Rocks read in the local paper that there's a new brothel in town staffed by high-end fuck dolls. The proprietor, who is human, reported that some of these models can cost upwards of fifteen grand, and that he has a lot of regulars, guys who avail themselves of their services on a weekly-or-more basis. He spends a lot of his time going from room to room re-posing his "ladies" between johns, and also cleaning and straightening their hands, which apparently see a lot of use. Although it might not be reflected in some of Rocks' critiques here, he is not one to judge his fellow man, especially where no one is hurt. But still, he has to think—gross!
Rocks read the cap under review here a week or two ago, and remembers its holding his interest in perhaps the upper five percentile of stories he reads, getting over halfway through before he was even remotely tempted to not so much skim as just start reading in bigger gulps.
He knew it'd be, at worst, a close call, and so decided to apply the test of time, to let it ferment and fester in the storm drains and sewers of his subconscious. Names and nuances have faded, but he remembers the gist. In the world built, home helper bots are common, but not yet that authentically human. So some doctor/engineer working for some big company like Apple is developing new, improved models that look, feel and taste just like people, but that exist only to serve. Think slave in a box. There've been some setbacks. One individual prototype in particular seems to have acquired a will of its own. There's another that's basically a fuck doll, who eventually becomes his wife. Natch snatch. No surprise there.
But then, as it turns out (or as Rocks remembers it turns out), they aren't machines at all, but just real human beings (immigrants mainly) that the good doctor has somehow commandeered and brainwashed, kind of the way the CIA once tried to do with Canadian mental patients through LSD and sensory deprivation, or how some cultures make zombies with blowfish toxin and datura.
So now, instead of a sci-fi addressing issues like android and AI rights, you have this (to Rocks anyway) totally unbelievable horror/thriller thing. Like, really, they're just going to start selling them with no one the wiser? What happens when they age, sicken or die? No regulating or governing agency? No blogger or you-tuber ever tries to take one's head off? Like, hello? Customer support? Your cleaning lady bot just took a very credible dump and plugged up my toilet? She's also gained 40 pounds since I bought her.
So, despite some fine prose and narrative, Rocks is going to thumbs-down this bad boy. Really, maybe only thumbs sideways, like very enthusiastically (or desperately) hitchhiking with both hands. Don't misunderstand: still a no. But open to, even faintly hopeful of, his colleague in this esteemed realm, known only as The Bull, deciding otherwise.