Book Review: Stanley Duncan's Robot
Thank you for sticking with me even though I have gone on a bit of a hiatus. Today, I want to share with you my review of this book: Stanley Duncan's Robot by David Ring III. For most books, before I agree to do a review I try to read other reader's thoughts/reviews on their experience with a book in addition to the blurb that the author sends me when they request a review. For this book, I did not have that opportunity until I was already into the reading.
I have to admit the reviews already submitted for this book really fall short, in my opinion.
Stanley Duncan's Robot is a sci-fi book set in the near future dealing with humanity's proclivity to advance in technology with no thought for the consequences, but also failure to advance as a society in addressing social issues. Considering the state of our world today, the overall statement of this book is on point. That said, the author does not offer solutions. He simply points out the facts of the world as he sees it today and projects what these things would look like for humanity in the future.
The book follows Stanley Duncan, a highly intelligent code developer with a past that has forced him into hiding from the world. This man is highly suspicious of humanity, which keeps him set apart, but he also longs for connection. In that search for connection, he orders a high-end cyborg and then alters the original coding in an effort to bridge the gap between AI and humans. In doing so, he discovers the connection he longed for, but also finds himself fighting for a cause that puts him and his new cyborg in immense danger. As his cyborg begins to learn and grow in a sentient fashion, the stakes and the dangers become more and more pronounced.
I really found Stanley Duncan's Robot to be thought provoking as more and more parallels to modern society were laid bare within the storyline. Hot topics for our world will, of course, be hot topics in the future, but as this story lays out, will humanity overcome it's own push to become technologically advanced while it also completely fails to overcome it's most basic primal urges based on fear and hate? While the author does not give any suggestions as to how to address these concerns, the fact he addresses them at all deserves comment, because it does encourage the reader to face these questions and suggests the reader is in control of finding a solution.
The book does plod along in some areas. It is not what I would refer to as an action story, though there is action and suspense scattered throughout the novel. Still, I did not find the book to be boring, nor overly philosophical. The author did his best work in his development of his main character, Stanley Duncan. You truly begin to feel for the man and his struggles even though so much of his life is because of his own past and his own choices. In regards to grammar, plot holes, etc - I didn't notice anything that just jumped out at me. Interestingly, the book does end on a note that implies a continuation of the story in the future.
I highly recommend Stanley Duncan's Robot for older teens on up, especially those who like to be challenged while still getting immersed in a story. Five stars!
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