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In the Lives of Puppets by T. J. Klune

In the Lives of Puppets

By T. J. Klune


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Retelling, LGBTQ+, Fiction, Romance



Release Date:

April 25, 2023

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars


Author TJ Klune invites you deep into the heart of a peculiar forest and on the extraordinary journey of a family assembled from spare parts.

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?

My Thoughts:

I absolutely hate to say this. It actually breaks my heart to say I wasn’t a fan of a T. J. Klune book. I wanted to love it. I’ve loved all of Klune’s other books and they have been easily 5-stars … but this one just didn’t do it for me.

Don’t get me wrong - the writing was in the usual style I love and the emotion was in it. But the storyline just lost me. If you like sci-fi type stuff you will probably love it. But robots just aren’t my thing and this story line just didn’t interest me.

The characters were well written and it did have many funny moments that had me laughing. I just often found myself lost in this fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian? world that I had no idea what was going on. I never truly felt like I understood what was really happening and the very slight romance element had me even more confused.

This was a 2.5 star read for me rounded up to 3. I still highly recommend it to those who are more into stories like this and loved Klune’s other books. But personally I could care less about a robot story.

Huge thanks to T. J. Klune and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this ebook in exchange for my honest opinions.


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