Hello everyone! Today I am here to share with you an amazing book that would come out pretty soon, and that deserves a lot of love, so let’s get started!
Thank to the Editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Title: World Running Down
Author: Al Hess
Expected Publication Date: February 14th, 2023
Valentine Weis is a salvager in the future wastelands of Utah. Wrestling with body dysphoria, he dreams of earning enough money to afford citizenship in Salt Lake City – a utopia where the testosterone and surgery he needs to transition is free, the food is plentiful, and folk are much less likely to be shot full of arrows by salt pirates. But earning that kind of money is a pipe dream, until he meets the exceptionally handsome Osric.
Once a powerful AI in Salt Lake City, Osric has been forced into an android body against his will and sent into the wasteland to offer Valentine a job on behalf of his new employer – an escort service seeking to retrieve their stolen androids. The reward is a visa into the city, and a chance at the life Valentine’s always dreamed of. But as they attempt to recover the “merchandise”, they encounter a problem: the android ladies are becoming self-aware, and have no interest in returning to their old lives.
The prize is tempting, but carrying out the job would go against everything Valentine stands for, and would threaten the fragile found family that’s kept him alive so far. He’ll need to decide whether to risk his own dream in order to give the AI a chance to live theirs.
On Goodreads, the expected publication date is February 14th, and I really hope it would be the real publication date because this is the perfect book for Saint Valentine’s day! It is not that it’s the best romance ever, even if we have romance in there and it’s not bad, not bad at all! But because it is the sweetest, wholesome book out there, it needs to be read, shared, and loved!
I think that the best thing in the book is Valentine. He is a great character but even more important, he is an amazing person. He is caring, he is dead set on doing the right thing for everyone, and sure, sometimes he can be a tad self-centered, but it’s only human, and he is never too much, and I think he deserves it a bit too. Valentine is the sweetest guy ever, and he deeply cares for everyone. For the well-being of everyone, but also for the rights of everyone and he tries his best.
And related to Valentine there is the trans rep, which I think it’s amazingly well-developed and well-portrayed here. I really think that this book should be recommended in schools too because the need for it is huge!
I mean, it would be an amazingly good read for trans young people (obviously, adults too) because being represented is important as hell, and Valentine is amazing, and also for people who are not trans because it helps understand a bit better how to be a better ally or at least a better person in general. Sometimes seeing how Valentine is suffering in the story, for the uncaring of the others or for real meaningness is heartwrenching, you really feel the need to just hug him and tell him that things would be all right in the end.
So, Valentine and trans rep are amazing, and you need to read this book just for these two things.
But let’s not forget about Osric, he is an amazing character! And again, he is amazing because he is a really caring and understanding entity (he is a sort of sentient AI that find himself in the body of an android), he is another heartwarming character with a great sense of humor, and some of the dialogues between him and Valentine (but also with other characters) are fun! But there is another layer here, too. Because Osric too finds himself trapped in a body that it’s not his, in his natural state he is an incorporeal sentient being, but for some reason he finds himself trapped in there, and he needs to learn and adapt. And his struggles are so real!! And he has a hard time dealing with other people too because he is a sentient being but he is in an android’s body, and androids are not sentient, are just machines that do what they are programmed to do so… things are quite complicated
And it’s also interesting the themes of sentience and of right and wrong that we get to see here since our characters are trying to find and take back to their owners a bunch of androids that are used as escorts and the such and that were stolen but once they find the androids our heroes discover a disquieting thing: the androids are becoming sentient. And that’s what make the plot really move forward, and it’s the focal point of the story, but since we have really amazing characters and some pretty important and delicate topics, there is a lot happening even before that.
If I have a complaint, it’s about world-building. It’s interesting, and it has some really good ideas, so I would have loved to see a tad more of it. Mind me, it’s enough to move along the story without problems, and it’s fascinating and good all the same, but if I have to find something to complain about it would be this: I would have liked to know a bit more.
All in all, it was an amazing reading, wholesome, sweet, with some amazing characters (and sure, here I talked only about Valentine and Osric, but they are not the only ones, you should meet Ace, too, even if she is not my favorite she is an intriguing and real character, and Cinnamom, trust me, you need to meet her! And the Saints, and Lysander!), a really needed trans rep and with a ton of good messages all around, and with a captivating plot. I had a great time reading this book, and I am recommending it to you, too, because it was amazing!
And what about you? Have you read it? Or are you interested in reading it?? Let me know!!!
5 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: WORLD RUNNING DOWN OR A WHOLESOME BOOK THAT DESERVES LOVE!”
Excellent review, Susy! I’m reading this soon and I cannot wait to meet these characters😁
I already like Valatine now. Amazing review, Susy! I always enjoy sweet and fluffy books.
Well, color me intrigued! (to say the least….)
The post-apocalyptic background would have been enough to make me pay attention, but your description of the characters was the element that “sealed the deal” for me 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
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It has some Mad Max vibes, worldbuilding wise, but it is not so… Dark, and there is more to it, too! And I am so glad you are interested in this one!! 😍
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