About the Book
Seventeen-year-old Isaak discovers the truth about his origin and the underground forces that must come together to fight against a secret government organization formed to eradicate those like him in this high-octane science fiction debut.
There once was a boy who was made, not created.
In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever.
His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.
An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.
Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination.
He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground—a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future.
To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable.
Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be.
In his debut, recording artist Simon Curtis has written a fast-paced, high-stakes novel that explores humanity, the ultimate power of empathy, and the greatest battle of all: love vs. fear.
When I first got this book, I wasn’t that excited to read it. There really isn’t no reason behind that besides the fact that robots have never really appealed to me. I’m really, really glad that feeling lasted about ten minutes’ total. I enjoyed this book a hell of a lot more than I expected to.
Boy Robot is really a story about a young man who has never truly fit in. It’s a book about an outsider who has spent most of his life looking in. Then things happen, and Isaak learns the truth about his origins, why he is the way he is, and why he has never really fit in anywhere.
There is some important action at the start of the novel, which really serves as a huge revelation point after a short, but well done buildup. This action is fast moving, and really hits Isaak in the gut, but it also pushes him from his surroundings and into a new world. One he didn’t know existed before. One where he fits.
So the book starts with a bang, and Isaak is on the run and off he goes. He runs into a few other people like himself. Relationships are formed and broken, trust is hard to come by. Things happen at a nearly constant rate, and these things tend to be very well done and really ramp up the tension in the book.
There are some adult themes, as well. There is some sexual assault mentioned, abuse, dark happenings as the chapters flip between Isaak and telling the story of someone else, someone who, well I’d go into her narrative more but it’s kind of more interesting to find out as you go.
These two storylines juxtaposed the way they are was a well thought detail. You get Isaak, who is young and naive and discovering himself as well as his place in the world he’s been thrust into. On the other hand, you have someone who was created, who survived absolutely horrible situations and training, and now has missions to accomplish. You have Isaak, who always thought he was human until recently, and this other woman, who always knew she wasn’t human and they are both attacking the same situation from different angles. It’s well done, and a rather wonderful way to examine the primary theme of what makes us human.
I want to take a moment to discuss the diversity in this book, because it is there, and it comes in many forms, and it’s absolutely fantastic. I love it when authors aren’t afraid to pepper their books with characters that reflect the diverse group of readers who read their books, and this is one of them. It’s also billed as a young adult book, but I feel like it works as a crossover new adult novel as well. It is one of those books that will appeal to a wide variety of readers, not just for the diversity, but also for how it was written.
All in all, this book really surprised me in a good way. I was really glad I read it. The writing is wonderful, the characters are compelling and delightfully diverse, and the action is pretty constant. Furthermore, Curtis knows how to play with atmosphere and tension, and I found myself quite worried about what would happen next. I did feel that sometimes situations resolved in ways that I didn’t find quite as believable as I probably should, like when Isaak’s family dies, I didn’t really feel the impact of that as viscerally as I felt like I should. Some of the pacing felt a little off, but those are small potatoes. This book was heart wrenching, a punch in the gut, a journey in more ways than one, and it’s a journey I’m really glad I took.