Delighted to FINALLY sure my review for this unique story with you. A robot police procedural, can definitely say I have not read a book like this one before.🤖
An intriguing blend of sci-fi and a police procedural. The world has been decimated by plague. Humans and robots live in tandem. The robot population has surpassed that of the humans. In order to “preserve“ the human race The Preserve is created. A segregated part of the country where NO robots are allowed and humans attempt to revitalize their numbers. However, the Preserve is not thriving dependent on government subsidies. When a high profile murder takes place within the boundaries of the Preserve it’s very existence is threatened. It is up to chief Jesse Lawton to save the Preserve.
This was and engaging story that was a little out of my comfort zone. I am not a big sci-fi fan and I am usually pretty picky when it comes to police procedurals. This book really grabbed my attention from the beginning I was so curious about what was going on and who the murderer was. Chief Laughton was an interesting character, but I really thought his robot partner Kri stole the show. I loved the dynamic between these two and it really made me curious as to how this world came to be. That really is my major complaint about the story… there wasn’t much backstory. I really wanted to learn more about the AI and how the robots came to be so superior. The police procedural part of the story was great and I really love the twist and reveal of the mystery. I’m hoping this will be a series because I think Jesse Lawton could really grow as a character.
*** Big thank you to Atria for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
About the Book
The near future has been decimated by plague (sound familiar?), and the human population is now a minority. Robots—complex AIs almost indistinguishable from humans—are the ruling majority. Nine months ago, in a controversial move, the robot government opened a series of preserves, designated areas where humans can choose to live without robot interference. Now the preserves face their first challenge: someone has been murdered.
Chief of Police Jesse Laughton on the SoCar Preserve is assigned to the case. He fears the factions that were opposed to the preserves will use the crime as evidence that the new system does not work. As he digs for information, robots in the outside world start turning up dead from bad drug-like programs that may have originated on SoCar land. And when Laughton learns his murder victim was a hacker who wrote drug-programs, it appears that the two cases might be linked. Soon, it’s clear that the entire preserve system is in danger of collapsing. Laughton’s former partner, a robot named Kir, arrives to assist on the case, and they soon uncover shocking secrets revealing that life on the preserve is not as peaceful as its human residents claim. But in order to protect humanity’s new way of life, Laughton must solve this murder before it’s too late.
Ariel S. Winter is the author of The Preserve, Barren Cove, and The Twenty-Year Death, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Shamus Award, and the Macavity Award.