This is exciting robot-occupied Earth science fiction in the “running man” style and I recommend it highly. The opening sequence is crisp, effective misdirection and sets the tone (you won’t guess), then the reader slips into the world of the culled and half-beaten humans waiting for the tables to turn in their favour. There’s a daring escape, the desperate journey of the hunted, a la Barry England’s novel Figures in a Landscape, hope, dashed hope, new hope and then some cool and unexpected turning of events. I particularly like the pleasant demolition of self-assured academic liberalism, collaborators on Segways.
Never judge a book by its cover. The cover image is totally wrong for this story and had me believing it was a dippy romance, which it is absolutely not. This is a science fiction struggle which happens to have a couple experiencing the questionable delights of a planet being adapted to non-human needs and the image I had in my head of these two characters is a world away from the stock-image casual suburban tennis club dating scene that the cover image suggests. If anything , this cover puts off potential readers who would love this book, particularly males who don’t read romantic stories. Come back guys! You’ve misunderstood. There they go, more running men.
I can’t give you a long review of this book without leaking the story but it is a friendly and memorable piece of science fiction lit. which is paced about right, written in a professional and approachable way, should appeal to a wide age range and demographic, doesn’t offend anyone who doesn’t deeply deserve it and will let you rest easy at the end. It would work very well as a TV mini-series because it divides well into three stages and the female role is written as a credible human for a change, not a posing doll or a she-ninja, so there’s a tip for re-use in a secondary format, but until that happens I recommend that you buy this as a present to yourself, read it and pass it on to your friends with your own recommendation because it’s a good book that should not go silently into the night when more people should be talking about it.
Read. Recommended. Over to you.