THE DESTRUCTIVES A Boy And His Bot
released OUT NOW! 416 pages | Paperback/ ebook
Author Matthew De Abaitua
Publisher Angry Robot Books
The Destructives takes the reader on a journey that’s epic and audaciously unpredictable, switching from one chewy plotline to the next. Then the author ties them all together with bows which he makes look maddeningly easy.
Humanity’s been superseded by sun- orbiting AIs which have stolen our dreams of a future. Young Theodore, a man with deadened emotions, and an AI companion investigate a recreated house from the past. Here, a minor- seeming incident involving a mum and daughter on the net somehow changed history... but could it do so again?
This is a marvellously written book, whose invention and surprises gain momentum until its boggler of an ending. Seasoned SF readers may complain that the “virtual house” investigation in the first act reads like trad cyberpunk; similarly, the book’s vision of shopping malls as giant asylums and shoppers as experimental lab rats is hardly new. However, these ideas ( and many others) are presented and integrated with loving craft. And while for a long time the characters seem unsympathetic, more backstories than personalities, they’re triumphantly infused with life in the later stages. Great stuff.
The book shares the same universe ( and a couple of characters) with De Abaitua’s The Red Men and If Then.