This marks the very last week of my library’s Summer Reading Program, and I’ve been so busy working on all of the details—making lists of kids who’ve earned various merit badges, making lists of books to buy to celebrate said merit badges, printing out and personalizing a billion bookplates, etc—that reading has been ENTIRELY off the table.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t have a bunch ready and waiting, though!
Nicky Drayden’s The Prey of Gods is at the very top of the pile. A friend raved about it, I took one look at the fabulous cover art and I clicked that order button so fast that my finger caught on fire. It’s set in a version of South Africa that features personal robots, hallucinogenic drugs, and an AI uprising... It follows a small group of people—including a young Zulu girl, a teenager with the power to control minds, and a pop singer—who are forced to contend with an ancient, terrifying demigoddess. I strongly suspect that it’s going to be a one-sitting book, so I’ve only allowed myself to read the first page—and that first page is a DELIGHT.
Because I never do things by halves, all of the other books in the pile are robot-themed as well—and because I read across all age levels, they range from children’s on up:
There’s One Trick Pony, by Nathan Hale, a standalone graphic novel about a group of children and a robot horse that pulls elements from The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
I’ve been meaning to read Gene Luen Yang’s Secret Coders—a graphic novel about kid coders and cute robots that actually includes details about programming—for ages, and as I’m only getting around to it now, there are three sequels. So of course, I went ahead and added all of the follow-ups to the pile as well: Paths & Portals, Secrets & Sequences, and Robots & Repeats.
My third comic is Little Robot, by Ben Hatke, a mostly-wordless story about a little girl who fixes and then befriends a small robot.
I’ll also be reading Fuzzy, by Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger, a middle grade story about standardized testing, artificial intelligence, surveillance, and friendship.
Aprilynne Pike’s Glitter is a futuristic YA story set in a computer-controlled recreation of Versailles that has courtiers, a King, robot servants, and a heroine who makes a deal with a drug dealer in an attempt to escape the whole scene.
All Systems Red, by Martha Wells, is the first book in an adult market series called The Murderbot Diaries. I mean. THE MURDERBOT DIARIES.
And finally, there’s Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods, by Sylvain Neuvel—both of which got starred reviews at Kirkus. They’re about a scientist who is tracking down and acquiring long-hidden alien artifacts from all over the world… that appear to be huge metal body parts, and can maybe be assembled into a giant robot?
Feel free to recommend more—when Summer Reading is over, I’ll finally have time to read! And my plan is to read ALLLLLL OF THE BOOKS.
In addition to running a library in rural Maine, Leila Roy blogs at Bookshelves of Doom and The Backlist, is currently serving on the Amelia Bloomer Project committee, is a contributor at Book Riot, hangs out on Twitter a lot—possibly too much—and watches a shocking amount of television. Her cat is a murderer.