For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Review: Alex & Ada, Volume #1 by Jonathan Luna, Sarah Vaughn


From JONATHAN LUNA (GIRLS, THE SWORD, ULTRA, Spider-Woman: Origin) and SARAH VAUGHN (Sparkshooter) comes ALEX + ADA, a sci-fi drama set in the near future. The last thing in the world Alex wanted was an X5, the latest in realistic androids. But after Ada is dropped into his life, he discovers she is more than just a robot.
Collects ALEX + ADA #1-5. ~
Goodreads

Source: Purchased

Review: I started dabbling with graphic novels last year and this series was one that was repeatedly recommended to me so I decided to give it a shot.

Alex is struggling after a break up. He’s lonely and well-meaning friends keep trying to fix him up.

On his birthday his wealthy grandmother surprises him with an X5 android in his living room. Granny has been getting it on with a hot stud model X5 😂 and thinks it can help Alex get out and enjoy life more - or at least not sit at home alone all the time being mopey.

Alex is skeptical at first but does power his AI up out of curiosity. She’s very accommodating and whatever Alex wants is right and that’s very disconcerting for him. He wants her to have a little more…personality. He hopes, over time, their interactions will become more natural. They don’t and Alex feels very uncomfortable with ordering her around and her not being able to express her own wishes or even take care of her own needs (the robots need food for example to maintain power) unless Alex orders it.

After some poking around, Alex finds a secret group that *wakes up* AI’s and decides to do the same for his despite a rogue, violent incident with a sentient AI years ago. But the problem has been fixed with newer models. Or has it?? Dun…dun…dun…

I really loved how Ada’s awakening played out. It wasn’t a happy occasion for her and she’s overrun by stimulus and emotions. Alex is actually a decent guy. He’s not trying to use her as a sex toy – or even as a romantic partner (although I'm sure they'll fall in love later 😍). He truly sees something in her and wants to give her a voice so she can decide things for herself. He doesn't like the power imbalance.

Of course, it’s illegal to turn on AI’s – government secrets, rogue robots and all that and you know what’s coming….lol

There was nothing particularly original about this story. It really reminded me of the excellent AMC series Humans and the movie Ex Machina but there was something about Alex + Ada that drew me in and kept me hooked anyway. The story and artwork flowed really well - even though it was very simple and straightforward.

I know I was supposed to root for the robots to gain sentience. Which, once they are turned on, I’m all for it, but I also kept wondering – it they aren’t already sentient – do they know or care? It’s much safer for them without it and Ada really struggled at first. Was she happier given choice? It didn't seem like it. On the other hand – I’m not in favor of anything that’s being used to serve humans that could even potentially be sentient.

It's an interesting dilemma & thought provoking and I’ll be reading the next two volumes for sure.

16 comments:

  1. This sounds so weird but I want to know more!

    Graphic novels and comics aren't something I usually read but I've been reading Lore Olympus on WebToons and adoring it so maybe I need to start branching out!

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    1. I'm dabbling lol It's been hard for me to read in short , choppy sentences and I get frustrated by the cliffies - the stories go on forever that way lol

      But I'm finding what works for me and this had a more traditional narrative flow.

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  2. Definitely not a book for me but I'm excited that you are trying graphic novels!

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    1. It wasn't bad! I loved that it wasn't a creepy sex toy kind of story - which most of these are.

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  3. I've seen this one around a lot, but I didn't know what it was about. I definitely need to check it out! And I love that you're reading more graphic novels.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. It was one of the most frequently recommended graphic novels and they had it at a cute comic book store I went to so I figured I would give it a try. The other 2 are on Hoopla so I think I'm going to finish the series.

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    1. It
      s hard with graphic novels because they are so short but this was a good start.

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  5. And this is how you get Terminators. lol
    I don't know if I would be turning the emotions on for AI's. Not sure that would be such a good idea.

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    1. No good can come of it Mary lol

      It was a little complex but I don't think I would either. If they don't have feelings then they don't know. I think the bigger problem is when they do but we ignore that fact. This was a little grey because they do but it's turned off. There's that option to go either way.

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  6. i have never been able to get into graphic novels, but this one sounds like a very provoking read for sure. Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. They are very hit or miss for me but I'm finding a style I like.

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  7. "hot stud model" lol. Grandma was kind of a trip, wasn't she? :) And I have to laugh when they say oh that problem's been fixed with the newer models. Riiigghht... haha. I also thought they did her awakening well. She kinda freaked out, as I recall, and that totally made sense.

    It totally reminds me of Humans (miss that show) and Ex Machina as well. And yeah- that dilemma. It's a tough one! :)

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    1. You can't really fix a problem if the possibility for it is still there right? I mean turning something off isn't the same as removing it lol

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  8. I was really surprised how much I loved Ex Machina, and books like these remind me that I may like them better in screen form versus a book. Hope you're doing well, and happy Friyay! RO

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  9. I've been wanting to read these for a while now. They are on the top of my list for next year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 👍✨

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