Tolstoy Meets Steampunk: Review of Android Karenina

Today, Quirk Classics , the company that brought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters releases their fourth book, Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters.  To celebrate this release, Quirk is holding their second Blogsplosion.  As a part of this Blogsplosion. Quirk Classics is giving away 25 Quirk Prize Packs.  These prize packs, which have a retail value of nearly $100, include:

  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
  • How to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith
  • Dracula’s Heir: An Interactive Mystery by Sam Stall
  • Extreme Encounters by Greg Emmanuel
  • How to Tell if Your Boyfriend is The Antichrist by Patricia Carlin
  • An Android Karenina Poster
  • And more!

To have a chance at winning one of these prize packs, just go to the Anna Karenina Blogsplosion message board and mention that read a review of Android Karenina from this blog.  Good luck and now onto my review.



VENGEANCE IS MINE; I SHALL REPAY.  That is the words that is on the page before Android Karenina starts.  Upon reading this, you think it is just a quote author Ben H. Winters puts to precede the story but later you find out there is a great significance to that line.  Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters is the fourth book from Quirk Classics, and like the other books Quirk has published, Android Karenina successfully turns a classic novel into a mash-up of Russian aristocracy with robots and science-fiction elements.  As in the classic Anna Karenina, you follow the sordid affair of Anna with Count Vronsky but whereas Anna’s husband, Alexi Alexandrovich Karenina,is manipulative in the classic, he is malicious and dangerous in Android Karenina.  Another key difference between Anna Karenina and its modern counterpart is robots replace humans as servants, and the robots make Android Karenina funny and entertaining.  The robots have a set of rules that govern their behavior called the Iron Laws.  The Iron Laws are robots shall obey humans and robots shall not allow themselves to be damaged.  One character puts the laws to the test in a game she plays called One-or-the-Other that has hilarious results.  Also, there is a quite entertaining robot fight in the second chapter of the book. 

In closing, if you liked Quirk Classics’ previous books or like the idea of the retelling of a classic Russian novel with a sci-fi twist, this book should be at the top of your reading list.

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