Title: Gr3t3l – 1 (Good Tales for Bad Dream #4)
Author: V. M. Sawh
Review: This is the final book in the Good Tales for Bad Dreams series and it is a unique because it is the only book set in the future. This is book is set in the year 2136 and is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel.
The layout is like a dairy/journal entry with a section entitled Day 1 etc. I like that the two main characters are robots the reason for their names’ unusual spelling; GR3T3L-1 and H4NS3L-671.
This story is also unqiue because it is the longest story in this series at 92 pages. Given the setting and the andriod nature of the characters this is expected as far more detail is needed to get the minor points across.
The robots couldn’t be more different Hansel (H4NS3L-671) is an older bulkier military robot whereas as Gretel (GR3T3L-1) is a new prototype of robot. Stranded on the planet Gretel uses her wit to get Hansel to help her. Hansel has to follow military order unless someone like Gretel can show him failure is imminent which isn’t acceptable. They act kind of like sibling one not doing what the other wants.
Hansel seems far more scrambled than Gretel and he can barely remember anything without searching his memory banks in which he uncovers a war the robots/ himself were part of.
I loved watching the robots especially Gretel as it/she contemplate the meaning and significance of hope in human and whether the same thing can be applied to things that aren’t human, like themselves.
As we learn more about Gretel’s creation we begin to understand that she is more of an AI than a simple robot as she was created with the ability to think for herself, whereas Hansel has to have orders to follow or he cannot fully function.
I like the relationship between the two andriods, even though they were built entirely different with different directives they find common ground in their fight for survival. By day 3 Gretel is beginning to worry about why they are on the planet and why their prime directives were changed prior to coming here. She feels there is something larger going on that she doesn’t know about or isn’t fully aware of yet.
We learn about Gretel and how she feels and how her creator created her because she couldn’t have any more children after being shot 7 times while pregnant but robots like Hansel. In creating Gretel she has put her life in imminent danger as it is considered treason to create any AI’s.
I love how we bounce back and forth between the present and Gretel’s “memories”. During the course of trying to find out why they are on the planet Hansel’s programming becomes quite a hinderance as Gretel wants to communicate with the beings on the planet, but Hansel is programmed to destory anything that hasn’t been programmed as an ally.
Despite her tense and sometimes deadly relationship with Hansel, Gretel refuses to abadon him even when it is the logical choice, because she feels taking the logical choice would make her no better than him; a mindless robot following orders, she wants to be different, she wants to understand.
In the end it came down to a single choice for Gretel; to save Hansel or the Salem. Then she has to beat witness to the consequences of that decision. On a planet filled with war, death and destruction she changes it all by being a mother to the Salem’s children as Dr. Li was for her.
Overall I loved this novel, and I would have loved to have gone into more detail and more background on more of the characters like Dr. Li and the other solider. I would love to find out why AI creation was against the law. I have so many question about the surroundings of this novel although I am extremely satified with the ending. I hope V. M. Sawh writes a full length novel someday or at least more of these wondergul short stories.
This book was sent to me by the author for review
Buy it here:
Kindle Edition: www.amazon.com
Also see: Cinders