The Companions by Katie M. Flynn
The consciousness of the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service of the living. For the wealthy, this means an opportunity to remain with their families long after their physical bodies have deteriorated. For the less fortunate, they are destined to be rented out to strangers as the intellectual property of the corporation that owns them. But one young woman, Lilac, is about to change everything…
What does it mean to be human? Can human consciousness be owned? Is defying death a gift or a prison? What if identity theft truly meant having all your thoughts, memories, and experiences stolen?
The Companions is a unique novel, as told from eight different characters over a course of time. We’re first introduced to Lilac who becomes a Companion for a young girl. She has all the memories and personality of who she was before, but limited to a robot body. But an act of rebellion steers can change the course of Companions forever.
This is an impressive debut. Each character was so unique and well-crafted that it was easy to jump into each scenario. And I got wrapped up in each narrative. This was an emotional roller coaster with plenty of suspense and heartache. I do wish some things were better explained, like why the companions artificial bodies deteriorated so fast and why there weren’t ways around that. And the ending felt a little disjointed and unfinished.
But overall, I really enjoyed this strange and tragic tale.