Tag Archives: Robots

Sourdough by Robin Sloan (review by Tasha M. ’20)

SourdoughSourdough by Robin Sloan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lois Clary, a typical Silicon Valley programmer, receives a sourdough starter from two brothers who are part of a small community called the Mazg. As Lois bakes with the starter, she observes strange effects – each loaf has a face in the crust. She quits her job and devotes herself to running a stall at a farmer’s market, where she encounters rather eccentric products – from cricket cookies to fungus-infected lemons – and a vendor who has a dark idea about how to use Lois’s unique sourdough starter.

Although the plot moves slowly at first, it soon accelerates and finishes with a conclusion that truly provides closure. However, I definitely wanted to see more of Lois’s internal journey, especially at key moments like quitting her job. Nevertheless, this lack did not significantly change the experience – Sourdough, still forced me to distance myself from the comfortable world I know and consider larger things.

Sourdough is less an entertaining read than a meditation on life in all forms and the impact of technological progress. If you can get past the premise (which, I will admit, I was skeptical of at first), Sourdough will make you contemplate that which we know but never stop to really observe. – Tasha M. ’20

View all my reviews

The Diabolic by S.J. Kinkaid (review by Anya W. ’20)

The Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1)The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. That is the duty of a Diabolic. To love their master for the entirety of their lives and be willing to do anything to protect them. In a time when a ruthless emperor reigns, that sacrifice can even extend to taking her place. If Nemesis is discovered, she’s dead, and Sidonia is in danger… Be it taking on a ruthless tyrant or allying with a mad prince, Nemesis will do whatever it takes to protect her master. The Diabolic is beautifully written and definitely falls into the YA category. The world building for this novel is absolutely brilliant, and personally, I’m a sucker for good world building. From the beginning, this novel is gripping, and although the quality of the story decreases somewhat near the end, this novel ends quite nicely. Speaking as someone who has been slightly phasing out of YA novels as of late, The Diabolic definitely deserves a read. – Anya W. ’20

View all my reviews

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (review by Mrs. Cranston)

RobopocalypseRobopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Robopocalypse (available as an ebook through OverDrive), humans have finally done it. By creating a super-intelligent robot named Archos, we have, in its words, “made mankind obsolete.” In one horrifying moment (Zero Hour), Archos turns our technology against us, using cars, smart-weapons, even cell phones as tools of the robot uprising. Told from alternating perspectives before and after Zero Hour, this fast-paced book describes how a few brave humans resist Archos’ quest to cleanse the world of humanity. Readers who like a little philosophy thrown in with their apocalypse will adore this book. Sure there are be-tentacled super-robots ripping open buildings to extract humans like sardines from a can, but there are also humanoid robots meditating on what it means to be “alive.” Robopocalypse’s oral history structure as well as the scale and pace of its global disaster will draw comparisons to World War Z. However, while World War Z’s protagonists had to outmaneuver zombies (gross yes, but relatively slow and definitely brain-dead), Robopocalypse’s characters must outsmart a vastly superior intelligence whose army is global and instantaneous and in your iPad! In fact, the challenge is so compelling and Archos so daunting that the resolution is a bit unconvincing…still there are more books in the series, so we’ll see what happens next! Overall, a great read. – Mrs. Cranston, Harker librarian

View all my reviews