Perils of Immortality


Fiction - Science Fiction
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 02/27/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

In M.L. Lloyd's Perils of Immortality, Harry Higgins was overdue his sleep in the status deep sleep system. Since the Winter purge, the systems which allowed these ancient humans, whose consciousness had transcended mortal flesh, to retain their sanity had been offline. As much as he hated to admit it, the fevers and hallucinations warned of his decline and expiration fever was setting in. When he found Kora, an unusual AI placed in a LaPortan husk, she piqued his interest. Not only was such a thing an act of treason, but this artificial intelligence was convinced of her own humanity. Her insertion into his life brought with it just the distraction he needed, and he vowed to make her able to fool anyone into thinking she was a transcended human. What started as an innocent wager between friends soon turns into something that could see both himself and Kora destroyed. There is more to her than meets the eye, and he finds himself swearing to help her in exchange for her aid in winning his bet. Will he discover the secrets of her unusual situation before his own sanity wanes?

Perils of Humanity by M.L. Lloyd is a dystopian story based in a future where immortality can be purchased and life can continue by the transference of consciousness into a new body, called a husk. Harry Higgins, nearly 800 years old, is disillusioned with immortality, more so recently as he notices the growing population and finds himself further disconnected from the race he was once part of. The futuristic world-building is impressive with great ideas and technology that will tantalize the science fiction lover, while the involved characters, plot, mysteries, and intrigue will ensure you have plenty to keep you turning the pages. I found Harry's character fascinating, on the cusp of his own demise, attempting to hold on, yet believing he has no fear to release himself. His role is that of a cantankerous old man, but he is not beyond his own amusements and connections, making his interactions entertaining. Written mainly from Harry's first-person perspective, you are granted a unique insight into his mind and thoughts while being drawn into a well-described world. Surprising revelations, discovery, and drama will keep the reader entertained and questioning the true turn of events.

K.C. Finn

Perils of Immortality is a work of fiction written in the dystopian genre, aimed at audiences of all ages and penned by author M. L. Lloyd. The book examines the philosophical questions raised by the concepts of immortality and artificial intelligence through the story of a young woman battling between the natural and unnatural aspects of her existence, and a man slowly descending into madness who has committed himself to helping her understand her world. As his scientific mind is eroded by the madness that comes with a life longer than nature ever intended possible, the two must survive an adventure to determine whether the young woman can become part of a world of immortal humans.

Author M. L. Lloyd has created a highly conceptual but highly accessible work of fiction which is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Balanced between the well-developed backstory, scientific ideas and realism of the artificial intelligence plotline, and the development of a character-led story which spirals us deeper and deeper into the world and minds of Harry and Kora, the work takes on bold concepts and pushes its actors right to the edge of human nature, and then straight off it. I loved the unreliability of the characters and the narration, which makes for a fascinating and unpredictable plot as Harry gets more and more unhinged. Overall, Perils of Immortality is an unmissable work for fans of eerily realistic science fiction, dystopia, and fraught psychological dramas. In short, a highly recommended read.

Rabia Tanveer

Perils of Immortality by M.L. Lloyd is a dystopian story set in the future where humans are living longer in artificial bodies. Harry Higgins is a carnationist, a literal genius who is as whimsical as it sounds. He suffers from expiration fever and there doesn’t seem to be a cure for it. And now, it is taking a toll on his mind. He isn’t really in his right mind most of the time so he believes that Kora (an artificial woman he purchased) can easily be passed off as a transcended human and live in society like anyone else. Egged on by his friend, he embarks on a journey to help Kora become as human-like as possible before a certain festival. Is this task easy? No. But Harry never backed away from a challenge even when his mind was right, so why would he do it now?

I wasn’t expecting Perils of Immortality by M.L. Lloyd to be so good and it rarely happens that an author surprises me like this. I don’t think I have ever come across an original idea like this and I think that the author executed it exceptionally well. The universe created is very complex yet it is believable. I can imagine a future where the rich will never want to die and would come up with a bizarre idea to help them live longer. Harry is perhaps the coolest protagonist I have ever read; he is smart, eclectic, sharp and so very human. His relationship with Melbray and Kora was different, yet very interesting. I enjoyed how playful Melbray and Harry were together and how sensitive and sympathetic Harry and Kora were. Harry is one of those characters who may seem larger than life but, at the end of the day, he is a man who is trying hard to leave a legacy for which he would be remembered. I hope the author writes more stories with Harry at the center because I believe he has the potential to become an icon. It is imaginative, original and exceptionally well-executed!

Christian Sia

Perils of Immortality by M.L. Lloyd is a mix of futuristic and dystopian fiction set in the very distant future in 2792 and at a time when technology experiences exceptional growth. Harry Higgins is the body creator and installer in an age where people with means can become immortal by living in artificial bodies. But Harry’s life is about to spiral out of control when he purchases Kora, an artificial stunning woman who is the product of a mysterious dealer. What makes things worse is that the woman who captivates him so much has been built with artificial intelligence. Harry is determined to help her retrieve her human memories and to goad her towards humanity, a mission that will either confirm him as delusional or restore his sanity, but can he make everyone believe that his artificial Kora is a transcended human?

Perils of Immortality reflects M.L. Lloyd’s gift for well-imagined and complex characters. Harry is a multidimensional character who evolves in a dystopian world where people are trapped in their quest for immortality. Humanity has evolved with science and the reader is captivated while watching the outcome of exponential technology and the effects it has on the human mind. The message that scientific prowess comes with its curses is evidenced in this riveting tale. The twists are many, the conflict ingeniously developed on the psychological level while the protagonist struggles to change what seems impossible to change. M.L. Lloyd writes in prose that is crisp and captivating and keeps the reader’s eyes fixed on the pages until the very satisfying last one.

Asher Syed

Perils of Immortality by M.L. Lloyd is a dystopian science fiction novel set in the distant future, in the year 2792. In this day and age, the human mind (and therefore the human themselves) is able to live forever. As long as the mind remains sentient and alive—which is possible through periods of resting recharge—the soul of a human can and will remain immortal. The ability to recharge is achieved through an innovative system named Statis Deep Sleep which, to the peril of all, no longer functions. Protagonist Harry Higgins is in a state of decline and as he succumbs to fatigue (and if he cannot find a way to recharge, ultimately, death), he begins to make rash and dangerous choices...the most significant being a wager that he can pass off an AI woman as human.

M.L. Lloyd introduces an interesting concept with the survival of a human's soul being possible even as the body itself deteriorates in Perils of Immortality. Consciousness, thought, reason, emotion, and memory are independent of the physical form and, therefore, do not require it. This is where Harry comes in as he transfers souls into fabricated “husks” that recreate the human form so the soul can continue to live. The most intriguing part to me was that all this is actually just the subplot; astounding in that most readers would feel the race to survive is sufficient as a storyline. Instead, Lloyd delivers a plot wherein Harry's impending death is the driver to his attempt to integrate an AI woman named Kora into a supremely isolated society, running parallel with a necessity to save it. This is a unique and interesting story that is easy to recommend.