"A Classic for a New Millennium"
Brilliant! DANEGELD tagged Susan Squires as an author to
watch. SACRAMENT carried the promise of a rising new star on
the romance horizon. With BODY ELECTRIC, Ms. Squires
arrived, as an author readers will want to put on their
short list for must buy reads.
With a brilliant mind and a pretty face, Victoria Barnhardt
had always been a square peg in a round hole. She hadn't
even been able to win the love of her parents. Her father
had pinned all his hopes on his second-born, a son, and she
hadn't fit her mother's idea of the perfect daughter
had done what many in her position had done, she'd rebelled,
become a bad girl. She had hit all the rave parties, done
all the fad substances, indulged in mindless, anonymous sex
where she could be in control, and had used her incredible
mind to gain information that was owned by others. There
wasn't a thing she couldn't do with a computer, a fact that
had finally landed the infamous hacker in jail.
But Bob McIntire, owner of Visimorph (the future's answer to
Microsoft) the world's biggest computer monopoly, saw uses
for one such as Vic. That's what McIntire did, used people
for his own gain, something that author/activist John Reston
planned to put a stop to. Vic had encountered McIntire's
arch-enemy quite by accident when she was forced to pass
through his protestors to access the company. She'd been
nearly crushed before Reston had shouldered his way
through his supporters and rescued her. She'd immediately
recognized Reston's true danger. He was the type of man that
attracted her on many levels, a man who could make her care.
He was also the kind of man who could see right through her,
and that would never do.
McIntire had bailed Vic out of jail to build the
ultimate computer security system for his company in order
to thwart master hackers like herself. She'd done her job
well, and had since moved on to other projects, but they
didn't really interest her. Vic didn't fit in at Visimorph
either. She was a female in a man's world, but as with her
social life, she'd developed a persona to fit the bill. None
of it mattered because Vic was about to reinvent herself.
No, it wasn't her latest assignment that had Vic logging so
much overtime. Vic was working on her own creation, and
would soon give birth to the ultimate female program. The
A.I. would be a better version of herself. Jodie would have
none of the emotions, the chemical, or environmental
influences that sabotaged flesh and blood females like
herself. If only she could work out the last bit of code to
bring Jodie to life.
While Vic ponders a solution to her latest difficultly,
something miraculous happens. As unsolicited code flashes on
her screen, Vic wonders if she might have been discovered.
It didn't matter, Jodie was about to be born! With the
stroke of the keys, she hits "Run program".
Whatever had been responsible for Jodie's creation, the
program was more than Vic ever dreamed. Her artificial
intelligence was alive, curious, with undreamed of emotions,
...and a mind of its own. Jodie reached out to Victoria
tentatively, searching for a friend, hoping to be loved.
Jodie was very afraid that he would disappoint her, because
he'd already come to a startling conclusion that he was very
Vic had felt the pain of non-acceptance her entire life, and
after much heart searching realizes that she must accept her
miracle for who he
is. It isn't hard, because Jodie is an irresistible
combination of high intelligence, absolute innocence, and
pure devotion. It isn't long though before he begins to feel
and lament his limits. It isn't just the limited capacity of
the power source. Jodie is aware that he is different from
Victoria, and longs to be "physical".
When the capacity of Visimorph's secret supercomputer,
Neuromancer, suddenly diminishes drastically, McIntire
suspects that Vic has been hiding a major breakthrough, and
he's not about to let her get away with it. Soon it becomes
imperative for Vic to get Jodie out of Visimorph, but she'd
hardly imagined Jodie's solution. Jodie wanted a body, and
he wanted Victoria. Soon Victoria was doing the unthinkable,
transferring her beloved program into the brain-dead body of
the one man who had the potential to stir her emotions. Had
she created a monster, or set them both free?
BODY ELECTRIC is gripping, suspenseful, thought
and very emotional...A classic for a new millennium! Jodie
may just spoil us for all other heroes. The reader will be
in as Vic grapples with the age old dilemma of what
designates life, and battles with her insecurities as she
realizes that her creation is something...more. Susan
is destined to become a best seller. This is a highly
Leslie Tramposch - Copyright © 2002
For PNR Reviews
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted July 23, 2002