I wasn’t sure about this book. It starts out the main character waking up and he’s a gardener robot! Yeah, that not to promising for a military science fiction book. Still, I read on and I’m very glad I did. This books turns out to be very exciting, especially at the end.
Quinton Aldren wakes up in a gardener robot and doesn’t know why or how. He’s also on a dead planet or at least one that has had some kind of climatic disaster and is not toxic to human life. But, initially, he doesn’t know any of this. He doesn’t even know why he’s awake/alive/activated, but he does some with a sidekick. It’s name is Radek and he an VI (Virtual Intelligence). Now, right there is one of the many acronyms you’re going to have to learn. Another is PMC or Personality Matrix Construct. That is what Quinton Aldren actually is. He’s a sentient being digitally uploaded to a ESS (Energy Storage System). Ok, is this strange enough for you?
The rest of the story is about Quinton trying to figure out just who he is, who woke/activated him and why. He also desperately needs to find his stored DNA sequence so he could create a real human body and get himself back to being a human. He’s not really liking this gardener robot body. He does find out that it was this robot body or nothing. His sidekick, Radek, had to find a place to put his ESS so that it could start functioning. The only thing remotely available in the area they found themselves was this beat-up old gardener robot. It, surprisingly worked, but it was running out of power quickly. So, Quinton figured out he needed to find someway to recharge this robot and then figure out what he was going to do.
Except, he was being hunted by Veris Hunter Model Mechs. They intended to kill him and he, again, didn’t not know why. In fact, Quinton found out that while his ESS had unlimited storage capacity that formerly housed his entire life history, he couldn’t access any of it. That’s why he didn’t know how he came to be where and when he was. There were definitely some drastic limitation with being in a gardener robot that wasn’t designed to contain such a high level PMC. So, that was another reason to get out of this construct and into something that would all for his full potential.
Then again, no one who figured out what he was wanted anything to do with him or it, as he appears to everyone he meets. As an ESS, he is valuable, but as a PMC, he’s also considered very dangerous. It seems that once PMCs were common in this universe until they began going insane and started killing everyone and everything! But, luckily, Quinton manages to find a group of people, humans, who are probably the best of their kind which isn’t saying much. They are salvagers and would normally treat a gardener robot as nothing more than cheap junk. Fortunately, one of them has some tech knowledge and recognizes Quinton for what he is even inside this clunky gardener robot.
As I mentioned, the story is pretty exciting. There’s always the theme that Quinton needs to find or create a human body so he can get out of this robot. He wants his own DNA records so he can create his original body. That’s possible if his DNA records still exist and if where they exist hasn’t been destroyed. Everything in this universe appears to have been destroyed. The Sentinels have seen to that. They roam the universe and have one function and that is to exterminate PMCs. Quinton Aldren has a lot of problems.
Great book and the beginning of another great series by Ken Lozito. Book 2, “Acheron Salvation” is available on Amazon and on my reading list already!