The Wrong Unit

  • by Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by Rob Dircks
  • 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

I don't know what the humans are so cranky about. Their enclosures are large, they ingest over 1,000 calories per day, and they're allowed to mate. Plus, they have me. An Autonomous Servile Unit, housed in a mobile/bipedal chassis. I do my job well: keep the humans healthy and happy. "Hey you." Heyoo. That's my name, I suppose. It's easier for the humans to remember than 413s98-itr8. I guess I've gotten used to it.
Rob Dircks, best-selling author of Where the Hell is Tesla?, has a "unit" with a problem: how to deliver his package, out in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to guide him. Oh, and with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. It's a science fiction tale of technology gone haywire, unlikely heroes, and the nature of humanity. (Woah. That last part sounds deep. Don't worry, it's not.)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Futuristic journey without a single misstep

It’s the mark of a master storyteller to be able to take an old story and make it new again, and that’s exactly what Rob Dircks has done in “The Wrong Unit.” Countless scifi writers have undertaken the story of “when AIs go bad” (think Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey for just one example). Here, Dircks takes on that trope, adds a father-son bonding sub-plot and a hero journey (or two) on the side, and makes it all feel new again.

One way the book distinguishes itself is by telling the story from the point of view of the “evil” AI. The viewpoint character is a robotic unit named Heyoo (derived from the way it is addressed by its human charges as “Hey You”), one of thousands of robots that serve and protect humanity under the direction of a misguided AI. Like any really good villain, the robots can rationalize their behavior and truly believe what they are doing is for humanity’s benefit. As a reader, watching everything through Heyoo’s point-of-view, I found myself laughing at his misapprehensions while rooting for him to figure out the error of his ways.

Laughter is another way this book differentiates itself. As with his first book, “Where the Hell is Tesla?” (which I also highly recommend), humor is a big reason why Dircks’ writing stands head and shoulders above the rest of the scifi field. From tiny touches, like having Heyoo journal his life via “introspection recordings” to plays on programming nightmares like circular references, scarcely a page goes by without a snicker, if not a laugh-out-loud moment.

Good as all that is, what really makes this a 5-star novel is the way the reader grows to love the characters. “Heart-warming” sounds so cliché, but it is 100% applicable. Heyoo is more human, more caring and more lovable than the protagonists of many a scifi thriller. Yes, I even got verklempt a couple of times.

With the assured hand of a master, Dircks has constructed a perfect little novel. I could easily see this made into a movie, it was that good. And to get the full experience, I highly recommend you listen to the audio version of the book. It is read by the author himself, and he does a fantastic job, including singing, making this my favorite scifi audio book of 2016.
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- Julie W. Capell

The "Right" Wrong Unit!

Wow! What a hilarious, heart-warming, and though provoking story! Set in the future, where technology and programs rule humanity, the "wrong" unit was selected to deliver humanities last hope to gain their freedom. This fast paced story follows the journey of the "wrong" unit, and it's human companion, who it's raised since an infant, to an unknown destination. Their journey was filled with many laughs, and heart-warming moments watching the unit known as Heyoo learn to care for the human he named Wah.

I received this audiobook in exchange for an honest review, and have to say Rob's a talented, and versatile author/narrator whose even got a great singing voice! He did an amazing job in both creating and narrating this story. I'm definitely recommending this one to my friends, and will be on the lookout for future books written or even narrated by Rob. Kudos, on a well written and narrated story! The Wrong Unit was very entertaining, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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- Cheri

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-15-2016
  • Publisher: Goldfinch Publishing