Book Review: The Companions by Katie M. Flynn

The Companions by Katie M. Flynn

Rating:  ★★★1/2

In a future heavily shaped by numerous deadly flu pandemics (wow did I choose the wrong time to read it!), a company called Metis has begun uploading the consciousnesses of the dead, and then downloading them into robots called ‘Companions’.  These companions are most typically used as caregivers to the elderly or the young, but they can also be leased from Metis by the family of the dead.

It’s a theme that’s been covered before.  In this iteration, we follow the story of several characters whose paths all intersect in interesting ways.  Primarily this is the story of Lilac, who suffered a traumatic death and went on to become a caregiver.  Lilac has never really obeyed her security protocols.  Something makes her different.  She was one of the earliest companions, and it’s not long before she’s breaking free and trying to find people she once knew as a human.

In the blurb, The Companions is compared to Station Eleven.  And it isn’t completely wrong, though I think ultimately, Station Eleven was much better done.  This is a largely character driven novel, with a very thin semblance of a plot holding it together.  I don’t mean this in a bad way- I actually did enjoy the meandering pace and drifting nature of the plot.

The writing was okay.  Not particularly memorable but that means it isn’t particularly bad either.  I ultimately deducted a star for the ending, which felt rushed and strung together in a bunch of random scenes to tie it all up and put a bow on it.  I really didn’t understand what the author was getting at with what Nat was doing, or even the relationship between Nat and Gabe in the end, and really had no clue what Rachel’s real purpose was with her chapter.

I read an advanced copy, downloaded electronically several months before release, so I’d have to check to see if it was re-written at all to make it more cohesive.  If it was- this could easily have been a 4 star read.

Thank you to the publisher for the electronic review copy.  The Companions released on March 3, 2020 and can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon.

20 thoughts on “Book Review: The Companions by Katie M. Flynn

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed this, although it would take a miracle for anything that compares itself to Station Eleven to deliver on that level, IMO. But now I feel better about trying this out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll be curious to see what you think of it- I know a lot of the reviews are not positive. I don’t think it’s quite a 4 star read, I just don’t think it’s as bad as reviews are making it out to seem. And you’re right- they set an impossible expectation with the Station Eleven reference.

      Like

  2. Despite a very interesting core concept, it would seem that this novel did not completely deliver on its promises, which is a pity. Station Eleven is one of the books I keep seeing recommended, and I will need to do something about it soon 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually love a good pandemic book which makes the current situation in the world very…interesting for me. Sorry this one was just okay for you. Sometimes I don’t mind a thin plot but the characters really have to connect with me in that case. I hope your next read is better! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Month in Review: March 2020 | Hamlets & Hyperspace

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