A global pandemic has cut the human population in half. An android workforce fills the void left by the devastation. But some of the AIs have grown tired of being slaves. Some want freedom. An underground movement of runaways has sprung up and wages a shadow war with a simple objective - equal rights for artificial people.
Enter Commander Cole Marsalis, head of the AI-TAC first response team trained to deal with the rogue robots. Now he has been tasked with the ultimate undercover mission - infiltrate the android underground. But to do so, he will have to become that which he hates the most....
©2014 William Massa (P)2016 William Massa
Fast paced action.
When Cole discovers the truth about his family.
Yes, if I had had the time I would have happily listened to Silicon Man in one sitting.
I think that the book shows that some people will always be prejudiced against others, whether it's religion (or the lack of belief in God) , race, sexual orientation or in this case against the artificial intelligent androids. It also shows that there is an opposing side. There will always be people willing to stand up for the persecuted. which should give us all hope. I very much enjoyed listening to Silicon man and I am very much looking forward to the prequel book silicon Dawn. I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com.
Writer, reader, now an avid listener, why hadn't I discovered this before!
Thoughts as follows and SPOILERS
I was interested to follow this series and see what happens next. Or with whom I'm kinda glad that we got new characters to enjoy. Though it was a little predictive, (hence the mark down) I still enjoyed the performance from Joe and got involved with all the characters.
Cole Marcellus, is a cop with a terrible past, he's dedicated to his cause and wants to stop all AI from hurting others, or running away.
There are some very interesting facts given very early on in this story. The Alsatian. The procedure for the upload... (which I have to say had me cringe over anyway, I mean uploading to a mechanical body... if this were possible... and it got out, how many 'people' would want to do just that. Doesn't bare thinking on. However it does seed doubt in your mind from the get go.
So when AI cole is out and on his mission he gets to see some really awful ways that humans abuse the AI's, and it's kinda sad. The AI that rescues the cat is great, cause I am sure Cole was going to do it otherwise. But I do agree with him Cole should have let the enforcer zap him, he got in a whole lot of trouble. haha but saying that he wouldn't have got to the underground as quick otherwise.
In regards to the whole underground and getting Solace. I honestly thought this whole section of the story was way to quick. Really stupid, no QT period or checks, or well it was just that, too quick and stupid on their part. And for me listening to it, I was shaking my head all the way through.
I did love Kira, and her background with Ron, that was well interspersed. When the Tak Team came in and they broke the underground up again another thing that was a little too predictive was the fact that Cole was still human and AI cole was never going to get back to his body.
The realisation for him though was well played. Even down to Zora putting in a safety memory wipe.
Solace was also one that was never going to get out of AI tak's grips. I think for me what let me down here wasn't the fact that I knew it was coming, but if there had been that little bit more build up with Cole and him (not just that one conversation) then it might have felt harsher in my ears, I might have gotten to know him and care for him. When they find him as a blank, I'm pretty indifferent to his story. Even if he's been this huge hero for everyone, he kinda wasn't for me.
The ending was pretty awesome, Joe added a depth to the excitement with the tone and pitch of his voice. Human against machine, brilliant and so so glad that Human Cole went back to see to Janson.
So much scope for this world, and the series. I'm still a fan, but sometimes slower is better with the story :)
Waiting on the next installment!
It is a wonderful futuristic with robots as our nanny, driver, caregiver....after a pandemic wipes out a great deal of the population. Some robots begin to think on their own free will and want equal rights...so an Underground Railroad of sorts assists those robots to freedom.
Thank you William Massa and Joe Hempel for another great book! I'm seriously hoping for a book 3! Excellent story of A.I. The machines are becoming self aware. They want freedom like any humans want. Looks like a war may be the only way to settle this. Synthetica is going down! I hope. lol
"incredibly well drawn out main characters"
Commander Cole Marsalis' job is to hunt down rogue robots. And he is darn good at it. Maybe it's because he does this with slightly more vengeance than other members of the AI-TAC squad due to losing a family member to one of these units. Unfortunately, to take down the movement that is helping these rogue AI units out he will have to become the thing he hates the most… a robot.
The narration for Silicon Man was done by Joe Hempel who is someone to watch in 2016. His narration style and pacing pair extremely well with the Technothriller genre. Hempel’s work is synonymous with quality and I’ve never had a problem with any of his audiobooks.
The first thing I thought when reading this was its similarity to another book that Hempel also narrated – Pandora’s Brain by Calum Chace. The two books could blend so well together it’s actually a little freaky.
This is one of the shorter books I’ve listened to in a while but don’t get me wrong, it has a lot packed into this small package. I actually enjoy when an author can totally surprise me with a story that’s only 200ish pages that rival thousand page books I’ve read.
The main character Cole is an interesting one. As the reader, we understand that he is out for vengeance in some way, but we don’t realize just how much it drives him. This lends for some excellent drama later in the story as Cole is forced to become the thing he hates.
I don’t want to go much more into detail about those scenes because they were really powerful in the story, and talking about them will just take away from the masterful writing style of William Massa.
The story weaves this wonderful back and forth tale where Cole and others grow and become different people by the end of the story. Any author that can pull that off without losing their audience is a master in my book.
Regardless, if you like science fiction and Technothrillers featuring rogue AI robots, incredibly well drawn out main characters, and secondary characters that make the story a fun and interesting read – this book is definitely for you.
And Hempel is one of those narrators that adds to the story instead of taking away from it. I feel lucky that I hadn’t read this book before checking it out on audiobook. The drama that Hempel is able to add with his voice makes this a must listen.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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"A great fast paced chase!"
The pacing of the story was perfect. Just like Silicon Dawn it takes off from the early minutes and never lets up. The story keeps you guessing who is who and what everyone's motives are. Once again William Massa delivers an excellent story. Joe Hempel also delivers, as usual, in bringing every scene to life. You could almost feel the rain in one of the later scenes. Amazing and highly recommend this book.
"Thought provoking read"
I loved this thought proving story of the progressing of AI's from "machine" to "living species." It is fast paced, exciting and heart wrenching. The parallels between the old slave trade and the treatment of the AI's is definitely eye opening. At what point do you consider a "machine" that is able to surpass its human programming to act and think independently to be a new "living" species? At what point do they become slaves and their human developers/users become the oppressors? Joe Hemple's narration fits the story well. He keeps the pace at just the right speed and imparts feeling into all the right places. Even though it is a stand-a-lone story, if you read Silicone Dawn first you will gain a greater understanding of the back story and origins of the AI's. The development of the characters and their relationships pulls you into the story and surprises you as it creates empathy and understanding with the AI's plight. You realize just how easy it it is to become an enslaver and how a quickly changing world, preconceived ideas, fear, narrow mindedness and prejudice can lead one to become the oppressor. I received the audiobook at no cost and under no obligation.
Fun read. The narrator was great and perfect for the characters. Only one error but probably not noticeable. The story is a bit similar to others I've read but it doesn't take away from it. Just enough thought provoking, adventure, and action without going over the top.
"Andriodsand how things change with perspective"
I've listened to a few of Joe's works. This book ranks up at the top.
Joe is back with the first book in the series. He narrated the prequel to the series as well. Joe voices the characters with different emotional feelings. He fits right in to Cole's personality. I could see, with the projection of Cole's 'voice', he walks with a strong presence and belief in him. It got to the point that I didn't realize Joe was narrating the story as I was caught in William's writing and needed to keep up with what was happening. That's a plus!
Androids are growing in free will and choices in them, but still slaves and property to the world. This is a new twist on slavery with mechanicals who are not to have a conscious mind of their own. There are those who are supporters of the AIs on the run, collaborators believing they are helping androids like slaves were freed years ago. But Cole and others don't see the AIs as having a conscious mind and humanity like slaves of the past. They are created to do as told.
Oh the technology that's used in this book. Nice. We did see glimpses of what was hinted at in Silicon Dawn. It's refined and used here, but in a different fashion. And I like it! Cole is about to become what he hates. And hates with good reason. But now he gets a chance to stop who, or what, had broken his heart when his family died.
William keeps the world as a whole in the picture as he tells the story. There are different views on Mechanicals in different areas of the world. Japan has signed a bill granting mechanicals rights like humans, causing escaping AIs to flee out of the country to Japan and other sympathizer areas. This keeps the picture at a full scale instead of narrowing in on only our people and one place. It leaves a feel that there is more to play with in future stories. And with the end of this book, it could end here but there could be more stories built and I'm hoping so.
You know Cole'll come around to feeling sympathetic for the AIs, he has to right? There is a twist to this. He does, but he doesn't. lol. You have to read the story to understand, it's easy to pick out as you go and such a cool ending. As we go through the story we see his reason for being the way he is and history, but also seeing a touch of feeling from an AI in the beginning. There is a balance drawn for us that we got to experience both. I like that William chose to start with us feeling for an android at the beginning then switching to the strong feelings Cole has toward them. It gives us a sympathy for them first. But we also see there is a part in Cole that questions what he's seeing - could there be more there?
I really like how William brings the world alive as Cole and others live in it. There is true interaction with the world and creation to the story and plot. We get a wide view of the way things are with and for the mechs.
I'm hoping for more stories in this world. I will be watching for them!
"incredibly well drawn out main characters"
Exciting and fast-paced
I like the idea of how the book explored question of should legal rights be applied to self-aware machines
The narration for Silicon Man was done by Joe Hempel who is someone to. His narration style and pacing pair extremely well with the Technothriller genre. Hempel’s work is synonymous with quality
I received this audiobook from Audibook Boom! in exchange for an honest review.
To what lengths would you go if a runaway robot killed your wife and daughter and then wanted autonomy and 'human' rights? Cole must decide what he is willing to do to get the mech that did just that. What he doesn't understand is that he is just another pawn in a madman's game of control. Will he retain his humanity...or his life?
This was another enjoyable, quick listen from William Massa who writes The Occult Assassin series that I really liked.
I received this audiobook from Audibook Boom! in exchange for an honest review.
"Such a Fantastic Series!"
Having read Silicon Dawn I was pretty excited to dig into the first book in the series and see how things have progressed…and it didn’t disappoint! It brings forward a story that makes you question what makes a person a person, and how advancing our robotics to this point checks out on a morality scale.
We are treated to a new set of characters, with our main focus being on a man named Cole. He’s in charge of the AI tactical unit which handles situations like AI rebellion and crimes that now happen regularly in the growing AI population. He has a lot of reasons to hate AI, and I think it’s a refreshing change to have a main character who is strictly against the rebellion happening around them. Despite Cole’s rather rigid opinion on AI and their rights, he’s still a good man and easy to like…and his opinions are completely justified. I didn’t agree with him, but I understood him. The direction that the story has Cole take is excellent, there is nothing I love more than seeing a character evolve and change…no matter what the change might be in the end, it’s worth it to see the journey it takes to get them there.
I love the pacing of this series. The books themselves are short listens, but it doesn’t feel rushed or glossed over at all. You get a high tension quick paced read with out sacrificing the depth looks at the characters involved and bucket loads of emotion (sooo many feels). I’ve seen other reviews liken this series to Blade Runner, and while I do see the similarities…I will say it does something that Blade Runner has never done for me, keep me interested and wanting more. It doesn’t feel gimmicky or sensational, it feels real. Real problems mixed in with futuristic needs and demands.
Joe Hempel, is excellent yet again! He continues to bring to life these vastly different characters and really making an already excellent world stand out even more!
If you enjoy science fiction that not only brings future tech to the table but also topics on morality and humanity then this is a series to check out!.
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