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Unity Kindle Edition
|Length: 432 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Unity can be perceived as a “young adult” novel and frankly I think it would do very well with that demographic. The characters are all young adults, teens and even children…and they very well may save the world! There is plenty of action from the start, some fun and interesting sci-fi and a good dose of well-placed Deus Ex Machina. There are also some very deep and well developed themes about a person’s purpose in life, strength through hardship, overcoming one’s deepest fears and teamwork through the combination of unique skill sets manifested in different people with different personalities and abilities.
My only criticism is the length…it is too short. A lot of time is spent developing the plot and developing the complexities that are F-Bomb’s personality. This development is crucial to the story but it seems as if the ending becomes rushed. In addition, I personally found there to be little emotional investment in the secondary characters to the point where their eventual fates had little effect on me as the reader. This could have been solved with more detail or development of their backstories. The novel reads quickly so the additional length would not have been detracting.
Unity is listed under Jeremy’s bibliography as a “stand alone” novel but it is fairly clear that this will not be the case. There are too many questions left unanswered. Overall however, the story is highly entertaining, the unanswered questions are enough of a hook to create a demand for more and I, for one, look forward to seeing where F-Bomb goes from here and how the fate of the world and humanity play out in the hands of a teenage girl with some serious rage issues (and a giant robot at her disposal). If it turns out that Unity is a stand lone novel I would be very disappointed. (Edited - I have been informed that Unity will not be a stand alone - THIS IS GREAT NEWS!!)
Think about it: Kaiju? Done in Godzilla and Robinson's own (fantastic) Nemesis series. Giant robot tech? We've seen that in such various works as Gundam, Titanfall, and even Power Rangers. Kaiju vs. Giant Mech? Already accomplished in Del Toro's epic (and, I think, unfairly treated) "Pacific Rim" and once again covered in the 4th Nemesis book, Project Hyperion. Teens and kids stuck in some fictional setting, left to fend for themselves? Hunger Games already accomplished that, which was a copy of Battle Royale which was clearly influenced by William Golding's perennial classic Lord of the Flies. Hell, even malevolent entities from outer space, intent on destroying humanity has been done to death in nearly every damn sci-fi film since "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Add all that up with a distinctive YA feel, and a feminine protagonist who has a massively cliched chip on her shoulder and I was seriously afraid that Unity had that very great potential to be Robinson's third strike in a row.
I think it's pretty safe to say that from my obvious 5 star rating, Unity was, instead, one of Robinson's best books in years. Well ok, maybe it's not quite as great as Apocalypse Machine (another Kaiju book, BTW), or as crazy as SecondWorld (then again, that one was my very first Robinson novels and will always be one of my favorites), but dammit, Robinson somehow does what he always seems to do: take 5,000 crazy and competing ideas, churn them all up in the literary blender that is his brain, and write a story that is an exciting amalgamation of genres and is, at its essence, an absolute joy to read.
Unity, while borrowing all the aforementioned plot devices and ideas still manages to be completely original, once again, not really a surprise, considering who wrote the thing. Robinson takes everything and makes it his own, from psy-controlled robots to a 500 foot tall species of aliens, hellbent on devouring all life on Earth. This in and of itself was already done well, but throw that in with page after page of non-stop action, and the constant thought of what in the hell Robinson can do to top himself was flat out perfect. Give this kind of story to any other author (even ones more well-known and more successful) and it'd be a recipe for disaster. In the hands of Robinson, this book (and eventual trilogy, if rumors are to be believed) should go down as one of the best of all time.