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A good story mixing the genre of hard boiled detective yarn with solid Science fiction with a deft touch of humor this was the first by this author I have listened too it will not be the last.
But major kudos for the performance by the narrator. I have listened to Mr. Vietor before and found him to be one of the better artists here on Audible but this performance moves him up to the top rank. his work catches all the best notes of a classic Dragnet and has just the right deadpan "just the Facts, ma m" tone and is to be praised.
I have bought over 230 books here and other than the works of the masters of classic Science fiction (you know who they are) and Terry Pratchett's works this is the first 5 star I have given to a 'new' author
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
A bot's gotta' do what a bot's gotta' do. Automated citizen candidate (pending full citizenship) Mack Megabot drives a cab and scratches out a scanty living, barely able to pay for his electrical recharges and his rent. He enjoys a higher status than other robots, and has been deemed eligible for potential citizenship after he completes a probationary period.
Marc Vietor does a superb job of reading this wondrous tale - I would not have loved it nearly as much if it had been read in a traditional manner. Vietor does the hardboiled detective to perfection, giving Mack a voice and a personality beyond what Martinez gave him in words.
Mack stumbles into a kidnapping of a biological (human) family that he knows. He doesn't really feel affection, and doesn't have friends in the traditional sense, but he's a learning robot, and he's learning to care. He cares about this family, and after reading a note written on the back of a child's drawing, he realizes that they truly have been kidnapped and are in danger.
As Mack begins to understand and look into the missing family, his apartment blows up. The only thing he salvages is the battered drawing from the refrigerator - isn't that where all art is posted?
He needs a place to stay, so he heads for the apartment of a fellow cabbie, an intelligent gorilla named Jung. Jung is well spoken, educated, and a good friend, even if Mack doesn't really get the friend concept. Mack has lost all of his clothes in the explosion, so Jung lends him some attire. High status robots are allowed to wear clothes, and Mack doesn't feel right without something to wear.
After a recharge, courtesy of Jung, Mack hits the streets in search of info, and meets another biological, a wealthy woman who is a researcher and inventor of robotic upgrades and various high tech devices. He's wary of her friendly overtures until the house robot butler points out that the lady is being nice to him, and that he oughta' be nice back (the butler has a Brooklyn accent).
The streets of his city are full of strange mutant beings and chimeras created by science, including a fuzzball, a cross between a dachsund and a pill bug that rolls up into a hairy, yapping ball for play.
Mack realizes that he needs help from his friends, or he'll get nowhere. WIth his own heavy duty construction and killer design (literally - he was built for battle), he takes on the pilgrims who are changing the citizens of the city into monsters, seeking the lost family.
He finds a lot more than he ever bargained for, and then some.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
thought it was a good story with a great performance on the naritive side, would really recommend
Where does The Automatic Detective rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
As with all Martinez books - the wit and humour make his books stand out not matter the story line.
What did you like best about this story?
I certainly enjoyed Mack's view on the squishy flesh bags
Which character – as performed by Marc Vietor – was your favourite?
the sleazy lead female of course
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Certainly Mack's devotion to helping his friends and the little girl April.
Any additional comments?
Good cheesy SF fun.