Reviewed by Dan
AUTHOR: Trevor Barton
LENGTH: 269 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 20, 2016
Artificial intelligence can’t be programmed. It has to be grown. Some machines are learning who they are, and humans could do with a bit of that, too.
Jared takes home a cute man he finds in a dumpster and then gets drawn into a world of robots, parenting and conspiracy.
This book came to me through a recommendation from a friend on Goodreads. This is the second book he has sent me and again I loved his recommendation. I hope he continues to make recommendations like this one!
Brobots is a first book from a new author, but it really didn’t read like one. The premise, characters and storyline were all fantastic. There were a few minor issues with British versus American English that should maybe have been caught, for example, lounge. We don’t have ‘lounges’ in homes in the US. Minor stuff, but things to watch in the sequel, which I’m excited to say the end of the book clearly shows will be coming down the road. I hope soon!
The story is set in the 2060’s in the United States. I think the author did a good job describing life 45 years from now, although it looked much like life in 2017 in the US. There were nefarious military deals going on without political authority, there were disenfranchised young white men, angry at the world and it was a time of great change. The angry mobs are looking for a scapegoat. Sound familiar?
When Jared Thomas is out walking his dog one night, he goes further than he normally does and walks past a large construction site. The site had been all over the news because they are using only robotic labor and the robots look nearly 100% human. While walking by, Jared can’t help but notice a leg hanging out of a dumpster. What’s a guy to do? He investigates, of course. When he finds a dysfunctional robotic man, who is totally hot, the gay computer programmer loads him in a robotic taxi and takes him home.
There begins the tale of Jared, Byron, and an ever-increasing group of characters. I really liked almost all of them. The book was a fast and enjoyable read once I got into it. The book makes you wonder what will happen when machines get too smart. Happily, this story went on a non-Terminator path. Hopefully, the next book will as well!
I’m going to be a little bit honest about the beginning of the book. The first chapter of this book had a long name that didn’t work on my Kindle, making me think it was some sort of file conversion error. I had no frame of reference yet, and I didn’t really understand what I was reading, it was a little confusing and had me scratching my head. I honestly almost put the book down. But… I persevered and starting reading the second chapter ‘Byron’ and was hooked. The rest of the book I read in one sitting. I did that one sitting with a horrendous head and chest cold, coughing and hacking and sneezing, but still reading.
As I hinted above, I really, really, really liked the premise, characters and storyline in this book. I’m going to go out on a limb and give it a 4.5 Love Bytes rating. A little more polish would have been good, but it worked. I liked it, and I highly recommend it to science fiction readers.