Author: Debra Driza
Release Date: March 12, 2013 (hardcover)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 3.5 Stars
Mila was living with her mother in a small Minnesota town when she discovered she was also living a lie.
She was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was never supposed to remember the past—that she was built in a computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.
Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much, and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology.
Evading her enemies won't help Mila escape the cruel reality of what she is and cope with everything she has had to leave behind. However, what she's becoming is beyond anyone's imagination, including her own, and that just might save her life.
A compulsively readable sci-fi thriller, Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza's bold debut and the first book in an action-filled, Bourne Identity–style trilogy.
When I first read the concept for Mila 2.0 and saw the gorgeous book cover, I was completely intrigued! I mean, Debra Driza's debut novel promised to be a pure adrenaline rush. How could I resist? The action sequences were my favourite parts to read in Mila 2.0! They were visual, well-detailed, and it was exactly like something you might come across in a movie.
However, the novel lost some of its momentum when I could begin poling holes into its plot. There's a really exciting scene which occurs in Toronto's Pearson Airport, but when Mila and her mother find themselves unable to escape, the Americans suddenly swoop in, not the Canadian authorities. I honestly set the book down for a moment because if angered me so much. I'm all for cooperation between the countries, but if you're on Canadian soil, then at least include Canadians, in some fashion, in the interrogations as well. I like any book with a Canadian connection, so I was ecstatic at first to see Toronto mentioned, but the execution of the scene really bothered me. Once I tried to put it behind me afterwards though, my enthusiasm for Mila 2.0 picked up again because the Debra Driza raises the stakes higher than ever.
I felt a wide range of emotions about Mila. Initially, I sympathized with the grief she felt from losing her father in a terrible fire, and the loss of memories that came along with that traumatic event. After an accident forces her mother to explain the truth– that Mila is an android– I was annoyed with her selfish reaction. Instead of appreciating just how much her Mom was trying to protect her, Mila whined and took risks. I liked Mila best when she was trapped in a corner with no choice but toughen up and fight back, finally getting it through her head that her crisis in identity was the least of her problems.
I wish Mila's "mother" has been much more developed as a character. She sacrificed everything to try giving Mila a semblance of a normal life, but we never really learn her true motivations other than some half-hearted explanations that she didn't think it was ethical how they were treating Mila. We don't even learn how her Mom was able to break her out of the high security lab in the first place. I'm really hoping Mila learns more answers in book two.
Mila 2.0 is a thrilling introduction to a new YA science fiction series! Once Mila and her mother run for their lives to evade the government group hunting them down, danger is always lurking right around the corner. While I don't think Debra Driza's debut novel quite met my expectations, I still have high hopes for the sequel to be much better. If book two is anything like the exhilarating conclusion of Mila 2.0, then the follow-up is sure to be amazing!
Thanks so much to HarperCollins Canada for providing this review copy! To learn more about Mila 2.0, you can find more information about the book on HarperCollins Canada's website, and don't forget to "like" HCC's Facebook page and follow HCC Frenzy on Twitter!