- File Size: 689 KB
- Print Length: 299 pages
- Publisher: C. S. Boyack (February 17, 2014)
- Publication Date: February 17, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00IIWQ10A
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,644,378 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Wild Concept Kindle Edition
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This is nothing against mainstream authors who have managed to land contracts with big publishing houses. God bless them for their good fortune. That said, it's pretty clear that most of them are producing novels that are heavily influenced by market research commissioned by their publishers. Writing books according to the formulas dictated by that market research reduces the risk of publishing a novel that will not be at least moderately successful in the marketplace.
The result is a lot of books that are written by authors who follow the rules laid down by the industry.
And it shows.
The heroes and heroines - what few there are - fit certain comfortable stereotypes as do the villains. The plots tend to be predictable. That's not to say that they are "bad books," only to point out that they aren't terribly original.
That just isn't the case with Indies who are writing their stories their way. As a result, their books tend to be fresher in their approach to plot, narrative and characters. The plots, in fact, tend to be more complex, the motivations of the characters don't always fall predictably into place, and the result is an entirely different reading experience.
"Wild Concept" by C.S. Boyack is anything but formulaic.
To start with, his female protagonist Lisa Burton is beautiful, smart, loyal, strong in both mind and body, and tenacious.
She's also not human.
A highly advanced prototype robot, Lisa has been designed to look, act, and even feel emotions just like a human. As part of her field testing, she is assigned to a local police force as a detective, partnered with a veteran cop nearing retirement who is one of only two people in the Hudson P.D. that know she is a robot. Together they investigate the murders of some upscale escorts. It's a challenging case because the killer leaves virtually no clues behind as to his/her identity and uses an exotic poison to dispatch the victims.
Lisa is, at the beginning of her stint as a police detective, a cross between Sgt. Joe Friday of "Dragnet" fame and Honey West, the private eye played so sensually by Anne Francis.
(Those of you too young to remember either character can Google them...)
Along the way, however, she begins to evolve into her own unique persona and that creates an interesting problem not only for her but also for the corporation that made her. I'm not going to spoil the fun by revealing what that problem is because that would be unfair to those who haven't read the book yet and to Boyack. Suffice it to say that this "problem" becomes the backbone of the novel, giving it shape and substance.
The narrative is straightforward, smoothly written, and contains some scenes that are filled with pathos, which are - in my opinion - some of the most effective in the novel.
In his narrative, Boyack doesn't spend a lot of time on description, giving the reader a sense of the places that Lisa and other characters inhabit without counting every nail in the floorboards. This is a plus, in my opinion, because it gives the reader an opportunity to use his or her own imagination to fill in those details. In essence, therefore, it allows us to interact with both the story and the characters and that makes the reading experience more enjoyable. Likewise, his secondary characters are finely drawn: They are not just cardboard cutouts whose sole purpose is to fill in some dialogue for Lisa, but are nicely fleshed out.
The verdict: An excellent story, well told, and a novel I highly recommend.
Lisa is an excellent sleuth, but she is also one of the most colorful and endearing characters you will find in a fiction novel. In her effort to be a capable companion, as well as a top-notch robot, Lisa develops the sort of deep and meaningful friendships meant to last a lifetime, and Bunny makes me want to get a cute little rabbit of my very own.
Boyack has a character that has no backstory. There is no history to Lisa Burton, but Boyack takes this thing and breathes a fascinating life into it. Lisa has style, many of them actually, and the fashions she picks for herself echo her adaptive abilities. The supporting characters are as equally well-developed and seem as real as people you would know in real-life, each with their unique personalities and behaviors.
Either Boyack is brilliant or he has done his research…perhaps both, he has Lisa Burton engaged in some complex situations she works diligently to resolve. The novel has a few grammatical errors and a couple of typos, but nothing that impedes the read. The writing is reasonably tight with respect to the story line, but lack of scene breaks make it read more like a stream of consciousness novel style. This was a fun read and exciting adventure. It also offers some room for deep reflection on prejudice and what it means to be different. If you are looking for an entertaining read that will make you think about mankind’s journey beyond the natural, make you smile and make you cry, this is a neat little story to pick up.
Lisa Burton is the prototype of a sophisticated robot who appears human in every way. Her creators place her with the local police department as a detective in order to see how she responds to the various situations she’s placed in. They fully intend to dissemble her in order to retrieve data from her parts after a period of time. The problem with that is the more Lisa interacts with humans, the more human she becomes.
Lisa is a wonderful character—intelligent, highly capable, but also with a childlike innocence and curiosity. She’s the kind of friend everyone would love to have—and she makes friends with a number of equally compelling and colorful characters. I especially loved the way she interacted with Bunny, the pet rabbit she rescues.
In addition to slick sci-fi and adrenaline-infused adventure, there’s also a crime to be solved. Throughout the whole novel I kept worrying how the author was going to wrap the ending in a satisfying manner. I never saw his solution coming, but loved it. A highly enjoyable read!