Kirsten Reviews: Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot: To Obey by Mickey Zucker Reichert
I Robot: To Obey by Mickey Zucker Reichart
2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
2036: Robotic technology has evolved into the realm of self-aware, sentient mechanical entities. But even as humanity contends with the consequences of its most brilliant creation, there are those who have their own designs for the robots: enslavement…or annihilation.
Susan Calvin is about to enter her second year as a psych resident at the Manhattan Hasbro teaching hospital when a violent crime strikes her very close to home.
When she was young, Susan lost her mother in a terrible car wreck that also badly injured her father. She now believes the accident was an attempted murder by government powers who wanted her parents dead. Susan has always known that there was a faction of the U.S. government that wanted to hijack her father’s work for military use. Now, it seems that faction is back.
As she struggles to overcome her pain and confusion as well as deal with her studies, Susan finds herself hunted by violent anti-tech vigilantes who would revert mankind to the dark ages—and at the same time watched very closely by extremists who want high-tech genocide. Somehow she must find a way to stop them both.
Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot: to obey by Mickey Zucker Reichert is, as the title suggests, a sequel to Asimov’s classic work.
The plot is centered around Susan Calvin, who is about to begin her second year as a psych resident at Manhattan Hasbro when she learns that the government faction who may have killed her mother, have returned. Susan has long-suspected that the government has an interest in making use of her father’s research in order to use it for military applications, and it seems that they are back to take what they can, no matter the human cost.
Susan attempts to deal with anti-tech vigilantes, high-tech extremists, her studies, emotional upheaval, and has to figure out a way to balance it all, and protect herself.
As this book follows the events in I Robot, the characters of Susan and Kendall should be familiar to anyone who’s read the previous book, and that’s helpful as events quickly snowball, and getting an education is the least of Susan’s concerns. While Susan is able to excel in areas of medicine, she is out of her depth when it comes to the Winter Wine Facility. It should be noted that there are not a large number of robots, and the government and the Society for Humanity cast far larger shadows over the story.
As this book is part of a series, the consequences of having advanced robots and conflicting segments of society should play out as Susan matures, and is hopefully better equipped to handle them. In any case, there are a number of plot threads left hanging, and there are no easy answers that will resolve them without further stories.
(Received a copy from the publisher)