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Android Karenina
Ben H. Winters
Adult Fiction WINTERS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The next installment in Quirk's much-heralded sci-fi/classics mashup series, this steampunk take on Anna Karenina discards tsarist Russia for an alternate reality where a miracle metal, gronzium, has fueled the development of a thriving robot culture. Carriages and candlesticks persist, but everything is mechanized, including the servants: at the peak of the robot hierarchy are the near-sentient "Class IIIs," humanoid robots who aid and comfort their upper-class owners. These futuristic additions are more than background filler, though; Winters incorporates an entire action-packed sci-fi sub-plot, with terrorist attacks from a group of renegade scientists, an alien invasion, and the growing menace of a certain scorned cyborg husband. The sci-fi elements are carefully accomplished, sometimes brilliantly extrapolated from the original. The Class IIIs, for example, also act as telling externalizations of their masters: cold, duty-bound Karenin becomes half-robot and childish Kitty gets a pink, mechanized ballerina companion. Tolstoy's text is more than strong enough to stand up to this sort of treatment, its force attenuated just enough to allow Winters (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) to integrate his additions-a feat he manages with aplomb. Illustrations. (Jun.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

If the idea of 800-some pages of Russian literature strikes you as overwhelming, try this literary mashup of Anna Karenina. Winters (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) does a spectacular job, adding robots and mechanical terrorism to the misery, adultery, and philosophical introspection of Tolstoy's masterpiece. Robotic companions and functional devices replace domestic servants. Levin mines for Groznium rather than tending his farm, and Vronsky's beloved Frou-Frou is not a magnificent horse but a transformer-like battle bot. The Union of Concerned Scientists terrorizes society, rebelling against the government control of technological advancement, but the Ministry might be more advanced than they think! Toy soldiers, emotion bombs, and planetary invasion intertwine with Anna's societal condemnation for her tumultuous affair with Vronsky. Levin's self-discovery and marriage with Kitty reaffirm faith and hope in freedom and integrity. Discussion questions are included. Verdict Creepy, thrilling, and highly enjoyable!-Jennifer Anderson, Texas A&M Univ.-Corpus Christi Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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