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Kasih is a robotic child drawn into a project to discover her secrets, and into a war that threatens all humanity, including her own. The murder of her family by Union troops in Bandung leaves the rebels’ robotics experts, Losana Maraiwai and Wei Dingxiang, with nobody to explain Kasih’s design but Kasih herself.
She is not what anyone expected. In Darwin, Dingxiang suspects a magic trick may explain away her human-like artificial intelligence. In Beijing, Union politician Gabriel da Costa fears an extinction-level technology. Both sides of the war see a weapon that might win it. But Kasih is not strong, fast, or even particularly coordinated. She tries in vain to make sense of her father’s death, and of a world ready to dismantle her and repurpose her technology. And she cannot escape the Union’s plans.
The rebels, including Kasih’s original rescuers, Paul Kanner and Debra Hall, are powerless in the face of a new army of robotic soldiers based on her design. The Union has created monsters, whose cold efficiency unleashes wholesale destruction. They threaten the world’s only chance for freedom, and perhaps its very survival.
Neither Kasih nor Dingxiang understand why Kasih herself is not like them. Kasih must fight back against the fate others have determined for her, and for the world, and Dingxiang needs her ingenuity to solve the very conundrum that her existence represents. For Kasih to save her human friends, she must help them destroy her own kind.