Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Read an Excerpt
Megan Hart’s latest release, Passion Model, is a delicious sensory sci-fi feast that manages to one-up its standing as erotica. Passion Model’s slick foundation and world-building is solid, believable from its pedtreads to gritty Oldcity, to the Lovehuts that house the vast swathe of pleasure bots that serve the general public.
But behind the pristine order and blanched hues of Newcity, hides a stringent system of checks and balances as citizens are rigorously ranked, their economy and access to goods dependent on a blind obedience of the rules. And within the strict confines of their society, anything that is not purely human is ostracized. As the Ruling Council moves towards legislation to completely segregate and strip human status from those with even minimal upgrades, Hart’s heroine struggles with her humanity.
For Gemma 4121609, a partially mechanized human after a deadly accident…her life was given back to her, but drastically changed. Leaving behind a marriage in tatters and a career flaming in ruins, Gemma’s only course was to be a Recreational Intercourse Operative where the partially mechanized can still earn decent credits and an exclusive ranking in Newcity. Patrolling the district Lovehuts, Gemma and her team track down defective Passion Model bots and pull them out of the general population.
But one neon-tinted night, Gemma mistakes Declan Adar for a Passion Model and within their entwined arms they find something they hadn’t known was missing: each other. With incorrectly identifying Declan as a bot, Gemma and he have committed a felony-one that threatens to alter the course of their lives. And when Gemma digs deeper in Declan’s past she unearths a monumental secret that brings the leader of Newcity and his sec bots down on her head.
The vein running through Passion Model’s heart is its conflict over humans and mechos. The age-old dilemma of what comprises human sentience and its potential reversibility by mechanized implantation. Do we cease to be human with inorganic complements? Hart directly address this conflict in both Gemma and Declan as they outrun the fist that slowly threatens to crush them in its grip.
For Hart, Passion Model provides a sci-fi vehicle that highlights her exceptional story telling skills. In many ways it competes with its original vision as an erotic piece. It simply excels as a piece of Blade Runner-esque inspired vision, and the torrid sexual passages are just frosting on already a stuffed cake. I found myself intrigued by Hart’s vision, and I want MORE.
Thankfully I am guessing there will be…Hart’s website states that Passion Model is Book 1, so with any luck I am going to assume that there will be a Book 2. In the meantime, I am checking out her upcoming releases, particularly Seeing Stars (out May 2011), and Virtue & Vice (out Oct 2011).
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)!