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Isaac Asimov's I, Robot: To Preserve Hardcover – February 2, 2016
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From Publishers Weekly
Reichert sells her heroine short in her third SF suspense tale based on Isaac Asimov's famous works. Dr. Susan Calvin is finishing her psych residency at Manhattan Hasbro Hospital when a former colleague and robotics researcher is murdered, apparently by a robot. Susan knows that the First Law of Robotics prevents robots from taking any action that could harm a human. She suspects either the Society for Humanity or the secret DoD group Cadmium, as both have violent agendas involving robots and both have made attacks on her and those close to her in the past. Susan resolves to clear the name of N8-C and his creator, Lawrence Robertson, but shortly finds herself dodging bullets again. When someone shoots at her in Central Park, she is rescued by a passing jogger, Pal Buffoni, whom she invites into her life. Despite being described as brilliant, she misses many clues that readers are likely to notice. The mystery falls flat and its heroine comes off as a fool. Agent: John Silbersack, Trident Media Group. (Feb.) \n
Praise for I, Robot: To Protect
“A thrilling climax provides plenty of action and excitement, forcing all to examine their values and to take action in an untenable situation.”—SFRevu
“Reichert is a gifted storyteller...engaging and captivating.”—SciFiChick.com
“Reichert not only manages to be true to Asimov’s vision but manages to write a story that is enjoyable even if you had never heard of Isaac before.”—Blogcritics Magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot, by the way, involves an accusation that Nate (the robot N8-C) murdered someone. That suspicion derives from the fact that he’s found holding a bloody pry bar and standing next to the bloody body of a dead researcher. Nate confesses (sort of) which persuades an overzealous police detective to arrest Lawrence Robertson, Nate’s creator/programmer, for murder. That this happens without questioning Nate more completely is a bit eye-rolling, as is the notion that Robertson could be arrested in the absence of even slight evidence that he programmed Nate to kill the researcher. Those are lapses of logic that Asimov would never have made.
Of course, every Asimov fan knows that it is impossible for a robot to deliberately harm humans, but the plot depends on an arrest that sends the current incarnation of Susan Calvin on an obvious mission -- to find the real killer. Enlisting the help of a hunky ex-Marine who saves her in a shootout, Susan (granddaughter of the original) goes about the business of solving the murder.
Susan’s speeches fill in background for readers who may have missed Reichert’s previous two robot novels in this series. That background is essential to understanding the plot, but given the filling-in, this book can probably be read as a stand-alone.
Susan actually has two hunks in her life, the other being homicide detective Jake Carson. One or both may or may not be on Susan’s side. Most of the plot surrounds Susan’s interaction with one or both of the hunks, and occasionally (although infrequently) Nate.
The hunks provide the excuse to add a love triangle subplot that is even clunkier than one that Asimov might have penned. Certainly, Asimov would not have written the scenes that read like outtakes from a trashy romance novel, complete with Susan swooning over a bare-chested man’s “tousled hair.” Has a trashy romance novel ever been written that didn’t use the phrase “tousled hair”?
There is a lot more touchy-feelyness and a lot less intellect in this book than a reader would find in any of Asimov’s robot novels. More to the point, there is a lot less emphasis on robots, which sort of misses the point of a robot novel. For that reason, the story, while mildly interesting, doesn’t come close to being as absorbing as an Asimov robot novel. There are certainly many science fiction novels far worse than this one, but as a continuation of a seminal sf series, the novel is a disappointment.
The final volume in this prequel trilogy that takes a look at the life of a young Susan Calvin and and the stressful psychological forces in her life that conspired to shape her into the world's foremost robopsychologist finds Susan desperately trying to regain her sense of self after the two attempts to kill her - one by the Society for Humanity and the other from the quasi-governmental organization known as Cadmium - for a rumored code that is supposed to circumvent the Three Laws of Robotics in the positronic brain.
She has just resumed her medical residency when a Code Blue and a Code Silver is announced over the hospital's intercom system. Rushing to assist, Susan realizes that she doesn't know what a Code Silver is. She soon discovers the meaning when she discovers Nate - the hospital's humanform robot standing over the battered remains of a doctor, the bloodied murder weapon in his hands.
No robot can kill a human. It's obvious to Susan that Nate has been framed and she does everything in her power to clear him - even if it means going head to head with Cadmium in a deadly endgame which could end in her death.
Mickey Zucker Reichert has deftly written an engaging and intriguing mystery that stays true to the universe that the late Isaac Asimov created. I was a bit sad to say goodbye, for now to Susan Calvin upon the turn of the last page.
I do hope there are more well written authorized sequels to come.
To Preserve is the third installment in Reichert’s captivating series based on Asimov’s I, Robot. Once again, the story is full of mystery and suspense. The characters are engaging and the pacing makes it hard to put down. Events build to a big finale that doesn’t disappoint. However, since this was a trilogy, it’s a bit sad knowing this may be the last. I really enjoyed these characters and future world.
*Previously posted at SciFiChick.
To the author, do not quit on this series. The ends hints at a fourth book, so when can we expect to see it?