Reviews

Machine's Last Testament, by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

riley_rose's review

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adventurous mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5

leukippe's review

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adventurous hopeful fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

truthspeaker's review

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medium-paced
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

wickedlavender's review against another edition

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3.0

I loved the queerness so much and the relationships and the use of different pronouns and how normalized it was but I just found myself frequently confused and having to re read and bored when the plot itself was fantastic. The pacing was off and giving me whiplash and honestly I felt like most of the first half of the book could’ve been condensed or completely cut and it would’ve been a better read. I fully plan on keeping this author on my watch list because she had excellent ideas and some of these scenes were amazing. Being her first novel I fully expect amazing things from her in the future.

jadedarko's review

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emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0


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eol's review

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adventurous challenging emotional hopeful mysterious tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

gayancalime's review against another edition

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i think im officially a fan! i liked the characters and the world building so much in this one though suzhen was my favorite. sriduangkaew has a real way with melancholy and depressed characters--it never felt claustrophobic to be in suzhen's head but her despair and listlessness and depression felt REAL and lived in. i was really expecting more from her relationship with ovahu and i think frankly she ran out of space and i would love to see her write an actual full length novel (goodreads says the full length is 400 pages but its actually 218--a long novella imo). the resolution of the polyam situation felt--though good and genuine--truncated and i would have liked for the romance to have had more space to unfold between the three of them! i also loved taheen very much and this is PART OF THE REASON i wanted more of the romance is we learn something really crucial about them and their relationship to suzhen and it gets buried in the rush to the resolution. very upsetting to me personally who loves a good romance. especially when sriduangkaew's the sort of writer where i would have trusted her to build out a polyam relationship that didnt feel entirely motivated by the ethical nonmonogamy of online white queer discourse and culture.

i loved sriduangkaew's world building--the closed world of annata and the closed world of shenzen felt really similar and i like that she keeps returning to AIs in discord!! i think she really excels at approaching and dissambling the various problems of god-ai in a way that is really engaging; there is no perfect solution and i like that
Spoilerwhen they leave everyone is like maybe kelsa will fail! but at least we have been liberated from samsara and we can begin anew
. there are lots of parts of this world that i would have liked to spend more time in--any of the warships or generation cities, MAHAKALA, HELLO. and so on--but i also am beginning to understand im a huge series reader and while i love these slips in and out of settings, i really really want more. so im hoping she comes back to this world! im not a huge fan of polyam romances but this felt both genuine and earned.

anyway, it has been a long time since ive wanted to be in a world this much and lamented having to leave it, so im very glad to have picked this up!
eta: maybe don't write reviews at 230am lmfao

booknug's review

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mysterious reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

3.5

kl92620's review

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adventurous hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

The world that Sriduangkaew has created in  Machine's Last Testament feels both like a haunting portrayal of the capitalist, imperialist world of modern day and a thoughtful exploration of the future of humanity under the advancements of techonology and artificial intelligence. On one hand we see the advanced civilization of Anatta where all of its first-class citizens are able to live comfortable, even luxurious lives, but the non-citizens and refugees who flee the wars that Anatta has waged on their homeland are subjected to detention, sadistic cruelty from authorities, and are often forced to work dangerous, risky jobs if they are to secure a place in this new utopia. This sounds more than similar to the stark contrast between the lives of the privileged, respected citizens and the lives of the abused, exploited immigrants in so many developed countries today. On the other hand, we also see a world dominated by benevolent surveillance and authoritarianism, a world that is perfect, a world where an all-powerful AI finds a job for you, finds a partner for you, gives you therapy, does everything it needs to do keep you healthy and happy. A world that works like a perfect machine, but a world that has no real privacy or freedom to speak of. A world that warns us about the future and makes us wonder about the direction that humanity is heading in. The society that Sriduangkaew has created here is definitely something that make the reader reflect on both the present and the future. This is definitely a book that raises a variety of deep questions along the story that keeps you thinking.

hasegawa's review

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  • Loveable characters? Yes

4.25