Self-preservation was a basic directive, but there wasnt a robot functioning that prioritized it at the top of the list. Like biologicals all robots were seeking a purpose. Mack Megaton was at the bottom of the sludge heap of Empire City, a city where weird science and toxic chemicals were turning biologicals into all kinds of interesting mutants. The guy that keeps him out of trouble is a rodent biological by the name of Detective Sanchez. He was supposed to bring biologicals to their knees. Mack decides to try and find a missing family of biologicals and soon finds himself up to his neck screws in trouble. I absolutely blew through this book.
Adams-Chandler Jambalaya (aka The Automatic Detective) Gently brown one abducted family in heavy cast iron sci-fi universe seasoned with mutant-inducing radiation. Cover and simmer without stirring (may use big guns, a bot with a Brooklynese accent and a sentient gorilla). He is able to create the feel of the emotionally drained noir detective in a thoroughly delightful way. Once the noir atmosphere and character development is fully underway, Martinez begins throwing curveballs and dastardly evil villains at our hero, and then it gets truly odd.
Mack Megaton is a robot. There's delightfully crackly dialogue, and some great descriptions of a city in decline: Crime was a dirty public secret in Empire. But I don't have much time, and you've got a lot of arms." The second half of the book is an action lover's wet dream filled with robot-smashing exploits and Godzilla-like monsters. Less than one day before people started dying in the thousands.
This novel is blending noir mystery with quasi science fiction theme and a surprisingly rather humorous story. For review of The Long Way Down please check: here Noir mystery-theme checklist: - First person POV/investigator: passed. And the POV's voice (sometimes logical when he was talking with organic life forms, but other times relatively illogical when he was talking with other robot) is slowly growing on me. - Bleak view of humanity: passed, plus robot type of life forms gives not-so-overused view. (view spoiler)She has a thing for robots and mutants!
R. Daneel Oliwav is one of my all time favorite characters in SF, and I read each Robot books by Asimov 3 or 4 times already. For all his artificial intelligence detachment and cold analytical power, Mack has really mastered the staccatto delivery of short sentences and the wisecracks of a classic gumshoe detective, so his soon acquired wardrobe of pinstripe suit, fedora and mackintosh is entirely appropriate. The novel was a fun ride from start to finish, but it also shows surprising and pleasant depth in the characters and in the debate of artificial intelligence and morality.
What really makes this story is the authors keen ear for dry noir humor and his tongue-in-cheek style ability to create a world where a beautiful dame like Lucia Napier, could fall for a big, and I mean big, bot like Mack. 4 stars ### FYI: On a 5-point scale I assign stars based on my assessment of what the book needs in the way of improvements: *5 Stars Nothing at all. *2 Stars This book needs a lot of work. *1 Star - The only thing that would improve this book is a good bonfire.
4.5 'Name's Mack Megaton. Or automated citizen, as the Learned Council liked to phrase it.' This is a ridiculously entertaining story. You follow a huge bot Mack Megaton on his journey to find his purpose. 'Messy business, biological existence. Or maybe a very casual funeral." Mack and romance: 'She stepped beside me, and we silently admired the view for seventy seconds.' ...
"Robots, eh?" With just glance at her, I knew in a second that this dame was more trouble than she was worth, even if she did have the longest legs I had ever seen, right up to here.
Set in the fictional Empire City, Mack is a robot with 'the Freewill Glitch' who's in the process of applying for citizenship.
Electricity & cold logic work for him, except when the Glitch (consciousness) gets in the way. This won't work for everyone, but it somehow hit all the right buttons for me.