Reviewed by C.J. Darlington
The Personifid Project by R.E. Bartlett
"...a fun cocktail of futuristic faith-based fiction."
Welcome to the future. Robots and androids mingle with humans. Sky cars are the leading form of transportation. And the perennial obsession for longevity has created a technology so advanced that humans can now transfer their souls into artificial bodies, or personifids. The ultimate cure. A way to live forever. But what if Sevig Empire Corporation, the leading manufacturer of personifid bodies, has developed a way to control them? And what if one woman holds the coveted key to launch the project, but she doesn't know it?
Aphra is a young receptionist at Sevig Corporation whose life spins out of control when she accidentally hears a disturbing conversation meant for other ears. She hurriedly covers her tracks so no one will know. But when she witnesses her friend's "discontinuation" she's forced to flee Min City and the only life she's ever known. With assassins closing in and nowhere to go, she's thrust together with an outcast couple who might be able to save her. But what's with their unswerving belief in the Tri-une Soul? And how do they know so much about Sevig Empire?
Aphra marvels at the couple's strange world where they prepare food the "old way" in a kitchen, their house computers aren't equipped to administer Tranquility (a calming drug), and they actually own a real dog. More comfortable with robots and androids, she's standoffish at first, but the more time she spends with the couple, the more she yearns for what they have.
With Aphra as the prize for bounty hunters and assassins, what could she possibly have that Sevig Empire wants? The final revelation comes as an unexpected twist, and eventually it all comes to a head in a satisfying climatic battle between Sevig Empire and Aphra's new friends.
The Personifid Project mixes elements of Star Wars and The Matrix into a fun cocktail of futuristic faith-based fiction. Some plot points might be predictable to sci-fi afficionados, but there are enough surprises to compel even die-hards to flip pages. The pop culture references (and one character's sarcastic humor) keep things entertaining--a computer reads Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis, dc Talk's Supernatural CD is played as ancient music, and Aphra's first encounter with a real dog will make animal lovers smile.
One of four novels that launched the Realms fiction line, The Personifid Project helps fill the derth of Christian science fiction and fantasy novels. The novel is a great escape and full of timeless truths.
C.J. Darlington is the award-winning authof of Thicker than Blood, Bound by Guilt, and Ties that Bind. She is a regular contributor to Family Fiction Digital Magazine and NovelCrossing.com. A homeschool graduate, she makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs, a cat, and a paint horse named Sky. Visit her online at her author website. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.