Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Review: Aye, Robot, by Robert Kroese

The sequel to the insanity that was Starship Grifters (click here for my review) brings us the continuing adventures of Rex Nihilo.

And boy, is the crazy still with us in Aye, Robot.
After interstellar con man Rex Nihilo hijacks a cargo freighter on a whim, he decides that he and his long-suffering robot sidekick Sasha have found their calling as space pirates. But when the ship's cargo turns out to be a cryogenically frozen religious fanatic who holds the secret to a vast galactic conspiracy, Rex and Sasha find themselves on the run from real pirates--as well as agents of the oppressive Malarchy, crazy space cultists and the Ursa Minor mafia. If Rex is going to get out of this jam alive, he might just have to save the galaxy... again.
Believe it or not, this is the more straightforward plot of the two novels. While Starship Grifters was covered a a surface layer of choas, with everything as a jumble until the magician showed us the con.

Now, the story is more of a straight line.

.... Except we open perhaps a week into the events of the novel, spend half of the book with 76-hours earlier (estimated). Our heroes have lost their memory, trip over a pirate ship, cargo, and a weapon to control the universe.

Why, yes, Aye, Robot is just as insane as Starship Grifters, why do you ask?

In Starship Grifters, memory and the twist at the end were constants throughout the novel. Now, we're going to play more games with each, following up on both of them far more.  I'm not going to say I was cheated out of anything, but after Starship Grifters, I was not going to trust Aye, Robot as far as I could throw it. There wasn't a massive twist at the end like I expected, but I didn't miss it. I was happy with a relatively straightforward line.

It was interesting to see that Rex might have a bit of character development in this one. Instead of the insane, random firing of neurons that ended up in a successful conclusion of the novel, Rex has reasons for doing what he does. Most of his reasons even make sense.

Rex's faithful robot companion, Sasha, is also getting more of a character. It's fascinating.

And we also have the return of the bounty hunter Pepper Melange ... yes, really ... who I always saw as Scarlet Johansson. She all but stole the last one, but was gracious enough to not seal this novel from Rex and Sasha.

Four and a half out of five star stars for Aye, Robot.


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