When we got the pitch for Loving R-thur, we knew it would be a different kind of dystopian story than most publishers have put out in recent years, but Adrien Aster’s writing had us hooked and we couldn’t pass this project up.
In this debut thriller, we follow Exe, whose mother was killed by an AI years ago. She’s avoided contact with AIs ever since, which is hard to do in a world where AIs can be found everywhere.
Now she’s about to become a new home owner. The only problem is, all houses come equipped with a built-in smart system named R-thur. Her realtor tells her that if she and R-thur don’t click, Exe will be sent out for re-programming. Exe can’t help wonder if the woman is joking or serious.
As she begins to settle into her new home, she feels a strange bond forming between her and R-thur. Just when she starts to feel safe with him, she starts receiving encrypted messages from an unknown source. They reveal a dark truth about the AIs in her world.
This might be Adrien Aster’s first novel, but her prose is topnotch, painting a vivid near-future world for the reader and presenting complicated questions about the role of AIs in human life. The answers are just complex.
Adrien Aster lives in California with her wife and rescued greyhound.
If you like a good thriller with plenty of twists and turns, plus prose you can really sink into, grab your copy of Loving R-thur today.