The world Carr has created is wildly imaginative and completely believable. Jenn’s mad scientist roomie is experimenting and, unfortunately, Jenn becomes a variable. She is transported via funky rock to another dimension where she’s given a choice: die or be reconstructed (add AI unit and vigorously stir) to help a god. Not much of a choice, to be sure. *takes deep breath* And then things really get crazy. Jenn ends up in a beast world—think Planet of the Apes, but a lot more diversity than gorillas, orangs and chimps. One of my favorite things about The Download is the way the characters evolve. I love that the AI (Artificial Intelligence, I know, I know, you knew) unit doesn’t remain static, CALA changes and is as much a character as the flesh and blood ones. If you love a rollicking tale that makes you think, I strongly recommend this book.
I’m typically not a big reader of romances unless they’re funny and this book delivered big time. Ella Menza’s life has been grounded in politeness and following all the rules. Unfortunately, others take advantage of her good-naturedness. Self-centered Burton, her fiancée is, as Janet, a favorite co-worker aptly describes him, “a cold fish.” Her mother, the Professor, who reminded me a lot of Leonard’s mom on the Big Bang Theory, belittles and embarrasses her. She finds her job as a copywriter unfulfilling. Ella Menza has been a doormat for too long and has had enough.
The book immediately illustrates Ella’s temperament when she needs to leave work for her bridal shower but can’t bring herself to be rude to a co-worker. Ella arrives late and things go downhill from there. The book is atypical because it has several POVs, instead of the traditional heroine only or the POV bouncing back and forth between the hero and heroine. I enjoy multiple POVs, so this was a plus for me. It was refreshing to read about characters who have flaws instead of too perfect ones. Ronnie, Ella’s bestie’s auto-corrected curse words and her wild card behavior made me giggle. A host of quirky characters whirl through the revolving doors of Ella’s life.
One POV was Eddie’s, the brother of Ella’s love interest. I thought it was odd at first, but I would have found him a much more unsympathetic individual without getting a glimpse into his thoughts and at the end of the book, a sequel is alluded to involving Eddie and Ronnie. I love EM Kaplan’s Josie Tucker series and look forward to seeing what the author has in store for the bro and the bff in book 2.