I had seen these books on Audible for months, but I passed them up because the series name was “Bobiverse” and it just sounded dumb. Man, was I wrong. THESE BOOKS ARE AWESOME.
I could just stop there, but that doesn’t give any specifics. In 2016, Robert Johannson, or Bob, is rich. He’s just sold a software company for a LOT of money, and decided to cryogenicly freeze his head, so he can come back in the future once they can. To move the story along, he’s immediately hit by a car and killed.
He wakes up 117 years later, in the year 2133. Only, he’s not been revived into a new body. Instead, he’s been put into a software program, so he is an AI that feels he is Bob Johannson. He learns that he’s in a theocracy, and he’s been revived so he can be a servant to FAITH, the country he’s in. He quickly learns all the skills he needs, and finds out he’s going to be a Von Neumann probe, sent to a nearby star system to discover potentially habitable planets.
Bob does well, gets his ship, and takes off. There’s much excitement about his departure, including setting up the initial big bad of the series, the Brazilian Empire. While he’s en route to his star system, Bob sets himself up a virtual reality, complete with coffee and his cat. Once that’s set up, he starts dealing with additional problems, like the Brazilian probe.
I’d go into the rest of the series, but I’d be here all day, and it would spoil a lot of things. In the end, Bob does what a Von Neumann probe is supposed to do: he does replicate and make more Bobs. They have adventures, replicate, encounter other intelligent life, fight the Brazilian Empire’s probe, and many other things. It’s a great trilogy of books.
I loved these. I wanted more books once I was done with the third, they were that good. The title character of Bob is a good one. He’s a bit of a loaner, a serious geek, and has a good sense of humor. He seems like the sort of guy I would have played computer games with, or gone out to watch major league esports with. He has some anxiety, which I can relate to. But seriously, Bob is a nice relatable character.
Bob’s replicants are awesome. They’re all different. Riker lacks a sense of humor, Homer has 1000% extra sense of humor. Bill is a mad scientist sort. Mario is anti social, Howard likes to undermine jerkasses. Despite being clones, they’re all different. It’s awesome!
The worlds are neat, including a dual orbiting planet they end up calling Vulcan and Romulus, because Bob. (That’s a reoccurring thing in the books) One planet is all water, more than 600km deep. Another place they go is a gas giant. One’s all rocky, and Bill, the mad scientist type, spends years trying to terraforming it.
I highly, highly recommend this series, the books are just awesome.
Royal Replicas – Michael Pierce
I love young adult books in the vein of The Selection, and this fit the part. Victoria has grown up in a foster family of sorts, feeling like she never fit in. She loves her youngest sister, is avoided by the middle one, and is beaten by her foster father. When she finds out she’s really the daughter of the queen, she hopes her life will change for the better.
Once at the palace, she learns she’s one of 7 clones, and only one will be allowed to live in the family. To be that one, she must win the heart of Prince Byron and the acceptance of the queen. That proves to be harder than she anticipated, especially when a boy from the town she was in claims to be in love with her.
Victoria is an interesting character. She actually suffers at the hands of a sadist before being able to escape. She gets beaten on a regular basis, and is treated more like a servant or unwanted member of the family. She doesn’t automatically speak her mind, preferring to stay quiet and unobtrusive. But, it’s a skill she learns as the book progresses.
One thing I didn’t like about the book though is there’s a big plot hole: there’s a serious lack of secrecy and privacy. The entire staff at the palace knows there are 7 clones. They know about the competition. Prince Byron knows. The guy from Victoria’s hometown manages to get a position in the castle without actually applying, and he finds out. In other words, the security behind this is shit. I am hoping a later in the series, we find out why.
Magic Strikes – Ilona Andrews
Book 3 of the Kate Daniels books and the series really started to come together. In this one, the characters have been pretty well defined, and you know how they’re going to react to most situations. It made the read much more enjoyable.
In this one there’s an event called the Midnight Games, kind of like a Hunger Games or Gladiator tournament. Singles, small teams, or large teams fight each other to the death for a prize, a giant topaz. At the same time, someone’s killing shifters, and doing so in a way they can’t shift into their animal forms. There’s an idea the two are linked, but no one’s 100% certain.
At this point, it’s pretty obvious that Curran and Kate are the alpha couple, and Kate’s related to Roland, the big bad no one has seen, but lurks behind in the curtain in every book. The events are moving that way, but not too fast. I like that more characters are getting fleshed out, and more of Kate’s backstory is coming out.
I have the 4th book in ebook format, but November is proving difficult to get to any books not in audiobook format.