For the audioversion of this review, check out episode 472 of the Spiritblade Underground Podcast, go to timestamp 9:16.
I took a bit of a chance buying We Are Legion (We Are Bob), part 1 of the Bobiverse series, not knowing the writer. But the transhumanist premise was interesting enough for me to try it and the intriguing title lured me in all the way. It is written by Dennis E. Taylor and narrated by Ray Porter. It takes 9½ hours to finish.
There’s a reason We Are Legion, We Are Bob was named Audible’s Best Sci-Fi Book of 2016. Unique, hilarious, and utterly addictive, Dennis E. Taylor’s debut novel kicked off an Audible-wide obsession among sci-fi diehards and new listeners alike.
Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it’s a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.
Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he’ll be switched off, and they’ll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.
The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad – very mad.
Listener-favorite narrator Ray Porter (14, The Fold) brings the many Bobs into being in all their glory, delivering a performance that listeners have described as “outstanding,” “nuanced” and a “dizzying tour de force.”
©2016 Dennis E. Taylor (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
My thoughts: Surprisingly nice ‘read’
The story didn’t immediately sweep me off my feet, but was enticing enough to hold my interest anyway. I had to get over my expectation of a darker story with more difficult challenges for the main character, including emotional ones, but once I settled in for a more light-hearted kind of scifi, it was an entertaining ride.
This is ‘hard’ science fiction with a smile, with space ships and planets and galaxy exploring and of course space battles. All of that without it being longwindedly technical, and no Deus ex Machinas or otherwise too easy solutions, which I appreciated.
Ray Porter is a fine narrator that held my attention well.
All in all I was surprised to find myself deciding to buy Book 2 (april 2017) and even, very recently, the third installment! So I recommend it, with 4 stars for performance, story and overall.