How would knowing the exact length of your life, knowing you were created in a lab to perform those tasks too dangerous or boring for a human to do, bearing the brunt of replicant prejudice effect your day-to-day behavior? This is the premise of Montero’s expansion of the theme first presented in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip Dick and later, in the movie Blade Runner. With just ten years to live, Bruna Husky keeps a constant count on the amount of time left to her, a fact that colors her life making her remote, standoffish and desperately lonely. Plagued by memories, many not her own, Bruna was approached to become part of a team searching to uncover the reasons for the increasing violence between humans and replicants. Attempting to find the truth becomes a confusing tangle as everyone Bruna trusts claims the others are lying and discovering who is behind killing replicants could cost her more then her life.
Set in Madrid, this interesting if unengaging sci-fi tale plumbs what it means to be human, the role of memories and impacts of racial prejudice. Beginning with a neighbor denied proper medical care because she lacked insurance this tale raises several interesting points worthy of further consideration. Dystopia world building in the extreme pushes the grim, gritty feel over the edge making it difficult to relate to the characters as more then one-dimensional beings but the issues raised by the story are compelling and well worth the read.