The Android and the Thief by Wendy Rathbone (English review)
The Android and the Thief
by Wendy Rathbone (Goodreads Author)
" The Android and the Thief" is about the 23- year old Trev Damico, who is a trained thief and computer hacker and Khim, an android who was a soldier for the last ten years.
Background information: The story plays in the sixty-seventh century where vat-grown humans or shortly androids are created for the use to serve, either in the military or the brothel. They are born as adults and have false memories implanted in their brains. They are not allowed to self defend themselves, but in danger sacrifice themselves instead for their task.
The Cover: It looks interesting with the handsome boy and the purple sky with the moon and the city in the background.
At the beginning, Trev plans to steal a precious book out of a museum, written by Bradbury in the 21 century. To do this, he is using the neon waterfall which makes him invisible for the laser traps and heat sensors so he can easily navigate from floor to floor. It is his only way of freedom he has since Trev lives in the household of the rich and influential Dante Damico, his strict and violent adoptive father. Trev's family shows the mafia kind of structures when it is about power and is known for their crimes in the underworld. And Dante uses his children as marionettes and in return they get power, money and every bit of pretended kindness Dante has.
Trev is the seventh and youngest son and the only moral compass in the family who is less involved in the severe felony's of his brothers and sisters and foremost of his father. He is a genius when it is about construction plans and his ability to override computer security programs and manipulate them. And his brothers and sisters are eternally jealous for being Dante's favourite and the only really beautiful one. In spite of that if Trev denies his father and marches to a different drummer, he like all his other siblings is whipped by his father in the punishment room.
He already stole hundreds of articles for his father previously, however this is the last coup before he wants to leave and go incognito.
Trev could have everything he wants: a name, money, prestige, but after Trev saw how his father Dante killed one of his men in cold murder, he doesn't want to have anything to do with Dante anymore. Dante has control over all of the life of his children and because of that Trev arranged with Mr Archer Archimedes, a business contact with his father, to go to prison as a substitute for one year in the North Star for nonviolent offenders in exchange for a brand-new identity. Trev heard of Archimedes' embezzlement of nearly one billion credits from his firm and that's why Trev made the proposal that Archimedes could keep his firm and Trev would get his freedom instead.
In spite of all planning, Trev's prison assignment changes abruptly and he is remanded to Steering Star, a prison for maximum security.
Khim, a vat-born android never learned the goodness of humans first hand: he was trained since he was born and since then he had installed memories of a false childhood, education and training. His rank corresponds to a Planet Killers because his only life purpose is to go to war on the ship "Doom in Shadow". He can make out of everything a weapon, whether it is a toothpick or toilet paper, and has several techniques in his mind to disarm someone.
Be that as it may, after an accident where Khim lost his hand and where he got a metal hand alternately, he is no longer of use as a soldier and instead Khim is sold as a prostitute because of his appealing look: blond hair, blue eyes, henna skin and a strong, muscular body.
Without regard to his previous training, Khim is bathed and drugged for his performance in the House of Xavier, an elite all-male club. During one of the parties the club is holding, Khim is gang-raped and he murders in return one wealthy client. And although the punishment of death for vat-born humans is capital punishment, his advocate can convince the judge to turn him to prison instead because of the brutality Khim had to endure.
Why is Trev transferred to Steering Star?
What will happen to the android?
And when Khim finds out that Trev, who is the son of the family who employed him as a prostitute is going to be his cell mate, what will he do?
5-Stars, because it is an amazing, warm-hearted story about two people with different upbringings who both had their bad start in life and who struggle and who fight to overcome their dilemmas.
The novel also depicts a great emotional depth when it is about Khim and how he interprets the world originally and how after he gets to know Trev, advances his world view and learns what real friendship and love is.
I recommend it to everyone who loves adventure and sci-fi in combination with romance. I also can imagine that a movie adaptation could be made of the novel one day.