Fiction - Science Fiction
276 Pages
Reviewed on 10/18/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Waterdown is a work of thoughtful and interesting science fiction penned by author Anastasia Slabucho. This novella-length work explores the efforts of Geo Spears, whose incredible innovations in Fusion A. I. should have cemented her as a true hero of her age. But the A. I. took a drastic turn to eradicate the sufferings of humanity by watering down the minds of everyone on the planet to help them forget. In the twenty-second century, this watered-down society truly shows its cost, and as Geo Spears faces her last few weeks to live, she becomes more and more determined to face her creation and unveil her absolution.

Dramatic and highly conceptual, this excellent story by author Anastasia Slabucho will appeal to fans of the likes of Isaac Asimov for sure. Blending science fiction with science future and science fact, the bleak narrative style presents an eerie and clinical overview of a human world where A. I. innovation has led to inevitable ruin. The characterization of this world and the people within it is presented with excellent use of descriptive lexis and engaging dialogue, whilst the central presentation of Geo Spears herself is a triumph in building a broken hero. I felt for Geo despite her transgressions and followed her avidly through the campaign on which she rests her future hopes and legacy. Overall, Waterdown is a superb concept in itself, and one which is effectively realized through excellent writing, intelligent character work and a true sense of chilling disaster that stays with you long after reading.

Sefina Hawke

Waterdown by Anastasia Slabucho is a science fiction story that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who enjoy futuristic fiction that features artificial intelligence. The year is 2135 and humanity has been split into two groups, permanents and temporals, both of which are ruled over and controlled by an AI known as Fusion. Permanents are believed to be immortal humans who still possess their memories while temporals are thought to live ordinary lifespans without strong connections or feelings. Yet, when Geo Spears, the creator of Fusion, is cast out when her longevity treatments fail, things might just start to take a turn for the better with the help of a group looking to disable Fusion’s rule over humankind.

Waterdown by Anastasia Slabucho is a well-written book with an intriguing cover that made me wonder about this futuristic world where humans were controlled by an AI. At first, I found the segments of code to be a little distracting as it took me a bit of time to notice the individual prompts within the code that then helped me to understand Fusion. However, once I got the hang of understanding the coding, I found that it offered an additional perspective to the story. I personally found the story itself to not only be enjoyable but also emotionally moving and thought-provoking. Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading this book especially with the unpredictable ending, and I really hope the author decides to continue to write in this genre as she clearly has quite the gift for it!

Rabia Tanveer

Waterdown by Anastasia Slabucho is a fantasy/science fiction novel that takes the reader on a journey full of murky waters, intense drama and fast-paced action. When Geo Spears took some necessary action, she hoped that she would be remembered as someone who made a difference, someone who brought about a great change. She had no idea that her idea of change would be something that had the potential to destroy everything, including her life. She watered down everything, from human pain and suffering to their wishes and desires. Now there isn’t much left inside humans and she knows that it is all because of her. She only has weeks to live, she is cast out of her home and now she has to face mortality as the biggest hurdle in her way. She made some decisions and now she must live with the consequences. Everything she stood for, everything that Geo loved, is under threat and she seems to be the only one to save it all. Can she find the strength for one last thing?

This was a quick, easy-to-read novel that had me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t put this novel down, not once. Geo is a strong yet very charismatic character; she is one of those characters that stay with you for a long time. The idea behind Fusion A.I. is original; it is something that is scary because it seems so real. The author has done an amazing job at creating a universe that is at once believable and familiar. I was invested in the story because Geo was such a vibrant and intimidating character. The author explored her full potential, testing Geo until the very last of her strength, and helped her become a character that every reader would be proud of. This novel is a pleasant surprise that I was not expecting at all. Absolutely brilliant!