TAIT #107 Welcome to Boss Lady's planet part 2
Originally I was going to review the Harlem Shake series by Jeff Carroll. But it dawned on me that I haven't finished the Boss Lady's planet series. For me to skip to another series would be like...uh, giving you 2 pieces of chicken when you wanted 4. You gonna want that chicken. So I'll shelve the Harlem Shake series for next year and focus on Boss Lady's planet series today.
We continue where we left off last time, only a few days after Boss Lady took effective charge of the planet. However, despite her boasts and claims of knowing what's best for the hard headed people of Verde, others have other ideas. And those plans involve lots of robots. What? Were you hoping for a happy ending? Cmon you know I don't read those kind of books! *Joke sting*
Anyway, Gilbert wants to take over the solar system with the robots and the health care nanobot system. And he starts with Verde. Malcolm and Renée race to Verde to get ready to take him down. Meanwhile Lamont sees the chaos on Verde caused by the robots and returns to rescue his crews families. But Boss Lady needs his help. Can he work with her again? Tune in and see…
What did I like about the story?
One of the ways the book stands out from other Military Sci-fi series is the character banter. They're not waxing philosophical but they are expressing themselves in a variety of ways that aren’t stereotypical for their roles. Maybe if Lamont’s company were more of a military organization and not a collection of mercs, that would be different.
I also found the interludes during Malcolm’s arc to be interesting backgrounder for the system and Verde in particular. I think some of that was true to the character and some of that was author filibustering. He waxes philosophically on the issue of living free and being a part of nature. I found this ironic because the writer lives in New Jersey, where nature officially died in 1939 *joke sting*.
What didn’t I like about the story?
I found it a bit short and the cliffhanger wasn’t much of one. I think the writer is building to a moment where Malcolm and Lamont meet to discuss taking down the robots. But he should have ended the story with that meeting. Instead, we get a rather boilerplate shootout between Malcolm and the robots at a bar.
I also found some of the preachiness to be weary from both Lamont nd Malcolm in regards to why living on Verde is soooo much better than elsewhere in the system. The characters talk about freedom as a virtue that makes life so special on Verde when compared to the other worlds. But Boss Lady shows up and wrecks it all because she knows that children are suffering under the gang lord rule. Of course, she probably wouldn’t have had the sauce to do something about it. She did get started by making threats on the radio but then the robots show up. When kids are being raped in brothels because there’s no effective law enforcement or social services, then maybe it’s not the robots or the mind-controlling nanobots that are the problem.
The way he writes Gilbert gives us some sense of motivation but at the same time it makes him too megalomaniacal. Why does he really want to control the entire solar system? The writer should dive more into that bit of the story.
Another interesting Sci-fi space thriller with an Afrofuturist edge but lacks good sequel setup and gets a bit preachy. I give Part 2- What people will quietly submit to, a Wall E high five of three point five out 5 stars. Robots will rule if you let them.
I recommend this book for fans of Urban sci-fi and fans of comedic speeches in their sci-fi.