Friday, 1 May 2009

SCI-FI REVIEW: Twisted Metal - Tony Ballantyne


On a world of intelligent robots who seem to have forgotten their own distant past, it is a time of war as the soldiers of Artemis City set out to conquer everything within range on the continent of Shull, killing or converting every robot they capture to their philosophy, while viewing their own wire-based minds as nothing but metal to be used or recycled for the cause. Elsewhere, the more individualistic robots of Turing City believe they are something more than metal, but when the Artemisian robot Kavan sets out on a determined crusade to prove himself, even Turing City can't stand against him.Increasingly tied up with Kavan's destiny is Karel, a Turing robot with elements of Artemis' philosophy already woven into his mind well as Karel's wife Susan, and their recently created child. Following the inevitable violence and destruction, Artemisian ambition focuses elsewhere and a journey begins towards the frozen kingdoms of the north ...and towards the truth about the legendary "Book of Robots", a text which may finally explain the real history of this strange world ...In a completely alien but brilliantly realized landscape, here is a powerful story of superb action, barbaric cruelty and intense emotional impact.


You never know what you’re going to get when you open a book from Tony and the unpredictability is what makes him an interesting read. The book presented here follows the beliefs, times and exploits of a robot civilisation as it undergoes changes due to the warlike state that they’ve adapted. Its fascinating to see human traits placed upon what many would state is an emotionally sterile environment with no understanding of anything other than the core programming yet the quirks along with the traits of the characters involved, really do come across in the tale and allow you the chance to identify and sympathise with the myriad of characters within. If you’re looking for a new author to take the mantle in the genre from the old guard you try Tony’s work.

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