Mila 2.0 #1
Release Date: March 28, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Goodreads Stars: 3
Buy the Book: Amazon UK
Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.
Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.
Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.
Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel. - Goodreads
Along with the rest of the book blogging community, I was super excited for Mila 2.0 because, duh, cyborgs! I love a good science fiction. My high hopes definitely weren't shattered into a million pieces and thrown to the wind, but they weren't quite met. Mostly because of the focus on the romantic plot. Because no.
I'll start off by talking about the positive aspects of the novel, namely the main character and the action, which both helped me forget the crappy love interest and the crappy focus on the romance.
Mila starts off having no knowledge of being a cyborg. In fact, she doesn't know much about her life anyway. She and her mother moved to a small town (which kind of reminded me of my own because it was so backwards) after a fire killed Mila's father. Supposedly. But things escalate and Mila discovers that she isn't actually human.
Her mother keeps a lot of secrets from Mila in the beginning, but I liked the way she was trying to protect her. It also made the reveals more interesting, because the secrets were let out gradually and we didn't get any huge info dumps. It also felt more true to life (as much as a science fiction can), because Mila took the time to come to terms with a few of the bigger things before the next was thrown at her.
Mila was such a strong character, and I am very impressed by the character growth she went through. If we ignore the romance, of course. She starts out the book doing what she is told, then she realises she's not human and goes through a bit of an identity crisis, before finally starting to accept herself. I loved that Mila struggled with accepting that she wasn't human, because if I suddenly discovered that I was a cyborg then I would definitely have a breakdown. Hell, I have breakdowns over the lives of fictional characters, let alone my own.
In addition to Mila being awesome, the plot was also great. From the moment Mila discovers that she's not quite human, the book is basically non-stop action. There are chase scenes, fight scenes...
... and it was all amazing.
And then there is the love interest. Enter Hunter, the mysterious, broody new guy at school. The stupid bloody focus on stupid bloody Hunter ruined some of the book for me. Who even is he? Why should we trust him? Why is Mila calling him when she's on the run from the government? Why doesn't she suspect him when he arrived in town and saw her prosthetic arm just before the government arrived? Those aren't spoilers, because I don't even know if Hunter is working for the government or the other bad guys or not, but it all seems a bit too coincidental.
In addition, Mila is a cyborg. Let me stress it again, Mila. Is. A. Cyborg. Why doesn't her computer brain tell her that this is not a good idea? It searches entire rooms for weapons or threats for her, and yet it doesn't tell her that trusting this guy is illogical? It just doesn't make sense to me.
Now, the real reason I hate the romance is that it's insta-love. Mila knows Hunter for barely a few days before she has to go on the run, and at first all she does is think of him. Did the two of them even have a proper, meaningful conversation? I can't remember one.
Here is me spoiling the ending:
Mila's mother dies as they're escaping the government facility and she meets up with Hunter again because apparently he is willing to drop everything for a girl he barely knows. Then she decides that her mum's death and the government's pursuit can be forgotten because WAHEY, Hunter is there with her and all is right in the world again!
I WANT TO SCREAM.
My overall conclusion is that Mila 2.0 is a great book that is very nearly ruined by the ridiculous romance. Luckily, I was able to shove the romance aside because it's not really present in the middle of the book, so I could focus on the action and the science fiction stuff. I would recommend this book if you think you are able to ignore subplots!
What other reviewers thought of Mila 2.0: