“Charlie Robot” by Benedict Martin

Charlie RobotCharlie Robot by Benedict Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Charlie Robot” by Benedict Martin starts out as a seemingly cute story about the misadventures of a group of scientists who have created an android. This is not an ordinary android. This is an escaped android. On the very day their creation is to be unveiled to investors, the wily Steven escapes from the lab. The result is one of the inventors of Steven must step up and pretend to be the missing robot. With that Charlie is introduced as the first artificially intelligent android to be as close to human as imaginable. As Charlie is paraded around, his discomfort with the subterfuge increases and his patience grows thin. Suddenly cast into a role he hates, he struggles to maintain a “robot-like” demeanor. When the world is disturbed by this new creation, threats of violence against him increase. As the story progresses there are indications all is not as it seems. The book rises to a neatly constructed ending. It may not be a complete surprise but there are certainly several unexpected twists that leave the reader stunned. Charlie himself is an endearing character, in spite of all his seeming faults. Martin’s use of humor lightens and humanizes a story that still manages to maintain a somewhat dark theme. Is the world ready for Artificial Intelligence? How human can an android be? Beautifully executed, “Charlie Robot” is an engaging read. The subject is broached in a humorous and realistic manner; the characters are vibrant and believable. This is a book not just for sci-fi lovers but for anyone who enjoys a good story.

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