The Great Feline Empire has been at war with the Robot Empire for centuries; now a technological breakthrough in the Wengrod family lab puts Earth at the center of the conflict.
Pounce de Leon has learned from Earth cat operative OB_1_Catno_B (nicknamed “Obi”) that a computer chip has been developed on Earth that could extend cat lives beyond nine. Sir Beeps-a-Lot has heard reports of something similar from a mole in Earth company GloboTech; it can also offer infinite power to robots. Both empires want that chip. Meanwhile, fraternal twins Min Wengrod and her cat-loving brother, Max, are preparing for a robot battle and a video game–design contest, respectively. While their scientist parents are in China, their GloboTech-created household AI attempts to use the family’s helper robots to steal the chip while Obi enlists Stu and Scout, Max’s rescue kittens, to do the same. It’s a creative premise for a series opener, but it comes to naught thanks to multiple plot holes and flat, stock characters. (One exception to the latter is Latinx cousin and babysitter Javi, whose nonbinary gender identification is used as a message-y plot device. The Wengrods are otherwise ethnically undefined.) The alternation of perspective between robots and cats results in a great deal of repetition, and the nonsensical central conflict (cats like naps and don’t follow rules; robots love rules) is a flimsy nail on which to hang a too-lengthy novel, let alone a series.
Skip. (Science fiction. 8-11)