by these children who are genetically modified to be immune to the virus ravaging the earth. 

This was a great read. Only took me a day to get through and I loved every moment of it.  

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

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