Drew has little memory of her existence before waking at a science lab. She’s a creature of perfection – an android – beautiful and strong. Her Creators have a special mission for Drew and others like her. She must join human teenagers in a local school setting, observe them and occasionally bring them to the lab.
At first Drew is mystified by the intricacies of human behavior. Gradually she begins to admire the strange beings. Soon she longs to be one of them, especially when she learns the story of Christian salvation.
As she experiences greater pressure to bring teens into the lab, even when force is required, Drew begins to question her mission and the Creators who would ask her to do such a thing. Why would they do this? Is it wrong? Can she stop them?
While observing teen culture as an outsider makes for an interesting premise, Drew seldom behaves like a classic android. Her responses are much more emotional than logical, even from the beginning of the story. The plot outcome does explain this in part, but it’s still kind of an obstacle from a reader’s perspective. I just kept expecting her to be more steadfast and methodical rather than impulsive and fearful.
The pacing of the plot, while interesting, was also uneven. In the last couple of scenes the story kicks into high gear, roaring up to a cliff-hanger, which seems designed to leave the reader desperate to crack the cover of the sequel. It’s good stuff, but I found myself wishing the plot had taken off earlier in the story. I liked the way Harris wove in some spiritual elements, though.
Some of the kids Drew encounters at school describe their Christian faith. Drew is fascinated and longs to know whether God cares for her, too. A fellow android cruelly points out that without a soul, she can’t qualify for salvation.
Drew and the other androids bring students to the lab, using force if necessary.