Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: To Terminator, With Love
AUTHOR: Wes Kennedy
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
LENGTH: 152 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 26, 2016
Dexter Wu’s life is hectic, but he’s managing—mostly. He’s on the verge of finishing grad school, and that means putting the final touches on his number one project: HAL, a social robot and children’s storytelling companion. But his best friend is leaving the country for good, his birthday’s coming up, he’s swamped with studying for finals, and he hasn’t slept in days.
He’s also going to destroy the world.
At least, his robot is, according to the possibly untrustworthy Agency, an organization whose mission is to protect the world at all costs. After his birthday party turns into a fight for his life, Dexter’s simple life of fast food and Netflix binges is replaced by a glitchy oracle, the world’s douchiest secret agents, and an ever-increasing chain of conspiracies.
With the help of Andre, a mysterious and disenchanted young agent turned rogue, Dexter sets out to plead his case to the Director in an effort to get his life back to what counts as normal—but he should know by now nothing is ever so easy.
Beware the harbinger of Death and Destruction: Dexter Wu. Do not be deceived by geeky look or his perchance for going days locked in a lab without a shower or food or human contact. He is the Destroyer of Worlds!!! Or, at least the creator of Humankind’s Darkest Enemy. All shall tremble at his feet as he unleashes on the world the beginnings of the Robot Apocalypse. All shall love him and despair!!!
Or, you know, bring him a hamburger or something.
Dexter Wu never set out to be the man who destroyed the world (and honestly he’s still a little skeptical about the whole thing). He only wanted to create a robot that could interact with children. In a let’s read a book kind of way, not a let’s turn little Aiden and his buddies into the best little toddler army in the universe kind of way. But then days before he is set to take his finals and graduate Dexter comes across a group of masked men trying to steal Hal (yes, yes, he named his totally chill, not at all a killer robot, Hal. It was supposed to be ironic!) and kill any chance of a second robot being constructed (i.e. compromise Dexter to a permanent and untimely end). His only hope to save Hal (and himself!) is to trust a rogue secret agent who is a bit too fond of quoting classic scifi flicks.
There was not much about this book that I didn’t like. It was witty and fun and just a damn good read. I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up this book to review, but I don’t think I was expecting to have as much fun and I ended up having. I liked how despite how implausible some things seemed to be, that the characters never let me dwell on that for long. There were fights to be had, secret headquarters to infiltrate, pillow forts to build. Dexter and Andre carried this story off without a hitch and I had a great time reading it from start to finish.
There are several twists in this story I’m not going to talk about because they are a bit spoilery, but I loved them all the same. And while I would have probably had a bit more intense reaction than Dexter had to realizing these certain things, I liked how they threw him for a loop and made everything just that much more uncertain.
From start to finish this was just a great book. It was over-the-top in only the best of ways, and the smart-ass banter between Dexter and Andre were awesome. I love how Dexter is no ones idea of a Hero, and how he embraces that.
This lighthearted and fast paced story of two men attempting to save the world (and a robot!) is a great way to spend an afternoon. And I’m not just saying that Skynet told me to!