Book reviews / Science Fiction

Book review: Caves of Steel

Well. That was kind of disappointing. It is also annoying because I have never been disappointed by Isaac Asimov before. However, most of the stuff I read by him was when I was in highschool. I’m a bit worried to re-read the Foundation Series now…

There’s nothing really wrong with this book. It’s a good enough story, the psychology is interesting but it was just too easy to guess the ending.

So plot: Earth has 8 billion people. There was a wave of colonization to other planets years in the past. They’re called ‘Spacers’ and live in ‘Spacetown’ which is meticulously clean and neat because the Spacers no longer have natural immunity against common illnesses etc. They’re now more advanced than Earth and there’s an uneasy alliance between them. A detective from New York city has to team up with a very human looking robot to solve the murder of a Spacer in Spacetown.

Almost from the beginning of the book I guessed who was the murderer was. It was slightly different to why the murder happened but it was kind of obvious from the beginning. Which then made most of the actions of the main character a bit inane.

It clearly does not pass my test because there is basically one woman in the book and she’s the main character’s wife. She’s also a lower rank (dietitian) and slightly ditzy. She’s just not an impressive character. When she’s not being hysterical, she’s being…boring.

Aspects of it were very interesting: the technology didn’t seem anachronistic, the psychology as mentioned, the actual detective story and the pressures of life and society on Earth. The only bit that really stood out for me as just “whaat” was when the main character lights up in a pipe indoors. Inevitably, laws would change but living for many years now where you can’t smoke made me go “WHAT?!” It just seemed very silly that you had this super advanced (relatively) civilization, where food and everything was highly regulated and yet…let’s grow tabacco.

Anyway. Not much to say. It’s just a straight up detective story. It just happens to have robots and be in the future. I give it a 2.5/5 because it was pretty dull.

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