The Prince and the Program by Aldous Mercer
Series: The Mordred Saga 01
Author: Aldous Mercer
Genre: Science Fiction, Humor, High Fantasy, Techno Romance
Length: Super Novel (340pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (25th June 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ – 4Hearts
Blurb: Mordred Pendragon, the Bastard Prince, has done a Bad Thing—again. Exiled to Canada for seven years, he has to find a job to pay his bills. For reasons he refuses to reveal, Mordred decides “Software Engineer” has a nice ring to it. And though experience with “killing the Once and Future King, my father” and “that time in feudal Japan” makes for a poor resume, he is hired by a small tech startup in Toronto.
In the midst of dealing with a crippling caffeine addiction and learning C++, Mordred thinks he has finally found someone to anchor him to the world of the living: Alan, the company’s offsite lead developer. Except that Alan might not be a “living” entity at all—he may, in fact, be the world’s first strong AI. Or a demon that mistook a Windows install for the highway to Hell. Or, just maybe, the ghost of Alan Turing, currently inhabits a laptop.
Mordred’s attempts to figure out his love life are hampered by constant interference from the Inquisitors of the Securitates Arcanarum, corporate espionage, and real espionage, a sysadmin bent on enslaving the world, and Marketing’s demands that Mordred ship software to the Russian Federation. Then Alan gets himself kidnapped. To save him, Mordred must ally himself with the company’s CEO, who will stop at nothing to rescue her lead developer so he can get back to work. But the Prince doesn’t just want to rescue Alan, he wants a Happily Ever After—and he will travel beyond Death itself to get one.
Too bad Alan is perfectly happy as a computer.
Review: Mori (Mordred) is desperately seeking work. He finally gets a job working at a small start-up tech company, but his problems are only just beginning.
Well, what can you really say about a book like this except…damn? How do I explain what this book is like without making my own head explode? It has got to be one of the most interesting, humorous, slightly wacky, Oh My God what just happened there? Books that I have read in a long, long time. Mori is a great, interesting, intriguing character. The other characters are all great as well. The storyline is erm, urm, kinda whacky and the romantic interest is really sweet as Mordred’s people fall in love with souls. But, what happens when that soul doesn’t have a body? And really just wants to be a computer?
This really is one of those books that you have to read to get a real grip of what is going on in it, I mean I could tell you about the Symbiot who would make you an Unseelie, or the Mages, or even the demons and zombie like people, the fights, and becoming spirits going round in a loop to get back, but always ending up at the beginning or even the cyborgs, but none of it would make any sense unless you can read it all in context. I swear the book was fascinating. Especially, the way it drew on historical legends. There was also a lot of technical stuff to do with computers, but most of that went over my head ;-).
The strange relationship that develops between Mori and Alan is interesting to watch, with Mori getting more desperate to meet Alan in person and then having to accept the truth of what Alan is and Alan’s disregard for being born again. I really want see more and can’t wait for the next story in the series. The interaction between all the characters is great and there are some really funny moments involving Mori’s work colleagues. There is no sex and no happy ending; we are left wondering what will happen in the next book. Will Alan still be around? Will Mori get through to Alan?
So, if you love sci-fi, paranormal, geeks, techno romance, a seemingly doomed romance, an ending that leaves you wanting more and a slight feeling of bewilderment then this is the book for you.