“That’s Neom,” Elias said, and the sudden name filled Saleh with a longing he could not articulate.
Let me start off by saying that I'm not a huge fan of sci-fi, but this book was under 300 pages and the clear reference to the city being built by the Saudi's was enough to pull me in; Neom, a city where the crime is to litter, be poor, or ugly.
In that sense this book is incredibly creative. For the most part I wasn't sure which direction the book would go in. The thing with the robot happens in a subtle way; you think he's a robot who has maybe skewed some of his programming. But even that, which is a bit slow, is interesting. In this glittering city where Mariam still lives working her enumerable jobs, where the policeman feel useless and this sentient robot, already part of the past, seems to be doing something for love.
“Are we really sentient, though?” the robot said. “Or are we only very good at pretending?”
It's also a great book for people who liked Dune or epic fantasy reads like GoT or LOTR. There is a lot of information to process and if I had to process any more I would have given up on the book, even if some things like the virtually bred creatures were a delightful addition to the story. But reading this also reminded me of Walter Benjamin's commentary on the print Angelus Novus by Paul Klee and how much so much is destroyed for the sake of progress; and all that cannot be undone.
The Fondly was my favourite though.