Title: Restore – Stories of Singularity #1
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Publication Date: May 2, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 42 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Restorative Human Medical Care Unit 7435, sentience level fifty, is happiness level five out of ten to serve and heal the human master it loves. But Unit 7435 finds there is a price to be paid for love… and for failing in its primary mission.
Restore is a standalone short story that takes place in the world of the Singularity novels.
Start the novel series with The Legacy Human (Singularity 1).
Content warning: Terminal illness. I will be not discussing this in my review.
A happy medical care unit is a productive medical care unit.
I liked the fact that Restorative Human Medicine Care Unit 7435 had such a distinct personality. This wasn’t something I was expecting to find, especially based on my first impression of this bot who originally came across as someone who followed strict protocols with no room from deviation. This changed once 7435 decided to identify as female for the day and began receiving commands that were in direct opposition to her programming. (Medical care units in this universe can alter their gender presentation and preferred pronoun based on what makes their patient most comfortable)
With that being said, I struggled with the thin plot. It was difficult to remain interested when so little was happening, especially since 7435 had such a limited understanding of anything other than the various types of psychological and physical medical care she was programmed to provide to her patients. She was an interesting protagonist for sure, but developing a well-rounded storyline from someone whose perspective is naturally so limited is tough.
The world building was otherwise well done. My curiosity was piqued by the differences between legacy and ascender humans in this universe. The narrator knew just enough about this topic to keep me wondering why humanity decided to branch off in these ways and what other ways the two groups might be distinct from each other that a medical bot wouldn’t necessarily be aware of.
I’d recommend Restore to anyone who is a big fan of stories about artificial intelligence.