2 out of 4 stars
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André’s Reboot: Striving to Save Humanity by Steve Coleman is a story about the adventures and conflicts of a robot created by a scientist. Dr. Phillip Strauss named his creation André 1. The story starts out in the present time, but a large portion of the book is a recollection of André’s past. We are first introduced to André and another robot of his own making, Margaret 13. Margaret is helping him reboot. He recalls the events that happened in his past.
André 1 lived with Dr. Strauss and his family. As a result of relationships being swiftly ripped apart by the careless actions of Dr. Strauss, the scientist took his beloved creation and ran away. The man died. It did not take long for people to realize that an auction would not give them an answer as to where André should go.
André ended up working for the CIA. Many of the people he worked with found him to be a nuisance because he always injected factual information into the human emotion that tended to drive the most urgent meetings. André got invited to a meeting outside the CIA agency.
Later on, André gets to attend a meeting in the Situation Room with the president. He catches a purposeful error in the translator’s work. This earns her a place in jail and him a job at the White House.
The president, predictably, was peeved by André’s consistent interjecting with fact-corrections and opinions. Loneliness inspired him to create Margaret 13 as a companion.
Actions taken by the president brought great terror and strife to the world.
There are many aspects of this book that would make it very enjoyable to young adults. If you have even a basic understanding of how the brain works, it is obvious the Steve Coleman used the human brain as a model for André’s “brain”. By doing this, he is justified in making it so that André mimics human behavior with increasing precision as the book develops. However, Coleman’s explicit descriptions of necessary parts of a computer and mentioning of extremely precise time measurements keep a mind thinking of André as a robot. Having a robot as the protagonist can, I found out quite quickly, bring automatic humor into the story.
André’s Reboot: Striving to Save Humanity often alluded to several classic novels throughout. Using allusion is a great tool to get people to love a story. As a reader, I got great satisfaction knowing that I actually understood what the author meant. To anyone who loves to read classic novels, I would recommend reading this book just for that sole reason. “All of this conflict in Afghanistan’ I dared to say, ‘is akin to Don Quixote tilting at windmills.” The Wizard of Oz is mentioned as well.
I find it necessary to warn anyone who decides to read this book that this whole book is obviously supposed to be a jab at every action made by the current President of the United States, Donald Trump. If that sounds terrible to you, I would not suggest that you waste your time on a book like this.
There are also several big reasons this book was a bit hard to read. Especially at the beginning of the book, there is a huge lack of sentence variety. All quotes are structured the same way and the book is poorly edited.
Although much of André’s speech made him a convincing robot, there were many moments in which hesitation or stumbling over his words made him too human to be a robot: “Certainly not, sir, uh ma’am.”
The final thing that made it hard to read was the profane language used in almost every page once I was a few chapters into the book. I noted about sixty uses of profane language total along with sexual content.
Overall, I would give this book a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. Unfortunately, the faults in this book greatly outweigh the positives. I do not give André’s Reboot: Striving to Save Humanity one star because Steve Coleman must be respected for making such a bold statement about something he believed in, while still creating a book with an abundance of humor. However, because of the poor editing and excessive profane language, I cannot possibly give the book more than two stars.
This book is most appropriate for young adults and adults. This age group is probably most aware of issues facing our country. They will understand who the book is talking about although it doesn't state specific names. The context will be more understandable Why does André end up having to save the world in the first place? I would not deem this book appropriate for anyone younger than about fourteen because of its explicit content mentioned above.
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