Metallic Love by Tanith Lee fantasy book reviewsMetallic Love by Tanith Lee fantasy book reviewsMetallic Love by Tanith Lee

Metallic Love (2005) is technically a sequel to The Silver Metal Lover, but (despite the same premise and a few reappearing characters) is so drastically different in tone and content that it barely counts as a continuation of Tanith Lee‘s earlier unorthodox love story between a young woman and a silver android.

That said, it is preferable if you read The Silver Metal Lover before Metallic Love, as it is a story that exists within this one: Jane’s manuscript is found by new protagonist Lr4eoren and constantly referred to over the course of her experiences. Growing up in a strict religious cult, her discovery of Jane’s Story under the floorboards changes the course of Loren’s life, inspiring her to abandon her fanatical guardians and forge her own destiny.

A few years later, her attention is caught by an advertisement from the META corporation; one announcing that they’ve re-engineered the robots that were destroyed in the previous book — including Silver. Having grown up with the story of the beautiful, silver-skinned robot with a soul, Loren is desperate to get close to him; to see if Jane’s story is true or just the work of an overactive imagination.

Loren is a very different character from Jane; she describes Jane as soft on the outside and steely on the inside, and herself as the exact inversion. Whereas Jane was a poor little rich girl, Loren grew up in the slums and knows how to take care of herself. But when she’s chosen as a potential companion for Silver (now called Verlis) she’s thrown into circumstances she can’t possibly predict or understand.

Whereas The Silver Metal Lover was a musing on love and immortality, Metallic Love is more of a conspiracy/thriller, with plenty of twists and turns throughout. Can Verlis and his kind be trusted? Was Jane’s narrative real or a fiction? What exactly do these new god-like robots want from life?

Fans of Jane’s character may be a little disappointed with this sequel; set twelve years after the first it features Jane only in a very limited role. Furthermore, as the previous book explored the love between Jane and Silver, this one is quite different in its intent and conclusion; less to do with human emotion and more to do with sci-fi concepts.

Think of Metallic Love more as a companion than a sequel, which takes the opportunity to flip perspectives between a young woman and her robotic lover: here it’s Loren who is emotionally disconnected and Verlis who pursues a meaningful connection between them. More than that, it explores the impact that such god-like beings have on the world and their understanding of their place within it, veering well into fantasy science-fiction by the final few chapters.

Tanith Lee fantasy book review 1. The Silver Metal Lover 2. Metallic Love Tanith Lee fantasy book review 1. The Silver Metal Lover 2. Metallic Love

Published in 2005. In her now-classic tale The Silver Metal Lover, award-winning author Tanith Lee told the spellbinding story of Jane and her forbidden love for a robot named Silver. In this stunning follow-up, the legend of their tragic romance lives on. But nothing is as it was–or as it seems.… As an orphan growing up in the slums, Loren read her clandestine copy of Jane’s Story over and over, relishing every word. But Loren is no Jane. Savvy and street-smart, Loren could never be stirred by a man of metal, her passion never ignited by an almost-human–even one designed for pleasure. Still, when the META corporation does the unthinkable and brings back updated versions of robots past–Loren knows she must see Silver. And just like Jane, it is love at first sight. But Silver is now Verlis. If he was perfection before, he is now like a god. Yet he is more human than his creators think–or fear. While Loren doesn’t quite trust him, she will follow her twice-born lover into a battle to control his own destiny–one that will reveal to her the most astonishing illusion of all.


  • Rebecca Fisher

    REBECCA FISHER, with us since January 2008, earned a Masters degree in literature at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Her thesis included a comparison of how C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman each use the idea of mankind’s Fall from Grace to structure the worldviews presented in their fantasy series. Rebecca is a firm believer that fantasy books written for children can be just as meaningful, well-written and enjoyable as those for adults, and in some cases, even more so. Rebecca lives in New Zealand. She is the winner of the 2015 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best SFF Fan Writer.

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