I don't know what the humans are so cranky about. Their enclosures are large, they ingest over 1,000 calories per day, and they're allowed to mate. Plus, they have me. An Autonomous Servile Unit, housed in a mobile/bipedal chassis. I do my job well: keep the humans healthy and happy. "Hey you." Heyoo. That's my name, I suppose. It's easier for the humans to remember than 413s98-itr8. I guess I've gotten used to it.
Rob Dircks, best-selling author of Where the Hell is Tesla?, has a "unit" with a problem: how to deliver his package, out in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to guide him. Oh, and with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. It's a science fiction tale of technology gone haywire, unlikely heroes, and the nature of humanity. (Woah. That last part sounds deep. Don't worry, it's not.)
©2016 Rob Dircks (P)2016 Rob Dircks
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
Despite the fact that this is a post-apocalyptic story in which the few remaining humans are kept in captivity, this is a feel-good Science Fiction novel.
The lightness in tone comes mainly from the innocence and empathy of the main character, Heyou, a Servile Unit (an A.I. in a humanish body) whose purpose is the care and feeding of humans in their compound.
Heyou, the Wrong Unit of the title, is picked up by mistake and thrust into an epic quest to save humanity.
This involves a very long walk with a very small child. As Heyou trudges across the planet his empathy for humans and his own sense of identity grows with each challenge that he overcomes. Eventually, he has to face the biggest challenge of all, freeing humanity by bringing down Core, the A.I. who made him.
Rob Dircks is both author and narrator of this novel and he does both jobs with a deft touch and a nuanced understanding of dialogue and interior monologues.
This book is packed with clever ideas and finds new twists on the A.I. – menace-to-humanity trope but its strength comes from the gradual growth of Heyou into a fully rounded person.
Pick this one up if you want a light, fast, upbeat read.
This book was brilliant. I love this author, both as a writer and a narrator. He narrates this book so brilliantly. A minor complaint about the narration is that it is somewhat difficult to tell in Arches's chapters that its not being told from Heyoo's perspective because its the same narrator using the same voice. This is only minor as it is easy to understand once the chapter begins.
The story is awesome, if at some points slightly unnecessary, though it does lack some characterisation. In the last quarter of the book, many characters are introduced. I didn't feel that enough time was given to these people in order for me to establish a like or dislike of them. If something happened to them, I just couldn't remember who they were and shrugged it off.
Overall, it was a very good book, with some minor issues.
Was dubious when I downloaded but enjoyed every single minute of this book. A really richly conceived world. Really well performed. Just download it.
"The "Right" Wrong Unit!"
Wow! What a hilarious, heart-warming, and though provoking story! Set in the future, where technology and programs rule humanity, the "wrong" unit was selected to deliver humanities last hope to gain their freedom. This fast paced story follows the journey of the "wrong" unit, and it's human companion, who it's raised since an infant, to an unknown destination. Their journey was filled with many laughs, and heart-warming moments watching the unit known as Heyoo learn to care for the human he named Wah.
I received this audiobook in exchange for an honest review, and have to say Rob's a talented, and versatile author/narrator whose even got a great singing voice! He did an amazing job in both creating and narrating this story. I'm definitely recommending this one to my friends, and will be on the lookout for future books written or even narrated by Rob. Kudos, on a well written and narrated story! The Wrong Unit was very entertaining, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
"Futuristic journey without a single misstep"
It’s the mark of a master storyteller to be able to take an old story and make it new again, and that’s exactly what Rob Dircks has done in “The Wrong Unit.” Countless scifi writers have undertaken the story of “when AIs go bad” (think Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey for just one example). Here, Dircks takes on that trope, adds a father-son bonding sub-plot and a hero journey (or two) on the side, and makes it all feel new again.
One way the book distinguishes itself is by telling the story from the point of view of the “evil” AI. The viewpoint character is a robotic unit named Heyoo (derived from the way it is addressed by its human charges as “Hey You”), one of thousands of robots that serve and protect humanity under the direction of a misguided AI. Like any really good villain, the robots can rationalize their behavior and truly believe what they are doing is for humanity’s benefit. As a reader, watching everything through Heyoo’s point-of-view, I found myself laughing at his misapprehensions while rooting for him to figure out the error of his ways.
Laughter is another way this book differentiates itself. As with his first book, “Where the Hell is Tesla?” (which I also highly recommend), humor is a big reason why Dircks’ writing stands head and shoulders above the rest of the scifi field. From tiny touches, like having Heyoo journal his life via “introspection recordings” to plays on programming nightmares like circular references, scarcely a page goes by without a snicker, if not a laugh-out-loud moment.
Good as all that is, what really makes this a 5-star novel is the way the reader grows to love the characters. “Heart-warming” sounds so cliché, but it is 100% applicable. Heyoo is more human, more caring and more lovable than the protagonists of many a scifi thriller. Yes, I even got verklempt a couple of times.
With the assured hand of a master, Dircks has constructed a perfect little novel. I could easily see this made into a movie, it was that good. And to get the full experience, I highly recommend you listen to the audio version of the book. It is read by the author himself, and he does a fantastic job, including singing, making this my favorite scifi audio book of 2016.
"The Wrong Unit, is a thrilling, heartfelt,and fun!"
I just loved this book! Thank you so much Rob for letting me review this audio book. I haven't enjoyed an audio book this much in a long time. I fell in love with Heyoo, he is awesome and i want him to be my very best friend. This book is part Sci Fi, part dystopian, part humor, part thriller, and just a heartwarming read.
Just a quick summary, this book is set in the future where computers, CORE, have taken over society and have humans bound to a sanctuary. Obviously the humans aren't going to go down without a fight, so they pick a Servile Unit to deliver a "package" to save humanity. However, things quickly go wrong when they pick the wrong unit, or did they????
Just a great book, Rob Dircks, does an amazing job narrating this book, I love the added singing!!!! Seriously a 5 star performance, and now I must read your other book.
"Rob Dircks knocks another outta the ball park"
Its far far into the future and a belovant computer had control over the entire earth, especially easy after reducing the entire human population to fit in New Jersey, of all places. Caring for the human population are mechanized servants all connected the supposedly belovant 'Core' a super- supercomputer designed to protect and care for humans. Of course, because of overpopulation and over industrialization, the only way to say humanity is to eliminate most of it, so billions of humans are eradicated, except for those protected (or is it imprisoned) in New Jersey. An unauthorized infant is born and handed over to a servant droid and sent on mission that they do not understand or have knowledge. Will this infant survive? Will he make the rebellion possible and free the humans from the over controlling Core system? It's a fun journey as HeyU takes care of Wa without ever knowing their purpose or destination. The Wrong Unit is humorous and heartwarming. I found it fun. Rob Dircks may just convince me to consider other author/narrators. He is not only innovative in his storytelling, but also has a great sense of humor that easily translates into his books. Well done, sir; well done.
"Totally Enjoyed This Sci-fi adventure"
Great story, fun to listen to and the performance was stellar. I like thrillers but I need breaks and look for books with humor so this one is not for super thrill seekers, but for those who enjoy a good adventure with fun along the way.
"Good story...can curse like sailor at times"
The story is great although some language issues tend to distract. It was a very humorous book.
"A distiopia without misanthropy"
Viewed objectively, the world in this novel is pretty horrific. Fortunately, the author furnishes a cheerful lack of objectivity, making this a fun little read.
My only (tiny) complaint is the echo-y robot voice effect he uses to read the date stamps at the beginning of each chapter. Spoken word performances should be just that. The rest of the performance is pretty solid.
"Funny and sweet. Loved it. Will listen to anything Dirks comes up with!"
Loved this wonderful book. Lighthearted with lots of heart. I would recommend it to anyone, young or not so young. My whole family are Rob Dirks fans.
My teenager listened to his first book, Where the Hell is Tesla in one day. It is hilarious, loved by all I've recommended it to. General cussing makes it for a slightly older audience than The Wrong Unit, though that didn't stop me from introducing my 14 year old to it. But then I'm the kind of mom who acknowledged early on that my kids knew All The Bad Words by 6th grade. 😜
"Comedic romp in a dystopic future"
Rob Dircks' The Wrong Unit is an engaging and humorous tale of a future where artificial intelligence has assumed responsibility for oversight of mankind. Humans live in a technology free zone except for their machine overlords in a sort of pastoral pseudo-utopia, but there is dissension in the ranks. An untainted human infant in placed in the care of a robot Servile unit to find and awaken the "iceman" to lead a rebellion against the machines. In a ironic twist of fate the "wrong" servile unit is selected and a long, strange journey unfolds.
The sci-fi elements are varied consisting of artificial intelligence controlling a benign dictatorship that is mostly parental in nature with humans as children that never grow up. There are cryopreservation and teleportation devices. Aided by the servile unit, the infant grows into a Neo like character in a "matrix-lite" environment, although he comes into the real world bathed in his own feces, rather than from swallowing a pill. Along the way, while the action is non-stop, so is the humorous banter on all sides and funny situations, with a generous helping of belly laughs thrown in for good measure.
The narration is quite well done, especially given the need for timing and inflection to convey the proper delivery for the comedic elements to shine through.
"A Great Original Listen"
Every now and then a book comes along that completely surprises you with its original plot and riveting narrative. If you have not already guessed it The Wrong Unit was one of these reads.
Rob Dirks has written a book that combines the right amount of suspense, humor and good ole fashion entertainment. We follow the adventures of Hey You and Waah as they struggle to find a way home to free the Human race from the psychopath main frame Core. Along the way the author looks at what exactly constitutes being a human.
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