Get a free audiobook

Evolved

Written by: N.R. Walker
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

In 2068, androids are an integrated part of human life. Big Brother no longer just watches from the shadows. It's in every household.

Lloyd Salter has OCD issues with noise and mess, and he's uncomfortable with human interaction. When his ex claimed the only thing perfect enough to live up to his standards was an android, Lloyd dismissed it. But two years later, after much self-assessment, he thinks he may have been right.

SATinc is the largest manufacturer of androids in Australia, including the Fully Compatible Units known as an A-Class 10. Their latest design is the Synthetic Human Android UNit, otherwise known as SHAUN. Shaun is compatible to Lloyd's every need; the perfect fit on an intellectual and physical basis.

But Lloyd soon realizes Shaun's not like other A-Class androids. He learns. He adapts. Sure that SATinc is aware Shaun functions outside of his programmed parameters, Lloyd must find a way to keep Shaun safe. No one can know how special Shaun is. No one can know he's evolved. 

Contains mature themes.

©2018 N.R. Walker (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing and really annoying narrator

Whether or not this book sounds interesting to you, I'd say skip the audiobook and go for the print version (or at least check a sample listen first), because the narrator had an extremely uncertain wavering voice that made him sound super nervous all the time, which was very offputting. He sounded uncertain and nervous about everything for 8 straight hours, and if I had to hear him quaveringly say "oh boy" one more time I was about to delete the book entirely.

As for the book itself, meh. This book mostly disappointed me in that the POTENTIAL of the plot was so great, and sadly so very unfulfilled. I picked it up in a sale because I'm a sucker for books about androids evolving intelligence. There are two major themes to the book: androids developing real emotions and intelligence; and gay android sex scenes. While I'm okay with reading the latter particularly if relevant to the plot, the former is what interested me about the book so I was disappointed to find that the former is really just a paper-thin plot device to excuse writing a lot of the latter. Kind of like watching a porn movie hoping to get the backstory of the pizza delivery guy I guess.

There were lots of potentially interesting hooks that COULD have been a really interesting philosophical discussion about android intelligence and android rights, but they were all just sort of passed over without explanation or examination. For example, the AMA - Android Moral Authority - is somehow a thing that exists and apparently has a really surprising amount of authority to the point that they can raid locations, rapidly mobilize response teams, and get people arrested for mistreating androids - but how or why would this be the case? Like, the tech described in the book isn't that many decades from where we are now and there is NO indication or obvious reason that we are going to develop anything like the AMA unless there's some significant incident that brings it into being - but no explanation or mention of such in the book. Then there's the whole philosophical issue of how it could possibly be moral to design an android to be totally physically dependent on a human being they had no say whatsoever in choosing and who is undoubtedly going to die long before the android, leaving it completely helpless and incapable of being appropriately fulfilled. How is the supposedly powerful AMA okay with this either?

Then the characters in general - Lloyd goes and buys himself Shaun, an android sex toy, it doesn't occur to him he'll develop any type of feelings for Shaun, and then within a WEEK, when they've done very little other than read books and have sex, he's decided that he's in love? Just so much of the relationship building didn't seem to make any sense and was all hugely rushed. Shaun is actually much more likeable than Lloyd but the fact that probably none of his emotions are even a choice, since he's programmed to be entirely dependent on Lloyd, make the whole situation rather creepy if you accept he's really become a self-aware and intelligent being, a creepiness that is entirely ignored by all characters in the book.

I could mention also the highly dubious technobabble such as the fact that androids apparently need to be connected to the internet to CHARGE ... wut ... but let's not even go there because there are so many other questions about the rest of the book that the technological dubiousness of the setting is just icing on the cake. And DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED that a major premise of the book is that Lloyd's favourite FAVOURITE book EVER is ... MOBY DICK? Seriously? Has Walker ever actually read Moby Dick? Because I have, and the idea that this book out of all the books in the world is what the protagonist has chosen to be his favourite read-and-reread-and-read-with-boyfriends book is possibly the most mind-bogglingly unbelievable plot point of all.

Then, after a remarkably short passage of time (maybe 10 days?) there is a CRISIS, which neither Lloyd nor Shaun are much use at predicting, coping with, or avoiding; the whole thing is magically resolved in a technically very questionable way on several fronts, and the whole ending seems very deus ex machina and a huge loss of possible character development and elaboration of the worldbuilding.

So anyway, read this book if you think you'll enjoy a lot of gay human-on-android sex scenes but give it a miss if you're actually looking for a book about the evolution of android intelligence or a societal structure in which this might happen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it

I was hooked from the start and although it was predictable I just couldn’t stop listening. I think it was the love and romance. For some reason they just pulled my heart strings hard enough to keep me listening. I definitely recommend this audiobook!

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Denise
  • 2018-09-06

A lovely story

I truly enjoyed this story. N.R walker has come to be a favorite of mine. I don't like them all equally but they are all worth reading or listening in this case. The narrator Joel Leslie is absolutely one of the very best ever, he is always excellent.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Trio
  • 2018-10-30

Wonderful Story

Wow, yes that was quite amazing. Reminded me of a few other android/sci-fi stories, like Blade Runner and Jane Davitt's O/s kept popping into my mind (gotta read that one again).

I loved the premise, and the story was perfectly done. The ending is creative and since we're guaranteed a HEA I'm glad N.R. Walker does it the way she does.

I hate to say anything negative in a review, but Joel Leslie's narration totally didn't work for me on this one. It was too halting and it distracted me from the story. The way he portrays the emotion the main characters was lovely, but sometimes it was a bit over the top.

A wonderful novel, beautifully written, and a creative love story - it's a win.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sue C
  • 2018-09-09

Another great NR Walker / Joel Leslie combo

I haven't found a book by NR Walker that I haven't loved, Evolved was the first time I've listened to one of her books without having read it first. Joel brings so much life to all the characters that I couldn't help becoming completely invested in the story (and I thought his Shaun was pluperfect) - I think i'm going to give up reading and just stick with audio !!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shin Mon Thway
  • 2018-09-07

Because love is a true gift to give ...

Reread: 8th September 2018

OMG! Rereading this book by listening it when the audio came out made me fall in love with our cheeky, witty and pluperfect Shaun all over again. 😁 I mean obviously, this is my second time loving this book and I knew how everything will turn out in the end but man, did I cry bucket loads of tears before the HEA. 😭 Joel Leslie did a very fine job narrating this story and I actually loved listening this more than reading the first time. It was sweet, heartwarming and really romantic. 💙 Thoroughly enjoyed for the second time. 😌






Original review


OMG! Did I love this book!?!? 😱 YESSS! 😍 I loved this book soooooooo much! ❤️ Thank you N.R. Walker for such an amazing read. 🙏 While being not a very unconventional storyline, yes, we’ve seen or heard this kind of storyline on screen or in books, ☺️ the take of the love story between an android and a human in this novel was such refreshingly intriguing and enthralling. 👍 I was totally hooked. 😁 And now, let’s get to reviewing. 😉


Lloyd, a middle-aged guy who has OCD, has never felt like he truly belonged or someone really understood him. When he broke up with his last boyfriend,the guy pointed out to him (rather venomously) that only an android could live up to his standards. 😁 And a couple years later and having spent quite a considerable amount of time of self-accessing, he finally accepted that his ex had a point. 😌 A humanoid android companion might be just what he needs. 😉 So he went to the biggest android producing company and acquired one. But what he got was so much more than a talking and reciprocating android. 😊 Shaun not only thinks and feels but also evolves with time. Shaun is not an android, he’s a sentient and sapient being, and one he hopelessly fell in love with. 😍 Now, it’s only a matter of time before they knew that Shaun is so much more than just an android. And it’s only a matter of time that they take Shaun away from him. 💔



Obviously, I can’t describe the characteristics of both Lloyd and Shaun because the latter is an android and this is a single PoV story. However, I do think that N.R. Walker nailed the head with this particular story. 👏 I’m not ashamed to admit that I have OCD tendencies though not as strong as Lloyd from the story. 😁 I feel like her take and opinions of OCD in this story is quite accurate and interesting. OCD people are not broken and don’t need to be fixed. It’s just our irritation when it comes to certain things can be a bit stronger (well, a bit can be such an euphemism!) than other people. 😂And I find Shaun character to be absolutely fascinating. 😍 In fact, I’m glad that I didn’t get his PoV in this novel because it made the story even more interesting and enthralling in a way. 😌 While the storyline is being predictable, the way NR portrayed the budding love between these two beings is just breathtakingly beautiful and heartwarming. 💙 And the sex? Oooooooo .. let’s just say it was very VERY hot! 🔥 This is an ultimate fantasy comes true for a slavefic enthusiast/technosexual (NR’s words, not mine) like me. 🤣 And although I knew that they would somehow get a HEA in the end, I cried bucket loads of tear when they were kidnapped by those SATinc bastards. 😭 This book tugged my heart many many times, made me smile, laugh, cry and joy. 😌 And as a person who loves and adores classics, let’s just say Moby Dick references made me fall head over heels in love with this book. 😍 Call me Ishmael, call me Shaun, because love truly has no boundaries. 😌👏



Favorite excerpts from the novel: 💗💜💗

because they were trying to “fix” me. Only broken things needed to be fixed. But I wasn’t broken. I didn’t need to be fixed. I needed to be understood.

Would it be so terrible if he could never love me back? He would be forever loyal. He would be attuned to only me. Forever. Was that not love to him? Was that not the synthetic equivalent?

There was no denying it now. There was no going back. I was falling in love with him.

Made just for me. He was more than just an android. He was perfect. He was literally my ideal partner. And something that was crystal clear to me now as he held me, kissed me, longed for me, was that he was sentient.

It was never-ending with him; the pleasure, the want, the need. “I could come again,” I whispered, kissing down his shoulder. “I’ve never known such pleasure, Shaun. Only with you.”

“I do not want you to ever stop.” He didn’t just have desires. He loved it. He wanted it. Just as much as me.

“I love being inside you,” I whispered. “I love how you feel. I love having you in my bed. I love waking up next to you, I love coming home to you.”

Love was a gift to give and should be given without expecting anything in return.

I love you, Shaun. And I love that you love me. It’s the best thing to ever happen to me. You are the best thing to ever happen to me.”

“And I love you. Don’t be sad, Lloyd. This isn’t the end. Remember in Moby Dick, Ishmael thought the final scene with the whale was the end. But in truth, it was his beginning. He lived to see another day, to take what he’d learned about himself and become who he was meant to be.”

“Forever?” “Forever. For all future time; for always.” I smiled and kissed him softly. “Yes. For all future time. For always.”



5 because love was a true gift to give stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aerielle
  • 2018-09-05

So good

I’ve seen this book on Amazon for awhile but kept skipping over it because science fiction isn’t really my thing. I decided to buy the audio because of Joel Leslie! I pretty much auto buy all of his narrations now.
This book is amazing!! I’m completely beating myself up for not reading it sooner!!!! The whole concept of a human and Android falling in love my sound ludicrous but the way NR Walker wrote the story it was very believable and realistic. This story is very hot and sweet! I would give it a million stars if I could. I haven’t been this excited over an audio in quite awhile!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Reeverse
  • 2018-09-05

damn damn damn.

Polished off the entire book in one afternoon. Now it's the long wait for the next NR Walker gem.
there is something about NR's narrative style that has me hooked. She's an amazing writer. the relationships aren't all steam and sex (although sensory overload LOL nice one 😉) and somehow yet gain she has me sobbing like a baby. beautiful story.
Joel does a beautiful performance as per usual. The depth he brings to each character is what makes me choose other books in his catalogue. it's also why I can forgive his odd mispronounciation of australian words (Yarra has an a as in arrow not aunt 😊)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Morgan A Skye
  • 2018-11-01

6 stars aren't enough....

I am literally blown away by this story.

When I saw the blurb I pretty much said to myself – yeah – NO – and wanted to pass it on. I was a bit intrigued but mostly really put off by the robot in the future part of the story. That’s just not me.

Wellll…. Let me tell you. This story gripped me right from the start and I couldn’t put it down. NR Walker managed to do it AGAIN. She keeps coming out of left field with these books that are so DIFFERENT from what I’ve seen from her and she keeps hitting home runs! (See all the Spring Baseball references…. And I don’t like baseball! But they fit ;) )


First, let’s look at this story. It has a fairly timely subject matter – we are probably on the cusp of artificial intelligence and as this story suggests we are in no way ready for it.

Despite the robot nature of Shaun, I loved his existential crisis and that whole “why am I here” thing is something all of us experience and the author was able to really capture this in simple ways that can be felt in us all.

The “Big Brother” aspect of this story is so accurate it’s frightening. We know “they” are listening – but what can you do that doesn’t involve living off grid in Montana?


And the romance. Ahhhhhh. So good. I totally cried at the end even though I knew it would be a HEA – NR doesn’t let us down. It’s a very touching ending and I was really pleased with her result.

Second, can we talk about NR Walker’s amazing brain? If you look at her title list we have things all over the map: from the outback, to Africa, to contemporary Australia, body image, butterflies, switched at birth, blindness, ménage, cops, vampires, architecture… and she’s like an expert on ALL these things! I totally want to have access to her time and resources – she must spend 50% of her time researching and the rest writing! I love it! (And am jealous of her beautiful brain ;) ) Now we can add this futuristic techno drama to her list. Truly awe inspiring and wonderful.

So… from one non-sci-fi person to another – this is a sci-fi book you’ll want to read. It’s wonderful and touching and it will absolutely inspire all your neurotransmitters to fire!

Audio:

What a challenge! How to sound like a robot who doesn’t sound robotic while still being non-human???? Well – Joel Leslie is up to the challenge and manages to find a way to do just that!

Shaun “evolves” in this book from a plain android to virtually a human and over the course of his narration Joel has to continually demonstrate this evolution vocally. He owns it! He does an absolutely brilliant job of making these subtle changes and helping us –the listeners – keep Shaun in that place that’s just a little unique. He also gives us the other characters in the story – android and human – distinct voices and personalities.

Well done and highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ron F.
  • 2018-10-22

Hated it!

Thought it was going to be sci-fi with a gay main character, but it just turned out to be porn.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-10-19

Loved it.

NR Walker is a must buy - always - Red Dirt Hearts is the Pinnacle of her work - but I usually love all of it. Evolved was very very good - and had a decidedly different approach to the Asperger's Autistic spectrum - fascinated throughout. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pat Johnson
  • 2018-10-18

1 Android 1 Human

Amazing absolutely amazing I was drawn into their lives needing every word .
Can’t praise this wonderful audiobook enough .
N.R Walker and Joel Leslie = Perfection ❤️

1 of 1 people found this review helpful