Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Released: August 15th 2017
Humans, Bow Down is the brain child of James Patterson and Emily Raymond. It’s a dystopian novel about the struggle between the human race and a race of robots. Irony is liberally strewn throughout, as the Hu-bots (as they call themselves) don’t seem to see the paradox of them slaughtering humans while claiming to be the more evolved and compassionate race.
So I really wanted to like Humans, Bow Down, but the truth of the matter is that I found it to be pretty lackluster on the whole. I have loved some of James Patterson’s previous works (my favorite being the Maximum Ride series) so I had high hopes for this one as well. Perhaps that’s why I was so disappointed? This novel read without any real emotion or depth – nothing like the James Patterson I’m used to.
There are a couple of main characters, Six being the primary perspective. She’s a human that’s desperate to do anything to feel alive again. That includes taking insane risks with her friend Dubs (whose goals and wishes aren’t terribly clear). The other main character is a Hu-bot named Mikki-bo. While I didn’t mind the naming structure for the humans, the hu-bot one simply drove me nuts – they’re all basically a name followed by –bo. I would hope an intelligent race like the hu-bots could come up with better names.
Admittedly it is a pretty quick read – the font is on the larger size with heavy spacing. Oh and there’s lots of images in the book too. An odd choice, in my opinion, as the images weren’t very high quality.
The images weren’t the only odd choice, the beginning and ending points for this novel were odd as well. We start off after the war between the humans and the hu-bots, where humanity has basically already lost. I appreciate the attempt at something more unique here, but a bit more back-story would have been appreciated; though we do receive some additional information through flashbacks and conversations.
The ending was equally abrupt – a sudden conclusion despite all the buildup (a couple of skirmishes and apparently the war is won? Despite the massive imbalance between the two sides?). What’s more – a romantic subplot was apparently in the works the whole time? I’m not sure if I’m just oblivious or if it was poor writing, but I didn’t see it coming, so the confession kind of hit me on the head.
I think there was a lot of potential in Humans, Bow Down. Not only are both authors very talented, but the core of the plot is pretty interesting (if not terribly original). There were so many options and opportunities for something new and different here. I appreciate the risks that were taken; I just wish more time had been spent on them. I think this novel would have worked better as a series – with more time spent fleshing out the world and characters in it.