Saturday, July 16, 2016

#382 : Loyalty Net by Sharath Komarraju : Review

GENRE:  Fiction – Sci-Fi


FORMAT: Digital


HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from the writer in exchange for an honest review.

The book begins with a note from the writer as to what inspired him to write such a story. Undoubtedly his inspiration is Isaac Asimov. One can’t possibly write a book about Robots and not involve Asimov.

It is the year 2150, thanks advancement and monopoly in robot manufacturing, India has become a super power. Indian Institute of Robotics is the powerhouse behind this status of the country. In an unfortunate turn of events, a senior IIR scientist – Anil Srinivasan is murdered, poisoned by his own robot, but then a robot just cannot kill a human thanks to the loyalty network in place in its system. Our protagonist Dhaval Malik of CBI is tasked to solving this murder. Dhaval embarks on a wild goose chase filled which ends up shaking up the very foundation of IIR and robotics.

It wasn’t surprising to the use of Isaac Asimov’s laws for robotics incorporated in the name of Loyalty Net. For a reader who isn’t acquainted with Asimov’s laws, the very concept of Loyalty net – the program which is responsible for a robot not to harm a human under any circumstance – might seem a bit vague. I felt the writer could have credited Asimov for that.  The story starts off with a bang only to slack of mid-way. However, the writer was quick to correct that and ended the story with a rather dramatic climax. Arguments and introspection on the Traditionalist vs. modernist debate could have been toned down a bit. I do agree that the writer needed to elaborate on that topic in order to justify the motive for murder; nevertheless, this had an impact on the pacing. The part of the story about IIR seems to eerily resemble the Robotics organization projected in the Enthiran movie (Robot movie starring Rajinikant). The characterization was flawless. In spite of the story being set far in the future, the writer has kept the core characterization of humans and the general Indian societal set up intact. This simply ends up adding a dose of reality to a work of fiction. The writing and the story pacing seems to have been inspired by RK Narayan and Agatha Christie novels. Of course, there was enough uniqueness to the quality of writing which prevented it from looking like a mere copy of phrasing et al.

MY SAY: A bounty for Sci-Fi lovers




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