Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: Made to Kill

23848137Title: Made to Kill
Author: Adam Christopher
Genre: Science fiction, Mystery, Historical Fiction

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:In an alternate version of 1960s Los Angeles, the world’s only robot detective has been turned into a hit man by his corrupted master computer.
Ray is good at the job, too—not only does nobody suspect the world’s last robot is a hit man, his fame allows the Electromatic Detective Agency to continue as the perfect front, and with a twenty-four-hour memory limit, he sure can keep a secret.
When a woman arrives at the agency wanting to hire Ray to investigate the brutal murder of a priest, his attempts to dissuade her are overruled when she produces a lucrative advance payment. Profit is profit, and Ray accepts the job, even though the woman demands total anonymity. She tells them not to try to reach her—she’ll call when the time is right—and she vanishes into the city.
Ray’s investigation leads him into a dark world of Hollywood intrigue, where the glamorous jet set societies are under the spell of a mysterious bandage-swathed man. The man and his champagne-sipping circle of followers conduct Satanic rituals behind Hollywood’s razzle-dazzle façade—rituals that lead to . . . murder!

This kind of feels like the show Agent Carter without the incredible Peggy Carter. The book takes place in a not-so-distant past where the Russian spies are hiding around every corner but there are still lots of cool futuristic gadgets. It's an exciting time, compounded by the lavish lives of movie stars and their dramatic lives both on and off screen. With such an awesome setting, I was really excited about this book, especially since I really enjoy both sci-fi and mysteries. Unfortunately I didn't think this book did justice to either genre.

This isn't a bad book, and I didn't dislike it; I was just bored through most of it. This might have been because the main character is a robot who is programmed by a supercomputer to assassinate other people. Our narrator's memory is stored on tapes that are backed up and wiped clean every night, so he doesn't even remember what he did or felt the day before. It's very emotionally disconnected, and it's very hard to get invested in a character with amnesia when you don't care about the how or why. I usually enjoy stories with unreliable narrators, especially ones with flaky memory, because I want to find out what trauma made them that way or how they piece together their lives. Here, you know it's just a technical aspect of being an automaton. It's just so...dull.

The entire book felt like that to me. I was expecting to like it because there were so many elements I enjoy in other contexts, but thrown together in this book, everything was just lackluster. I didn't find any particular aspect of this book compelling and honestly wouldn't have bothered finishing if it weren't so short.


A free e-ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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