Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review: Boy Robot

Boy Robot Boy Robot by Simon Curtis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"I have this human heart
My mother told me so
She said, 'This shit can go to pieces, boy, be careful...
-OneRepublic, "Lift Me Up"

Enough book bloggers were raving about this book that after months of my library not ordering it, I finally special-ordered it from Sacramento. Worth it.

It's a commanding read, completely unputdownable, even when the story shifts into horrifying violence - which it often does, especially when digging into the backstories of the other Robots besides our protagonist, Isaak. Hell, all the Robots have had some damage inflicted on them in their time, whether physical or psychological (Isaak mostly got the latter himself.) Be warned that there's considerable violence in some of these scenes, up to and including rape.

While the book does suffer from a pretty confusing second half (confusing mostly because of an onslaught of other Robots' nightmares), it's also got a ton of excellent sci-fi world-building, taking inspiration from X-Men, Star Trek, and so much more. Including, unless I miss my guess, Margaret Stohl's Icons. You'll know the Icons reference when you see it, and it threw me for a loop when it showed up because I recently wrote a similar reference in my own book.

At least now I know I've got another potential comp title for queries in Boy Robot, at least in terms of weird science, artificially-engineered "chosen one" protagonists (though mine is at least more inspired by The Amazing Spider-Man than Icons), and diversity of cast.

After that cliffhanger ending, though, I desperately need the sequel.

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