Artificial Absolutes is a complex story presented in a very non-linear way. Much of the storyline is presented through flashbacks, so keeping up with whether you’re in the past or present is occasionally a little tricky. Although it’s clearly a science fiction tale, it’s also a mystery, and Fan is very good at coaxing the reader to the edge of revelation before veering off on a different, but essential, tack. The heart of the book, though, is the question of the nature of life and of what makes a being human. Possible answers to these questions are explored not only via the dialogue of the characters, but through certain of Devin’s and Jane’s relationships as well.
The characters in Artificial Absolutes exhibit a great variety of personalities that Fan differentiates very well. The interactions between and among those characters is sometimes a little stiff, especially when such interaction should be more intense than usual. The struggles that Devin and Jane each face within themself are very well depicted.
Fan’s writing is easy to read and the world she’s created is easier to keep up with than are those of much science fiction. By raising one potential philosophical issue, she highlights the importance of holding science and its practitioners to a higher ethical standard than doing or creating something merely because it’s possible to do so.
3.5 of 5 Stars
Published February 2013 by Red Adept PublishingMary Fan's Website