Cybernetic canine intelligence – should they be given the same rights as humans?
Publisher: Head Zeus Publisher. Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Page Count: 400 words
Now the reason that I wanted to do a mini review, was because I had mixed feelings about this book. I still wanted to give attention to the interesting ideas and themes integrated within its pages, but also reflect on the issues I had whilst reading that I felt held the novel back.
Firstly, the premise within this novel is the idea of cybernetic animals such as dogs, bears and bees, being used as weapons in combat. The animals were given intelligence and understanding through enhancements, but having to abide by a hierarchy so they know who is in charge of them. The novel does a fantastic job at raising questions. At the start of the book the animals question their missions and whether they need to follow them without question. This moves onto the wider idea of higher intelligence and what rights are gained through this gained intelligence. I thoroughly enjoyed these parts of the story, watching the characters navigate their way through. The main character Rex, who is a dog, was very down to earth, struggling to find his place, trapped between his mission, his increasing understanding of his changing place in the world and his basic instincts as a dog.
My issues with the book were based around the general flow and pacing within the novel. As much I enjoyed the perspective from the bioforms (the animals), I found the way they were written was not as easy to read, and these sections did not flow as easily for me. I also found the redacted chapters took me a little out of the novel, they weren’t as clear to how they were connected to he wider story.
Overall, I enjoyed the novel and would recommend it as a read for any sci-fi readers, especially those into robotics and artificial life. I gave this book a 3/5.