In the Lives of Puppets, T.J. Klune

An illustrated cover with a small red house with a green roof sits amongst trees. In the trees are other buildings/houses.

About the Book

In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots—fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe.

The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio–a past spent hunting humans.

When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio’s former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic’s assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming.

Along the way to save Gio, amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?

Book Links
Releases April 25th


My Thoughts

Honestly? Robots aren’t really my thing. But I adore this author and knew he wouldn’t let me down. My copy is filled with highlights and notes because there is so much to love in this book.

Klune took some people’s fear of a world in which robots take over and made it endearing by bringing the characters to life. You get to know all the characters intimately. There’s Rambo, with his incessant rambling, Nurse Ratched, the sociopath, who has the best sense of humor, HAP, who’s learning a whole new way of life, Gio, who made this all happen, and his son Victor, an exceptional young man. (Also, when I read Victor Lawson, I immediately thought of The Bloggess, and now I need her to read this.) The world seems hopeless at times, and this little crew is the shining beacon in that bleak world.

I want to talk more about Nurse Ratched because she was my absolute favorite character. She is always on. She’s hilarious but so very complex. There are layers to her. She is thoughtful and caring, witty, and feeds well off others. She’s emotional without showing it, and it feels like she has walls up to protect herself. I could go on all day because she’s one of my favorite fictional characters.

I laughed so much reading this, and I love the humanity Klune brought to the robots. I also cried a few times. This book is an absolute whirlwind. The dystopian premise, the humanity, the love, it’s all this fantastic bundle of goodness. When you finish reading, you will be left with so many feels that will stay with you for a long time, and I cannot recommend this book enough.


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