It’s 2049, and the survival of the human race is at risk. Earth’s inhabitants must turn to their last resort: a plan to place genetically engineered children inside the cocoons of large-scale robots-to be incubated, birthed, and raised by machines. But there is yet one hope of preserving the human order-an intelligence programmed into these machines that renders each unique in its own right-the Mother Code.
Kai is born in America’s desert southwest, his only companion is his robot Mother, Rho-Z. Equipped with the knowledge and motivations of a human mother, Rho-Z raises Kai and teaches him how to survive. But as children like Kai come of age, their Mothers transform too-in ways that were never predicted. When government survivors decide that the Mothers must be destroyed, Kai must make a choice. Will he break the bond he shares with Rho-Z? Or will he fight to save the only parent he has ever known?
The Mother Code is an extremely clever and addictive post apocalyptic drama, exploring parental relationships and our increasing reliance on technology – a thought provoking, atmospheric narrative that keeps you immersed throughout.
The end of human existence as we know it has been done many times in literature – Carole Stivers manages to put a new twist on it, presenting us with a multi layered emotionally resonant story featuring a group of characters both human and machine, setting them against a realistically built world in ruins then challenging them in many ways.
After feeling slightly blinded by science in the very early stages I completely devoured this- there is a lot of nuance here and some twists of fate that hit you in the heart- I don’t want to give too much away, many of the joys of this novel came in it’s unexpected moments but overall this is a beautifully written page turner that I highly recommend.