The Bot Wars are over, but the robot menace still exists…or does it?
Twelve-year-old Trout St. Kroix has been living with his one-legged brother Po for two years, ever since their father went MIA. Trout hasn’t given up hope, and he hatches a plan to get their story on the Net with classmate Tellie Rix’s help. The video-message upload has unintended consequences. Trout finds himself on the run with a robot headed for the robot territories, while forces within the District government capture Po. Unbeknownst to Trout, their father is leader of the Meta-Rise, a robot equal rights movement started in the wake of the wars. Learning why his father kept so many secrets is just the beginning of Trout’s story, and he’s out to prove himself his father’s son. Kade (who has just released Altered, also 2013, under the name Jennifer Rush) manages to be both naïve and condescending in this short-on-thrills adventure. Set in a future that is as laughable as it is improbable, the tale features lame slang that wears thin early on and “science” that is more convenient to the tale than accurate. The characters are flat, and the prose is replete with awkward and unintentionally funny similes. SF-starved readers should look elsewhere.
Sequels are promised…few will be waiting for them. (Science fiction. 9-12)