Amy's entire life changes at her kindergarten graduation. Her erstwhile absentee grandmother gatecrashes the ceremony, wreaking havoc and violence. When the safety of Amy's mother is then threatened, young Amy does the only thing she can think to do; she vomits acid all over her grandmother and devours the remains whole.
Even with the caveat that both Amy and her grandmother are robots, it's a pretty crazy way to start a book, and the craziness doesn't die down there. What unfolds in Madeline Ashby's vN is a bizarre tale of a robot on the run from a government that would turn her into scrap metal because of her one little flaw: as opposed to all other robots, Amy can hurt humans without her robo-brain shutting down. Joined in her journey by a sarcastic fellow robot Javier and his baby bot Junior, Amy finds herself travelling all across the country both in search of peace, and answers to the question about why she's so different from the other robots.
This is pulp sci-fi with a heavy dose of anime influences, so if you like books with robot cannibalism, pregnant mechanical men, and plots where at every turn the characters end up going from the frying pan right into the fire, you'll definitely find something to like in vN. While not quite to the level of excellence as the Asimov and Philip K. Dick classics that Ashby pays homage to, the book is a fun little adrenaline romp.
Tim @ Central