A quick recap of the first book and basic outline of the universe, here (with some minor spoilers of the first book): these books are set more than a hundred years in the future. Humanity has been ravaged by devastating global wars, and is on the brink of extinction. Their only recourse is salvation by recolonization to be orchestrated by the AI Bob, who was created from the cryogenically frozen brain of a mid-21st century tech entrepreneur. Alongside this, the Bob (who has cloned himself numerous times) is exploring the universe both in the hopes of finding new worlds in which he can settle humanity, and to scratch the itch of his own curiosity. He has encountered new life forms, one of which is not only technologically superior, but ravenously antagonistic. Bob must find a way to keep the still warring factions of humanity from killing one another while fending off the advances of a superior alien race.
I finished these books a couple weeks ago, but have been struggling with my review for lack of anything worthwhile to say. It’s not that I didn’t like the books – because I very much did, but it’s just so…..unobtrusively enjoyable that I really have no critique to offer. In that way, they remind me of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. I loved those books, was fully invested in the characters, and eagerly awaited each book in the series, but had next to nothing to say in my reviews of them.
Which isn’t to say the books are without any flaws. They aren’t. Perhaps the biggest flaw is that the Bob character has cloned himself so many times that it’s impossible to keep track of everyone and all the missions they’re on. Like a lie that grows in the telling, the Bobiverse has become unwieldy. Also, the books are so plot driven that the characters (different as they are from one another) frequently don’t progress very much.
But I found the books thoroughly enjoyable, and highly recommend them to all the sci-fi fans out there. There’s enough humor here, at any rate, to keep the books light and unchallenging, and they have been a welcome relief from some of my more recent reads. So don’t take my parsimony as any kind of rebuke. Taylor has already said there are more books to come in the Bobiverse, and that he will keep writing them so long as people are enjoying them. Well, I’m definitely someone who will keep reading them.