Book Review: "The Automatic Detective" by A. Lee Martinez

The Automatic DetectiveThe Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had no idea what to expect when I picked up "The Automatic Detective", by A. Lee Martinez. I read a review of "Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain" that sounded quite interesting, but our local public library only had "The Automatic Detective" and "The Nameless Witch". I check both books out, and found myself pleasantly surprised.

"The Automatic Detective" follows the story of an robot named Mack Megaton in Empire City, a futuristic place where weird and unusual science experiments bring hope and radiation to mankind. Mack is just trying to get by as a cab driver when his next-door neighbors get kidnapped. In a sudden move of compassion, Mack decides that he needs to find and protect these people.

I love this novel!! Martinez pulls elements from the standard pot-boiler detective novel, interject some science fiction, and raps the entire thing in mutated tape. All of the characters come alive, even if they seem a bit two-dimensional, because really, people you meet only once or twice are two-dimensional to a certain extent. Mack grows as a character in an uncharacteristic way; after all, he is a robot built to destroy the world. The villains are a necessary evil, but they help Mack out a time or three. The government conspires; the conspirators govern; and everyone wonders what to do with Mack.

And who doesn't like a talking gorilla?

I hope that Mr. Martinez writes more novels in this universe. Lots more.

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