October 24, 2016 by Zoë
Eva is an echo, made to replace another girl–Amarra–should she ever die. In the story told in The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna, Amarra does die and Eva is forced to give up the life that, while not ideal, at least did not involve lies. Now she must pretend to be Amarra, convincing her friends, if not her family, that nothing is wrong and that Amarra is still with them. But how long will she be able to maintain the lie?
First of all, this book is set in India! As I may have said before, or as you may have gathered from my blog in general, I love science fiction set in Asia. Give me more of it! Give me all of it!
The concept is also really interesting and plays out pretty well. Eva is obviously distinct from Amarra and goes through the struggles one would expect when trying to integrate into Amarra’s life.
That said, I thought the structure of the Loom–the organization that created Eva–could have done with a bit more fleshing out. While all of the rules that Eva has to follow make sense, the ultimate power structure of the organization really didn’t. There are all sorts of cracks within the power structure that Eva is able to make use of, but why hasn’t the whole thing collapsed before she came along?
I also found the ending somewhat dissatisfying. Eva got everything a little too easily, in my opinion, and everything suddenly wrapped up very quickly.
I like what this book was doing in terms of having good science fiction with a cast that wasn’t full of white people. I liked the setting in India. I liked the concept. I did have some problems, but I definitely recommend reading it if you’re interested in the possibilities of this book.
“Ever read about the Little Mermaid? She wanted to be human. She got what she wanted. Then she died.”