Humans, Bow Down by James Patterson & Emily Raymond (2017)
It’s a bleak and dystopian future where the planet is under the control of androids. These callous machines have slaughtered most of humanity and left the rest in virtual slavery, or in hiding. Six is a teenage girl who lives on the Res (Reservation), a shanty town of beleaguered people near Denver. Alongside her best friend, Dubs, she is in constant conflict with the robotic overlords.
Their resistance to subserviency comes to a head when they steal a top of the range sports car from the android city and joyride it back to the Res. The Hu-bots, who are the upper caste of androids ultimately in charge, are not impressed and set out to put down any and all rebellious humans.
Detective MikkyBo is a member of the Hu-bot elite. Created to rule the Earth with her production line brothers and sisters, she appears to have a glitch in her programming, just like her brother, Kris, who is transgender. MikkyBo has feelings, human feelings, that are causing her serious problems with her superiors. For example, when her commander, the terrible MosesKhan, orders the slaughter of everyone on the Res, MikkyBo cannot agree. Her ‘humanity’ eventually brings her into close constant with Six as the two realise they are not so different, apart from the fact that MikkyBo is made of wires and fake skin and artificial components and can project repeats of The Magic Roundabout from her eyes (the last bit is made up).
MikkyBo finds herself on the run from the Hu-Bots as the remaining humans struggle to form a viable resistance. If this sounds familiar, then that is because it is. This story is so predictable as to be soporific. Forget the tranqs, if you want a good night’s sleep then read a few chapters of this James Patterson offering.
OK, OK, the books is aimed (hopefully) at a young audience (probably 3-5 year-olds…), but that’s little excuse. It reads as a story hurriedly put together and tossed out to gather a few quid in. Ironically, it could have been penned by an android devoid of all human feelings, such is the wooden nature of this book. Pinocchio would feel insulted by it and is sure to puke on this novel .
There is a reason why James Patterson books are rarely reviewed on Rebel Voice. It’s because we feel that they’re crap. Yes, Patterson had a strong run with his Alex Cross serious which was just alright. But since then, he has journeyed into the sordid world of collaborations which, to be honest, seems as if lesser-known authors are using Patterson’s name to get attention for their own books or perhaps he plots them and they write them with much reduced remuneration. The result is one mediocre tale after another. Rebel Voice wonders just how much direct input James Patterson has into the penning of these stories and whether he has any self-respect as it’s unfortunate that he would attach his name to books so embarrassingly poor. Is it all about the Benjamins with Patterson?
Stephen King apparently does not like James Patterson or his stories. Rebel Voice has always admired the Portsmouth wordsmith who is the Maine Man of US literature, and now respects him even more for his judgement upon Patterson. There’s not much more to be said about Humans, Bow Down, other than to say it ain’t worth reading and Rebel Voice recommends that you don’t let your children near it either as it will bring their IQ down. It’s a lazy and seemingly mercenary approach to writing that should not be rewarded.
Sult scale rating: 2.5 out of 10. Was this book written by an android? If so, that rusted machine needs reprogrammed and provided with a serious upgrade. Give this one a miss.