By: Ros Anderson
Release Date: August 25th, 2020
Received From: NetGalley
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
I’m not going to lie, when I first saw this book I was interested but also skeptical. A book written from the POV of a robot that was built for one purpose – to serve her “Husband” didn’t sound super interesting until I reached the part of the description where she becomes curious and begins to think of the world beyond her assigned role. I’ll say this, it was a very wild ride indeed.
Where to begin with this book. First of all you should be aware as a reader that there are graphic depictions of sex. If that is not your thing, don’t read this book. It’s literally everywhere.
I have to say I was surprised by my changing emotions with this book as I read it. I was gripped at first, plowing through the story but then some scenes completely turned me off and I had to put it down. Maybe it was the content of the scene, maybe it was the style of the story being told through Sylv.ie’s eyes, maybe it’s because I needed a break but I definitely had times where this book wasn’t exactly for me.
I really enjoyed the social commentary of the world in this book. Yes it’s talking about a not-so-distant future but the lessons, as with all dystopian novels, apply to the world we currently live in. In a world where being Born or Created assigns you a class, where the created robots and Dolls are little better than dirt, and the exploitation of all of the Created ones is rampant, there was a lot to take in on the similarities in our own world.
Sylv.ie is a perfect guide through this strange and twisted world as she grows curious about life beyond her Husband, the man who paid for her and who keeps her locked away except for when it pleases him. Her oddly flat tone, even through the sexually explicit and horrifying scenes both helped and hurt me as a reader in this story. I was glad that some of the difficult scenes were presented as odd or out of protocol for Sylv.ie as it helped me get through them but then it also made it harder for me to connect to her.
One thing about this novel that I applaud is the recognition that money equaling power and therefore the ability to do as your please is a horrendous way for the world it exist. We see it every day in our world; rich people (and more specifically rich men) get away with crimes because they can afford a lawyer or the people they harm are too afraid to go after them given their power. This book definitely hits a lot of feminist points as well as social justice in general and I applaud Anderson for tackling these subjects in such a unique way in her debut novel.
The Hierarchies is set for release on August 25th, 2020. If you’re looking for an interesting take on dystopian novels, filled with unique insights on the world we currently live in, I’d recommend The Hierarchies to you, as long as you can stomach some intense moments while reading. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Thank you to Dutton, NetGalley and Ros Anderson for the ARC of this book!