ARC Book Review: MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza

Posted March 1, 2013 by Debby in Reviews / 16 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Book Review: MILA 2.0 by Debra DrizaMILA 2.0 by Debra Driza
Series: MILA 2.0 #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on March 12th, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 480
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Mila was living with her mother in a small Minnesota town when she discovered she was also living a lie.

She was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was never supposed to remember the past—that she was built in a computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much, and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology.

Evading her enemies won’t help Mila escape the cruel reality of what she is and cope with everything she has had to leave behind. However, what she’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and that just might save her life.

A compulsively readable sci-fi thriller, Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in an action-filled, Bourne Identity–style trilogy.

2.5 Stars

MILA 2.0 is an interesting, thrilling debut great for science fiction fans craving an action-packed adventure. Ultimately, however, it misses the kind of spark that will have me coming back for more.

So it’s no big secret that I love science fiction. Though the setting was not as futuristic or advanced as I may have thought before reading it—in fact, I think the setting is actually more present day than anything—having an android as a main character was a refreshing change of pace. I loved the integration of Mila’s android aspects into the novel–the descriptions of her defense systems, information processing, etc. It’s exactly the kind of science fiction element I like, and it was quite well developed.

In fact, Mila was quite an interesting character. Thinking she was a regular human until painfully confronted with the truth of her identity is really intriguing to read about. It’s quite endearing how you see her try to cling to the things that make her human, that define her humanity, while being terrified at evidence of her mechanical aspects. However, this battle to retain her humanity could have delved deeper and was a bit pre-empted due to the constantly moving action.

Most of the novel consists of Mila being on the run from her creators and another mysterious organization while she gradually comes to terms with who she is, and later fighting desperately to protect her mom. The plot is filled with action and it’s hard to find a stopping point to read when you’re swept up in the compulsively readable story.

What I did find a bit baffling, though, is that Driza tried to put a romantic element into this story that came off a bit as instalove. Mila gets to know a boy over three or four days (I believe) and is head over heels for him, and does not fail to remind you of that at any point in the story. The build up to their relationship was so nonexistant rushed because there was so much action that had to be fit in the novel, but the result is that I don’t buy the romance, and it doesn’t have my heart pounding. In my opinion, in this case, I could have done without romance.

Personally, when I reached the conclusion, there was a reluctant feeling of, What did I just read?” I’m sure you probably know the feeling. You’ve gone through a whole story and while you know there was a plot and it did engage you to a certain extent, there’s a kind of feeling of pointlessness when you reach the end. What did we do that for? To me, this is the negative side effect of this trilogy plague in the young adult genre. The story is so unfinished that it’s just frustrating. It’s not that it ends on a cliffhanger—we thankfully avoided that, so props—but it’s that you know there’s more to the story and you really only scratched the surface here. And it may not have been enough to convince readers to hang on for another year to see where the sequel takes the story.

Summing Up:

MILA 2.0 takes you on an action-packed thrill ride. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re good. But ultimately, there were some missed opportunities to make this a truly memorable novel, though there’s still room for that to develop in the sequel. Will I continue on with the series? I’m leaning a bit to a no.

Recommended To:

Fans of action heavy science fiction, such as I am Number Four.

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16 responses to “ARC Book Review: MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza

  1. Aww, I hate when books aren’t exactly memorable. I was highly looking forward to reading Mila 2.0, but I guess I won’t anytime soon.
    And yeah Debby, I just don’t know why authors want to drag out their books into three separate books if they don’t have to. I get that it’ll make more profit, but they are also losing readers that way too.

    • Yeah, I just feel like this one could have been SO MUCH MORE. I mean, there’s a mysterious organization that wants to capture Mila – and that’s literally all we hear about them the whole novel. It all felt just a bit underdeveloped.

      The more I read all these series – especially the first installments – the more apathetic I get about this whole trend. I think my next read definitely needs to be a standalone.

    • Yeah, I’d wait if I were you for a few more reviews. Could be that I’m wrong and it was just a case of “it’s not you, it’s me” – but we’ll have to wait and see.

  2. Hmm. I am on the ARC tour for this book so I will be getting it in a few weeks. I’m curious what my experience will be – I love action packed novels and the sci fi element and ultimate humanity dilemma sound intriguing but I am familiar with the feeling of pointlessness. Although I feel it mostly with second-in-series, or as I’d like to call “filler” books. ANd it sounds like I may be disappointed in the romance. We shall see. Thanks for sharing, this was a great review 🙂

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

    • Yeah, now that you mention it, the feeling of pointlessness was quite like middle book syndrome, struck way too early. I hope I haven’t ruined your excitement, haha, but maybe starting with lower expectations will help. I did expect way more of this book, so yeah. I’ll be curious to see your review!

  3. I have a copy on Netgalley and the Sci-fi elements sound good. I’m not a huge fan of most Sci-fi books though, but after falling in love with the world of Cinder, I’m starting to appreciate it. I haven’t read a book with an android character before, so that is interesting 🙂 The dreadful insta-love is a shame. I don’t like it when the author just throws in a romance. Some stories are even better without any romance. I’m sorry to hear it was so disappointing.

    • Oh yeah, Cinder was a great example of YA sci-fi done right. This is more sci-fi lite, though, so maybe you’ll like it better. The romance… *shakes head* still don’t get what she wanted to accomplish. I hope you like it better than I did! I’ll be interested to read your review regardless 🙂

  4. Boo instalove and awkward feeling of pointlessness! Not cool.

    “Compulsively readable” is a promising description, though. I feel like this has a lot of potential to be awesome, what with the unique android aspect and such. And it seems like Mila herself makes for a really great character.

    • Yeah, I think this could still be a massively popular series because others may not be missing that spark that I missed. It’s definitely original and there’s always something to be said for compulsively readable novels. So I’ll be interested to read more reviews when this one comes out and see what others thought of it.

  5. I think this sounds like an interesting enough story…seems like a little long for a YA book, so I’m really curious about this one. 🙂

    • The 480 pages is a bit weird, because it really wasn’t THAT long of a story. I think maybe the font size was just pretty large? It didn’t take me much longer to read it than the average YA book, so if that’s what’s holding you back, don’t put too much stock in it. 🙂

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