BOY ROBOTAuthor: Simon Curtis
Series: Untitled Trilogy #1
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
Seventeen-year-old Isaak discovers the truth about his origin and the underground forces that must come together to fight against a secret government organization formed to eradicate those like him in this high-octane science fiction debut.
There once was a boy who was made, not created.
In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever.
His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.
An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.
Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination.
He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground—a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future.
To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable.
Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be.
In his debut, recording artist Simon Curtis has written a fast-paced, high-stakes novel that explores humanity, the ultimate power of empathy, and the greatest battle of all: love vs. fear.
Purchase:: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warning for violence, rape, and general bad language.
Wow. This might be the best book I read this year. I know I only rated it four stars but that is for little things that didn't really detract from my reading but I wanted more from these pieces because the rest of the novel was SO good. There was the right mix of Science Fiction and Thriller in this one to keep me on the edge of my seat. I am so glad this is a planned trilogy because I NEED MORE from this world, these characters, and this author.
First of all, this was so diverse and had such a great cast of characters. I loved Isaak and all the characters in the vignettes. I felt like we really got to see a broad spectrum of characters here and they were such a fresh take on something that otherwise would have felt as though it had been done before. I loved having a wide cast of characters that all showed us that while they were hated and feared because they were Robots, they were also hated a long time before this because of their other qualities. I thought that they showed a really good representation of broken families, LGBTQ+ issues, and people who felt like they were always on the outside looking in. Honestly, the characters are what made this story. And every time I read the line "One that had been building for days" I had a shiver of anticipation and happiness run through me because I knew that these people who the world hated would be able to get their chance to fight back. And it was MARVELOUS.
BOY ROBOT does have a lot of violence and the characters are put in horrible situations. There is a case of rape during one of the sections that is particularly brutal (although we are only to infer that it is rape as we don't see it from the victim's perspective). However, I don't think that this is just "gratutitous violence" as some of the other reviews I've seen have stated. I felt as though the violence really helped us understand the type of world that we were seeing and just how horrible it was for the Robots and the human sympathizers. I thought that the rape in the chapter entitled THE IT really demonstrated that (some) humans don't see Robots as more than playthings and that it is hard to know who to trust because even those in charge of protecting you can make you feel small. I thought these acts of violence went very far in adding to the setting and enhanced my experience and understanding of live as a Robot.
I liked that the vignettes were all tied together near the end because up until the point you realize how they are connected, they feel a tad bit out of place. Not that I didn't enjoy them (in fact, I said to Joey from Thoughts and Afterthoughts that they were my favourite part and that I enjoyed them more than the "regular" chapters), but I felt as though I wasn't sure why we were learning about these other characters other than a clever way to infodump without the reader feeling as thought they are being infodumped on. But once it connects at the end, you realize just how smart Curtis was to include them the way he did. And they are the best part of the novel. Honestly.
Overall I highly recommend this one. There is so much on screen diversity and representation, a great setting, and a girl whose vagina KILLS PEOPLE. Really what more could you ask for out of a novel?