Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Android's Dream, by John Scalzi

Okay, second book read of the year, second review going up! ... (We're just not going to talk about the fact I'm three books behind since I've already started book five of the year with only one review up... And I told myself this year was going to be different.)

So, The Android's Dream, by John Scalzi, a book and author I knew absolutely nothing about when I picked it up. In fact, the reason I grabbed this book was because it was on a tremendous sale on Audible and was narrated by Will Wheaton. I think at the time I had grabbed this, I had never heard Will Wheaton narrate a book before and wanted to see how he did. That was where my interest lied instead of the book itself, but hey, I'm always up for a good sci-fi read.

Not to mention with the recent releases of the movies like Her and Ex Machina, I was totally feeling the android/robot vibe.

So when the very first line of the book starts out like this...

Dirk Moeller didn't know if he could fart his way into a major diplomatic incident, but he was ready to find out.
I simply had no idea what I was getting myself into.

For starters, this book is NOT about androids or any philosophical argument about their dreams, either...  although there is a pretty cool AI in the book, it doesn't focus on that.

This book is about sheep.


Yeah, you heard me. Sheep. Blue ones to be exact, but that's not really important right now.

I mean, when you look at the cover, it makes sense, but I was thinking more of the 'dream' part of the title which you can only get to by going to sleep, which is achieved by counting sheep. I did not read the synopsis. Silly me.

However, do not think I was in anyway disappointed. This book was actually a very fun read. The first chapter pretty much sets the tone, so if you test that out and aren't picking up what Scalzi is laying down, then you haven't lost much time. It is very creative, and no, the entire book isn't one big fart joke. That first sentence might be a bit misleading.

Now, aside from the storyline and the brilliant tie up at the end, I enjoyed the sci-fi look at things from a 2007 perspective, (the year this book was published.) It's funny, because that's right about the time smart phones broke out, and it's amazing how on the money Scalzi got that one with his 'communicators', but some other things were pretty off the mark and funny to read about.

There were some issues. I'm not a big fan of info dumps, and Scalzi actually uses that intentionally as one of his lead in techniques. It's done with skill, but I felt it was a little jarring once we jumped back into present time. That's just the way it is with all info dumps, though. Like I said. Not a fan.

Also, I really enjoyed Will Wheaton's narration for the most part. His excitement for the story really showed in his performance and it was contagious. Sometimes there was an issue being able to tell one human male apart from another human male, and one alien male apart from another alien male of the same breed, which made it confusing at times wondering who was actually talking as the voices didn't vary much, but that was the only flaw I could nitpick on. (hello run-on sentence, but who's nitpicking now? Oh... right...)

I'd give both narration and story a solid four stars and highly recommend this book. I said it before and I'll say it again. The book was a super fun read.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm already behind on my reviews, but all the books I've read this year so far have been fantastic. Up next for review is Bands of Mourning, by Brandon Sanderson.

P.S. My manuscript is killing me y'all. I'll update more on that with the next post.

Until then, happy reading!!