Source: Author/Audavoxx – I received this in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Series: Silicon World #0.5
Narrator: Joe Hempel
Edition: Audiobook, 3 Hours 52 Minutes
Genre: Science Fiction
Purchase: Amazon / Audible / Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4/5 Stars
The world is still reeling from the devastation of the Omega Virus and struggling to rebuild. A growing android workforce has given rise to the Human Defense League and anti-AI sentiment is at an all-time high. Adam, the first of the new X-3000 models, arrives into this hostile world. Field-tested on the Luna colonies, now assigned to Earth, Adam is paired with homicide detective Jane Malveaux, who has little patience for synthetics.
Silicon Dawn is the prequel to Silicon Man, book one in the series, and it follows Adam, an AI who is visiting Earth for the first time. He ends up as the partner for a homicide detective who is working on a case of anti-AI murders.
Silicon Dawn is a delightful mix of Blade Runner-esque storytelling and murder mystery elements that combine to make one addicting story! It’s fast paced, fantastically written, and poses a ton of questions about what it means to be alive and to have humanity. All AI stories generally pose those questions at some point, but Silicone Dawn stands out among the AI stories I’ve read and seen simply because it offers us a fresh perspective; that of an AI. We get to spend time in Adam’s head as he navigates new social situations and a world where AI’s are not entirely welcome. It’s really something to be able to experience those moments of learning and adapting that we normally see from an outside point of view; not only does it give depth to the story itself, but it also help build connections between the reader and the AI involved. I love a good mystery, especially when it keeps me guessing and catches me off guard, and that is exactly what Silicon Dawn did. I also love that it’s not some simple who-dun-it where the mystery is all tied up neatly and the characters are essentially back at a clean slate, but instead a mystery that leaves a lot hanging in the balance despite being solved because things like this have lasting impressions. Initially I was a little afraid of the length. Nearly 4 hours just doesn’t seem like enough time for a full story to occur and I’ve experienced a quite a few pointless prequels, but all of that was unfounded. Not only did we get a full and complete story, but it provided some great insight into the characters that will appear in the main books and also laid some pretty detailed groundwork in the world building department.
Joe Hempel, our narrator, did a wonderful job! He has excellent pacing, which is a must when you have someone who likes to switch up the reading speeds. If the pacing is off then you end up with chipmunks on the fast end or a huge bout of impatience at the normal speed, and Joe has no such issues. He really adds a little extra kick to the already solid writing with his attention to the voices, emotions, and inflections.
A fantastic story with an equally fantastic narrator means that I am super excited to be able to add the rest of this series to my TBR pile!