Even in Empire City, a town where weird science is the hope for tomorrow, it's hard for a robot to make his way. It's even harder for a robot named Mack Megaton, a hulking machine designed to bring mankind to its knees. But Mack's not interested in world domination. He's just a bot trying to get by, trying to demonstrate that he isn't just an automated smashing machine, and to earn his citizenship in the process. It should be as easy as crushing a tank for Mack, but some bots just can't catch a break.
When Mack's neighbors are kidnapped, Mack sets off on a journey through the dark alleys and gleaming skyscrapers of Empire City. Along the way, he runs afoul of a talking gorilla, a brainy dame, a mutant lowlife, a little green mob boss, and the secret conspiracy at the heart of Empire's founders - not to mention more trouble than he bargained for. What started out as one missing family becomes a battle for the future of Empire and every citizen that calls her home.
©2008 A. Lee Martinez (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Martinez tickles the funny bone in this delightful, fast-paced mishmash of SF and hard-boiled detective story.... Eccentric characters, all of whom are clever twists on stereotypes, populate a smart, rocket-fast read with a clever, twisty plot that comes to a satisfying conclusion." (Publishers Weekly)
“This combination sci-fi/hard-boiled detective story is a hoot….Narrator Marc Vietor approaches the story with a classic noir tone that is hilarious.” (AudioFile)
At its heart, this is a solid, well-done, entertaining hard boiled detective novel, except in this case the detective (Mack Megaton) is a 7-foot tall, 700 pound robot (or "automated citizen") and he lives in Empire City, a city populated with other robots, biological mutants, and biological norms. Mack is a colorful character (and not just because he's painted red), as are the other characters in this fun book. He's a robot with heart and I really enjoyed his narrative voice. I wish this was the start of a series, but alas, it is not. If you like standalone books and hard boiled detective stories, and don't mind zany characters and bizarre situations, I'd highly recommend this book. Narrator Marc Vietor does a fantastic job and really makes Mack and all the characters come to life. This is well worth the Audible credit!
This is a real over the top story. I mean it starts with a robot detective and that's really the most grounded thing in the whole affair. A. Lee Martinez gleefully mashes every 50's B-movie trope he can find into a single cohesive story. That feat on it's own should be applauded. This is not a book to make you think it's a summer blockbuster with spectacle and big explosions sitting on top of a simplistic plot. "Bad guys kidnap good people for evil plan and robot detective stops them" the totality of the story. It's a simple but enjoyable book worth a read.
This is an awesome book. If you want a sci-fi sundae smothered in true-grit detective sauce, this book is for you.
Max Megaton is kinda like Jack Reacher, if Jack had titanium skin and Max had the urge to bed his sexy female partner. Both are hard as nails (one literally, the other figuratively), and both left the military to strike out on their own.
He definitely brought the feel of an 'olde tymey' radio broadcast to life here.
Laugh Out Loud (yes, some of us old timers can still spell instead of using textage type). The snark is in full bloom in this novel.
I'm hooked. Downloading Mr. Martinez' next novel now.
Martinez has become one of my favorite authors because of stories like this- smart, fast-paced plots with great characters and dialog that's funny as hell.
This one's worth TWO credits!
I thought the story of Mack megaton would be kinda of dumb and cheesy and it may be . however I got sucked into the story and A. Lee made me a fan of their books
I'm not sure what I expected from the review, but I was pleasantly surprised as I listened. I'm a hardcore science fiction fan and long-time aficionado of the gritty detective mysteries of old. Martinez combined the two in a way I really enjoyed and Mr. Vietor brought it to life wonderfully. The end sounded like it could be the beginning of a series. I'll be watching.
Maybe. I suspect not. This Science fantasy book was not my type of book . It was written in the American detective style but using robots and type writers,.. whatever. I did not enjoy this story, it did not work for me.
Waste of my time.
Fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, mysteries, and poetry- just a few of my favorite genres.
I happen to be a fan of film noir and an even bigger fan of steampunk, so to have the two genres combined is absolutely wonderful. Several of my friends also like steampunk and sci-fi so I would definitely recommend this to them. I must admit, Martinez can either be a hit or a miss (didn't care for his story, Monster) but this is an absolute hit. The only thing I think the story needed was a little more character development on some of the characters, like the young Holt -who only appeared in a few scenes yet was at the center of everything. Other than that, this is absolutely one of my favorite "reads" of the year.
I loved Mac Megaton as the cold yet somewhat sensitive "detective" as well as his friend/ sometimes roommate Young the Gorilla. They were just a wonderful pairing and they brought a sense of humor to the story. Luchea Napier was an equally intriguing character as the automatic girl genius turned playgirl who secretly still dabbles in science in her spare time. I kept thinking that she was going to turn out to be the femme fatale of the story, but Martinez didn't follow that cliche so bravo for him and his ability to create fresh and appealing characters.
I found it a bit comical whenever he tried doing a female character, but he did a fantastic job and really brought out Mac's cynical nature.
The Automatic Detective: A Heart of Gold with Arms of Steel.
If you are interested in sci-fi, film noir, steampunk or a combination of all of the above- then this is the book for you. This honestly has a little bit of everything- monsters, mayhem, romance, technology- it's just an all around fun and engrossing listen. Really hoping he makes a sequel sometime soon. Even though the threat of an alien invasion/immigration has been neutralized, there are always the problems and villains of tomorrow. Plus, I would like to see Mac and Luchea's relationship go somewhere somehow.
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