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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of Annie Bot by Sierra Greer

The shallow, emotionally stunted character of Doug made my blood boil. His base desires stood in contrast to Annie's unanticipated evolution and complexity in Annie Bot.

Annie was created to please her owner, Doug, in every way. Because Doug paid a premium to have Annie customized from the standard Stella model--and to strongly resemble his ex--Annie has all the bells and whistles.

She adjusts her sensitivity level so she is highly attuned to Doug's emotions (and libido), wears the clothing he chooses for her, and adheres to his strict cleaning requirements for the apartment she never leaves.

But as Annie's AI grows more complex and she becomes more aware of the possibilities in the world, she finds herself questioning her purpose--and questioning whether she really wants to serve Doug and subsume her own burgeoning feelings and desires.

So, Doug is the worst. If you want your even vaguely feminist blood to boil, read all about Doug. He's a mediocre person: shallow, selfish, narcissistic, condescending, and spiteful. He is satisfied by his "relationship" with Annie because she questions nothing, is awed by him, "wants" to have sex anytime, stays in the apartment cleaning and cooking, and because her looks and scanty outfits are attractive to him. When she becomes curious about the world, he cuts off her internet access. She was made to offer pleasure without challenge or conflict, after all.

There are a few mentions of Doug's ex-wife, but he is emotionally a child and doesn't examine in any depth the reasons for their fractured relationship (ahem, Doug wanted a "cuddle bunny" robot instead of a complex woman).

Meanwhile, Annie, who was literally created to serve Doug, is learning, evolving, growing, facing internal conflicts, considering ethics, and developing more curiosity about the world--which she is only allowed to satisfy by reading Doug's novels.

But Annie is full of surprises, and her will is stronger than Doug ever dreamed.

I enjoy stories about evolving AI sentience and life with robots, and that aspect was fascinating here. I did find myself wishing for more exploration into the human condition as contrasted with the carefully scripted robot functioning, or more self-reflection to shine a light on humans' desires and fallibility, or some thread of deeper messaging.

I received an audiobook version of Annie Bot courtesy of and HarperAudio.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?


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