Incredible and thought provoking.
Robota is a very refreshing take on some common sci-fi themes. At first, I thought I had already read this story - after all how many different variations can you do on a killer robot theme? But I was pleasantly surprised. This is a love story, albeit a strange love story, and a tale of revenge.
Chiang's beautiful paintings perfectly compliment the text. These paintings remind me of Hiyao Miyazaki's work and really elevates the book far beyond a mere graphic novel.
The story, crafted by Chiang and written by Card, flows off the pages. Each page left me wanting more. The story starts out rather conventionally with a hero without memory trying to recover his past, but from there the plot takes some interesting turns. The introduction of bizarre 'smart' dinosaurs about mid-way into the book was especially tantalizing. And the really neat part about Robota is that the robots are not dumb carbon copied machines but robots with distinct personalities. How cool. In fact, most of the characters are atypical and well portrayed. The tortured past of the hunter warrior named Juomes, is very sad and even the villain Kaantur is sympathetic - that's a testament to Card's writing skills that he can redeem a vile character like Kaantur.
To the casual reader these characters may at first seem like cookie cutter types but the story uncovers hidden motives and dark secrets that make them interesting and real. Be forewarned though that there is a lot of information in this book so a second read may be necessary (and well worth it). The only fault, if it can even be considered one, is that this book should have been twice as long!
This is an exceptional book - pure eye candy for the mind and thought provoking for readers who want more depth in what they read. Check it out!
Robota is an awesome sci-fi adventure in the world of, you guessed it, Robota. This book is most definitely not a Star Wars, Enders Game, Dune, Star Trek, Tolkien rip off. The book just felt original.
Robota is about an amnesiac, Caps, and his quest to find Font Prime, the ruler of the merciless robots who are searching out the remnants of biological life. However, humans are not the only biological species on Robota. Hunter Beasts (large, evolved, Monky/human hybrid creatures), monkeys, Jodphors (dinosaur creatures), and other fantastic creatures are all sentient. Even some of the robots are sentient. I thought this was very cool. There is a war going on between the biological and mechanical species of the planet. It makes for a really good story with plenty of twists.
My only problem with the book is the lack of depth at times. Robota often created more questions than answers. Why didn�t they explain cubing more fully? What is the jewel? Tell me more about Beryl�s sister, Juomes�s family, the last human city, etc. However, I feel that this is one of the writer's intents. My imagination ran wild. I just wish Chiang and Card would explain a few more things. Hopefully, there will be a sequel because Robota ended too soon.
The book instantly grabs you with the awesome cover art. As you begin to flip the thick pages, you realize that you are holding an incredibly original story. Furthermore, you are sure to be amazed by the great pictures drawn by Chiang. The material quality of the book itself makes the purchase that much easier. This may sounds stupid to some, but I love the thick pages and large hardback binding. It made the book feel different and special.
I highly recommend it for fans of science fiction, art, and fantasy. Orson Scott Card is one of the only science fiction writers whose work I read. Frank Herbert is the other. I consider both to be masterful writers. Trust me, Robota is incredible.
This book is totally incredible and unique! I've never read a book like this before. Chiang's artwork is unbelievable and Card's prose is a joy to read. It's quick-paced, never boring and filled with fresh twists and turns that are not contrived.
I'm not generally a fan of this genre, but when a friend showed me the book I was totally won over! The artwork and story really captivated me and, as Robert Zemekis said on the back-cover quote: "...Robota transported me to places I could never go in real life." I especially loved the interesting creatures and personalitites. They aren't your usual rubber-stamped variety, but wonderfully rich. Juomes the hunter beast and Beryl were especially intriguing. This book left me wanting more!
I'm glad to hear that Chiang and Card are developing the story in other media. If those projects turn out as great as this, I'll be the first in line! I strongly recommend this book!
This is some of the best sci-fi material I've read in a long time and definitely NOT your fun of the mill recycled, rehashed story about robots. Card and Chiang's amazing tale of a world filled with robots, each with their own personalities and hang-ups makes this stand out from your typical robot affair. This is NOT your 'Terminator' variety of killing machines. These robots are insecure, vain, and have some serious hang-ups. At first it didn't make sense why robots would need or want clothing but the surprise revelations at the end made this very clear. It's pretty deep stuff and some of the material may take a second reading before it makes complete sense but trust me when you get 'it', it's wonderfully fresh. Simply amazing. Oh, and did I say that the artwork is worth the price of admission alone? Buy this book and you are in for a great ride.
E. A Solinas
"Robota" is a lot like the robots in the story -- cold, lifeless, and lacking in personality. Doug Chiang's detailed artwork can't be faulted, and stops the book from being a total loss, but Orson Scott Card's accompanying novella is just plain bad.
It tells the tale of how robots conquered our world, destroying civilization and turning mankind into slaves in a vast jungle. On the world called Robota, a robot called Kaantur-Set rules through a living corpse called Font Prime. But one day a mysterious man with no memory arrives with a sentient monkey, encountering the "cubed" beasts and outlaw humans. And a revolution is formed against the robots...
Card should leave robot fiction in the realm of Asimov. Some authors can make robots seem real, through tiny nuances; Card doesn't have the subtlety to do that, and so his robots -- with the exception of the weird Elyseo -- are flat and completely unsatisfactory as a threat.
To make things worse, this seems like half a story rather than a complete one. All the REALLY interesting stuff, such as the jewel, "cubing" (turning animals into sentient creatures), the alien Olm, Font Prime's preservation, the destruction of our civilization and retaking of Robota, are mentioned but never dealt with. Which is a shame, because the actual novel is rushed and rather boring. The climactic battle sputters out before it really starts.
Caps is absolutely insufferable. He's merely dull when he has amnesia, but when he turns into a robot-human prophet he's impossible to like. Beryl is a warrior Barbie. Kaantur-Set is a cut-out villain, whose constant screeching makes him/her hard to take seriously. Only Elyseo (weird robot) and Rend (weird monkey) have any worthwhile personality.
The saving grace is Chiang's artwork. He's worked for years with Lucasfilms, and that shows. It's careful, detailed, nuanced and sometimes looks like a photograph taken in an action scene. Some of the pictures are beautiful, some are outright horrific. (Star Wars buffs may want to check out certain fight photographs, which resemble concept artwork for the movies)
Without Chiang's artwork, this book would have been utterly worthless. The novella is dull and pointless, but the pictures are pretty and vivid, really outstanding as illustrations. Taken together, the book is merely mediocre.