Review: The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney

The Perfect WifeThe Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

CAUTION: This review may contain minor spoilers.

When Abbie Cullen mysteriously disappears, her husband, Tim Scott, creator and owner of Scott Robotics, does what any Titan of Tech would do. He creates a sentient robot to replace her. Well, maybe replace her isn’t the correct term, find her?

It is clear from the start that you are in for a unique experience when you open this book. The writing is strong but quirky and it took me a while to get used to it due to the different perspectives.

In particular, you get Abbie’s present timeline perspective told in 2nd person. This seemed a bizarre choice at first but I did get used to it as the narrative progressed. You also get Abbie’s past perspective in the days leading up to her disappearance, as well as an unknown narrator who is an employee at Scott Robotics.

Abbie, as we meet her, is a very likable character. There is a lot of mystery surrounding her. How she came to be and who knows what about her disappearance and apparent regeneration?

A lot of the emotional turmoil of this book comes with Abbie adjusting to her every day life. Reintroducing herself to the world. They have an autistic child, Danny, and his schooling and daily care were discussed in some detail.

As a Sci-Fi fan, I felt this was a very pertinent and cutting edge Techno-Thiller. If you are someone who is interested in the advancement of technology, in particular, the future of AI, you should definitely pick this up.

Part psychological thriller, part cautionary tale, I thought Delaney kept this believable enough to really cause the reader to think about the use of robotics in the home and whether we think that is a good thing of a bad thing.

It also explored topics like data ownership and consent that I think are equally important. Basically, the cobot (companion robot) who knows herself as Abbie, was made by uploading a compilation of the real Abbie’s data, such as social media posts and text messages.

Thus, through these ‘memories’, the cobot is able to develop the characteristics and personality of the original creator. It is a bit more complicated than that but you get the gist. It’s very Stepford Wives.

If it wasn’t for the last three or four chapters, this would have been a solid 4-star read for me. Sadly, I was a little disheartened with the run-up to the conclusion. There were some sharp turns that I would have preferred to go a different way.

Of course this is entirely subjective but I do have to be honest about the fact that it ultimately did affect my overall enjoyment of the story. With this being said, I still do recommend this one!!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Ballantine Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I truly appreciate the opportunity and did have a lot of fun with my first, but certainly not my last, J.P. Delaney book!

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