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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Review: I AM, Michael Drakich

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Blurb from Author: "Genius, wealthy and life regenerated, Adam Spenceworth is living the dream aboard his custom spaceship run by Mum, his first designed AI, protected by Gort, his first robot, and occupied by Eve, his sexbot. With each regeneration he returns to start over as a twenty-five year old man ready to enjoy the pleasures of his success. What could go wrong? Except, maybe, planetary wars, territorial space battles, alien invasions, and the disturbing fact that each regeneration is taking exponentially longer than the one before bringing him into one galactic crisis after another."

This book certainly does what it says on the tin - space battles and galactic politics galore - with a hefty dose of physics and engineering thrown in, kept just realistic enough to make the reader think that this technology could be mere decades rather than centuries away.

Due to the protagonist's regeneration, the novel itself almost reads like a series of short stories,. Adam Spenceworth wakes up after each regeneration further and further into the future and has to deal with the latest problem that seems standalone, but by the end of the book, strands that were introduced early on are woven back altogether. 

As time passes, Earth itself becomes virtually unrecognisable as humans have gradually left and AI has taken over dominion of the planet. The religion that has been introduced to the Robots - the followers are called 'Adamites', after the protagonist, is kind of comical at first but it later seems deliberate. Adam has to face enemies he once called friends, and his character - in my opinion, pretty unlikeable for most of the book due to his too-often touted 'genius' and ego - is more rounded as he actually starts to care about what happens rather than exploiting the situation.

A pretty enjoyable science fiction on the whole. The depth in Adam's character lacking in the beginning is made up somewhat by the end, and the host of supporting characters - Mum and Gort are my particular favourites - balance the story out nicely.

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