Sunday, November 24, 2013

Isaac Asimov's I Robot: To Obey (review)


Isaac Asimov’s I Robot:  To Obey by Dr. Mickey Zucker Reichert is the second in the series of science fiction books that have their basis in the Three Laws of Robotics.  This story continues after the horrific losses experienced by Dr. Susan Calvin, who is now a second year Psychiatry Resident embarking on a series of rotations, beginning at a facility that cares for dementia patients.  Serving with her is fellow resident Kendall Stevens, who has supported her through the radical changes in her life and continues to support her as a series of increasingly dangerous situations propel both of them into examining the sanctity of the Three Laws and the danger inherent in their failure.  Nate, the extremely advanced robot with a positronic brain as well as Susan’s father, continue to be pivotal influences on Susan’s decisions and actions as she is forced to make choices that may end up being life-or-death for far more than just her immediate patients.

This entertaining and thought-provoking tale continues to explore the parameters of an iconic set of rules established by one of the most influential authors in the science fiction genre.  The interesting revelation of certain facts were relatively predictable and I have been waiting for confirmation since the last book but there is definitely a lot of emotionalism that leads up to it.  The medical puzzles that we are exposed to are fascinating examples of the importance of both a well-grounded education and a willingness to ‘think outside of the box’ but I must confess to wondering about the mental status of Susan’s supervising physician, who is not given much depth and seems a very two-dimensional character.  Somehow, I didn’t really feel that the change in Susan’s relationship with her fellow resident was quite in character with their personalities and the shift and its consequent repercussions seemed a bit forced and awkward to me.  I did like getting to know some of the secondary characters better and I still enjoy the overall story but this one didn’t quite have the same enthralling sequence of events for me as the first story did.  That being said, there are quite a few very emotional scenes that definitely required that I have tissues available and I am still fascinated by the premise of the series and quite curious to see what other adventures are in store for the brilliant doctor and her colleagues.  I look forward to reading more stories in this imaginative series.

© Night Owl Reviews

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Isaac Asimov's I Robot: To Obey (Amazon link)

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