ARC Review: In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

Title: In the Lives of Puppets

Author: TJ Klune

In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots–fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe.

The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio-a past spent hunting humans.

When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio’s former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic’s assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming.

Along the way to save Gio, amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?

‘What do you do if you’ve forgotten all you know?’

So here we have what this author writes superbly….our found family: Gio (Dad), Nurse Ratched (hilarious), Rambo (the vacuum!!) Victor – human and Hap – warrior!

They all live in a house in the woods built high in the trees. All is well until one day bad guys turn up and take Gio away and the rest of the gang go off in search to find him.

They journey through the forest, to a curiosity shop, to the City of Electric Dreams, to the Blue Fairy and to the Benevolent Tower and what they find (and find out) blows their minds!

‘Stick together
Run if we have to
No dallying.
No drilling.
And above all else, be brave.’

This was so sweet! It was heart-achingly beautiful! There were so many quotes I highlighted and I found myself so immersed I could’ve lent in and hugged Victor on many occasions!

Nurse Ratched was my utter favourite though. She is sassy, rude, inappropriate and totally hilarious!

‘Though you seem to be suffering from an intense anxiety disorder . But that is fine. We are all unique. Victor is asexual. Giovanni is old. And I have sociopathic tendencies that manifest themselves in dangerous situations.’

Another hit from this author and I’m finding myself humming ‘heaven, I’m in heaven’ all the time!


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