Book Review: Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter

This book is like Blade Runner. The old movie rather than the book. And I felt giddy—finally a book with grit. We follow detective Carl Dremmler through the future London, where AIs and androids are a reality, and where you can augment yourself and get a robotic hand, and people are unemployed because of these changes. The right kind of city mood is there. Everything kicks into gear when a man murders his girlfriend and says it was his robotic hand that did it. Here Jon Richter entails us with the question of what if this actually would happen in the real world, how we should react, and what we should do to ensure hacked hands and AIs running the show won’t happen or at least won’t jeopardize our lives and humanity. Important questions.

Unfortunately, this book never delivers. The familiarity with Blade Runner stays present, so do all those books, movies, and TV shows we have seen from the subject (future detectives with personality and personal problems). This book doesn’t have a soul, the unique perspective of the writer. Everything is too familiar and too seen before. That said, there was potential. The first half of the book was well written. There laid the jest and the point to be made, but something happened in the middle, making the plot dull and predictable. The ending left me disappointed. It felt hurried. All this is such a shame because the world was good and there to be used. I don’t want to spoil the plot, but the reasons behind everything was exciting and good commentary on what might happen in the future if we don’t protect our citizens and people keep being people with new toys. And I would have loved all this come out way before the ending and without stereotypical, one-dimensional villains who were taken from a B-Movie.

This was a hard book to review. It was mixed with disappointment/unoriginality and promise and philosophical questions. I would have loved it if the writer had set himself loose with the questions and dwelt deeper in them rather than concentrated on the action. But I think someone who doesn’t come with as much baggage as I do when it comes to reading and watching sci-fi (over twenty years), this might feel fresh.

Thank you for reading! Have a great day ❤

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