When two equally intelligent androids face off against each other, who wins?
The year is 2300. Humans and androids live in peace after a devastating singularity and years of war.
Xandifer "X" Crenshaw is a special agent android for the United Earth Alliance. His job is to track down rogue androids and destroy them to keep the world safe.
When another android agent goes maverick and starts a killing spree, the fallout could shatter the alliance between humans and androids forever. X hunts him down, but what seems like a simple operation turns weird fast when X discovers that he's up against something far more sinister that is just as intelligent as him. And whatever it is, is also holds the key to X's forgotten past.
The future belongs to humans and androids...or is that a paradox?
When I first saw this book here at Audible, I thought, "Here's one that's right up my alley," but I didn't get it because it is so short. I was hesitant to spend cash on a book by an author who was a complete unknown to me, and it's so inexpensive that it's better to go for cash than use a credit. I should have gone for it: It's a fantastic listen!
To give you an idea of how my tastes run, I love John Scalzi's and Robert Sawyer's books. I love mysteries as well as sci-fi, so when the two come together, I'm in reading heaven. (I really liked Red Planet Blues.) I'm not looking for paradigm shattering literature every time I read. Sometimes I just want some fun escape, and this book delivers that spectacularly.
I'm not going to go into any plot because you can find that out plenty of places, and I hate spoilers. As expected for a short book, Android Paradox jumps right into things, but I did not have trouble following it at the beginning. There were some times that I felt some plot points needed more development because I found myself getting a bit lost once or twice, but never to the point that my enjoyment of the book was ruined, just a "whaaaa?" moment or two, which is what the one missing star was deducted for.
I found the lead characters very well developed and exceptionally well performed by Erik Johnson. His reading was, indeed, a performance and not just a simple reading. He even did a good job with female voices, which is often a challenge for male readers. I loved the lead character; LaRonn made him very easy to root for, ironically very human in spite of the fact he is an android. Although I did see the end coming before I got there, it wasn't a foregone conclusion from the beginning. I actually think it's a positive that as a reader I was able to solve the mystery.
I'm going to be looking for more read by Erik Johnson and definitely getting the sequel to this as soon as I finish this review!
Note: I received this audiobook for free from the author via Audiobook Blast in exchange for an honest review. I pulled no punches! (And I'm spending cash for the next book in the series if you're in doubt!)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Android Paradox again? Why?
I might..it was quick and great!
What was one of the most memorable moments of Android Paradox?
I liked X and the first rogue droid in the beginning who was partying and smoking out...that was super cool!
Which scene was your favorite?
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I did laugh a bit...X's partner Shortcut is super funny!
Any additional comments?
** I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **<br/><br/>I enjoyed this from beginning t end, it was well narrated and kept my attention all the way through!<br/><br/>We have X an advanced android and his human partner Shortcut who track rogue androids and stop them before they do something really bad....they work for the UEA...well more and more androids are going crazy and the keep hinting that the "ANDROID WINTER" is coming...X is frantically trying to find out what that means and no one is talking!<br/><br/>GREAT LISTEN WILL CONTINUE THIS SERIES!<br/><br/>Thank You Audiobookblast(dot)com
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I just finished listening to this book and I don't quite know how I feel about it. This is the first book I’ve ever read that falls into the ‘science fiction’ genre so precisely. So if you are a science fiction fan- please take my review with a grain of salt- things that I feel are new and original concepts may be old hat for you. (I have only ever read dystopian science fiction until now.)
It's a original concept-artificial intelligence working with humanity (for the most part). It does feel like anything futuristic having to do with artificial intelligence is more of an ‘us versus them’ scenario. I liked how it was handled differently in this book. But a quick disclaimer- I am not well read in science fiction for the most part, so there could be other books out there with
Something else I liked was the primary character being black. Everything I’ve previously read always seems to have a white male or teenage girl (of any color) as the lead. It gets tedious and makes me feel like there is a ‘formula for the future’ that’s used in writing and must be followed.
There was a lot of extraneous information on secondary characters- it really slowed down the story's momentum and didn’t contribute to the plot at all. It was also odd that for about half of the action scenes there is a lot of detail and then the other half felt like they were written by someone else and ‘skimmed over’ the action sequences. It was really missing consistency. Aside from that, I felt the book was interesting and well written for the most part and had potential to be a page-turning action thriller.
The narrator did a good job throughout. He’s well suited for action, able to speak quickly and concisely.
I’m still deciding how I feel about this book. On one hand, it’s a great, well written book with original ideas; but on the other hand, there was just too much information that detracted from the plot and slowed down the book to a near stand still at some points. If it didn’t detract so much from the plot, I could easily ignore it. I think a 2.5 would be a more fitting score for how I feel, but I decided to round up since it's a new genre for me.
I received a free copy of this book from the author, narrator or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
There were some things in the book that just felt a little like they were obviously not connected. I'm not sure if he was really trying to make them seem connected or not, but hopefully, he wasn't because as red herrings they weren't that perplexing. Some situations felt a little too hokey for me and exceeded my limitations on suspension of belief. One plot device seemed fairly obviously, but I actually liked that he used it because I'm interested in seeing how these ideas that were meant to be about good intentions will be interpreted by a corrupted mind. Those things are probably the biggest of my complaints.
I enjoyed this story. It was fast-paced, action-packed. I like character building, and while there wasn't much of that here, there were some great nuggets to be gained in some of the interactions between the humans and androids. I really liked the perspective that the androids gave the story and how they felt about their human counterparts and their own "independence." It also played with the idea of some humans willing to go through whatever necessary to gain some imitation of what androids have without really understanding the full implications of such actions. There was one very small romantic subplot dealing with a human and android that I liked because La Ronn didn't take it where most writers probably would, especially in a world where androids can process emotions to some extent. I won't say it won't go there in the future, but right now, I thought it was excellent how he handled that particular moment.
Not having fully fleshed out characters didn't work against the story for me, though, considering that was a race through a sci-fi thriller type story. The focus was the action and the idea of this paradox. The phrase "android paradox" is very simple in terms. Despite two android knowing the courses of actions another android will take and vice versa, they will still engage, even if that means shooting at each other until one of them finally goes down. This paradox makes them both predictable and highly capable, which hurts and helps them when facing each other. This theory played out in intriguing ways throughout the story as we learned more and more about the androids in the year 2300.
I couldn't stop listening to/turning the pages even though I kept reminding myself that I had other things that I should be doing. Erik Johnson was a great narrator. He did wonderfully on X's stoic voice and Shortcut's sarcastic, egotistical tone. I haven't seen his name credited to any other work, so I'm assuming this series in his first. He did a wonderful job with it, even with the islander voices. Narrators usually are very terrible at islander voices. I don't care how talented they are, but this Johnson did a fair job with the voices. I found the book to be so much fun, and it left me wanting to know what was going to happen to not just X, but many of the other characters introduced and how their parts will eventually play out in this story. I'll definitely be buying the second book, Android Deception, to see the continuation of this story.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is a fairly short but intense sci fi story about an android in the future looking to stop a rogue android from killing people, which turns out to be part of a greater conspiracy, with world shaking consequences. It has engaging Characters, especially X, the main android, who is reminiscent of Sonny in I, Robot. Anything to get the job done. The pacing is fast, with well drawn fight scenes, and an interestingly created world that you will want to hear more about, and will, since there are sequels. Erik Johnson does a fine job of bringing the characters to life, using tone and inflection to differentiate characters, and keep the story moving along.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Meet X, an android that is a special agent tasked at finding rogue androids that are becoming more and more frequent. His human partner, Shortcut is there to keep both of them safe. Follow these two as they are trying to figure out what these rogue androids mean when they are saying "the Android Winter is Coming."
The audiobook was read by Erik Johnson who reads it in a dramatization and changes his voice to fit each new character. His inflection and voice were a welcome addition to this novel. The quality is also great, only a few times did I notice a volume fluctuation (usually only for a few seconds). Johnson is a great narrator with a great voice and I will be looking for more of his work. His narration of this book did add a lot to it, especially the style that he chose to use.
I made quick work of this book at only 4 hours or so for the audiobook -- I finished it in 2 short sittings. The story is face paced but thorough. La Ronn does a great job at describing characters and explaining their motives in such a short book. The story ended with a feeling of openness. There are a lot of places that La Ronn can go from here.
Overall, with all of the AI fiction I've been reading lately, I was worried that a book this short wouldn't hold up, but this was good. Reminded me a bit of I, Robot. A great fast-paced technothriller.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from Audiobook Jukebox in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.
If you could sum up Android Paradox in three words, what would they be?
Technical, History, Intellectual
Have you listened to any of Erik Johnson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I really like how he modifies his voice so he can be a man, woman or Android.
Any additional comments?
I think this is a good book to read when you are awake not trying to sleep as it does make a lot of twists and turns a sleepy mind misses.
What did you love best about Android Paradox?
I loved the different characters and the way the narrator brought them to life.
What other book might you compare Android Paradox to and why?
I dont have any comparisons. I think it was a very good story in it's own right.
Which character – as performed by Erik Johnson – was your favorite?
Shortcut but I also loved X
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
When X went to hunt the rogue android and discovered a young boy with his family. I liked the interaction between X and his new young ally.
Any additional comments?
<br/>This is an extraordinarily good audio book and a really good story.<br/><br/>First the audio - the narrator aced this one. Each character has a distinct voice and this really brought the book to life. It enabled me to imagine the characters and to lose myself in the story. I think this must be one of the best narrators I have ever listened to.<br/><br/>And for the story:<br/><br/>I don't often read sci-fi about robots/androids but this was a very interesting story that drew me in from the very first sentence. <br/><br/>After many years of war there is finally peace between androids and humans but something or someone is conspiring against this uneasy peace. Xandifer otherwise known as X is an android and a special agent for the United Earth Alliance. He is sent to track down a rogue android who has gone berserk, killing a hundred people and holding an Island community hostage. <br/><br/>When X finally tracks the rogue down he realises that there is more to this than meet the eye. This isn't just a rogue android, this is a rogue android who has been tampered with and a rogue android with a mission.<br/><br/>X and his human colleague Shortcut start to investigate, tracking down rogue androids, viewing the history of their creation and using all kinds of technologies in order to uncover the conspiracy.<br/><br/>Is this a conspiracy against humans or against androids? Why are androids going rogue and who is killing androids and removing their memories?<br/><br/>As Shortcut and X delve into the mystery they realise that there is a conspiracy, but they are yet to understand who is involved and why. All they know is that if they don't find out who is behind this, the peaceful co-existence between Androids and humans will come to a bloody end.<br/><br/>Android Paradox is the first in this trilogy and so this first book kind of sets the scene asking lots of questions which will hopefully be resolved as the books progress.<br/><br/>It is an exciting book and the way in which the author writes it makes the scenes come alive in my mind. It is thrilling in some places, with lots of fast paced suspense. It is brilliant writing and even the complex sci-fi intelligence is described in such a way that it sparks my imagination.<br/><br/>I don't always enjoy sci-fi but the way the writer has crafted this will appeal to any one even if it isn't your usual genre. <br/><br/>I really liked the way the book depicts the android technology. The author is able to capture this in his writing and the narrator breathes it to life in his story telling.<br/><br/>All in all a very good story and an excellent audio.<br/><br/>This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.<br/><br/><br/>
Well I loved the book. Excellent idea with some novel twists on the whole "our future will be closely-linked to robots" and I think Michael La Ronn did it justice to make it an entertaining and fairly lively story. Some other reviews have mentioned sub-plots and so on as being a negative thing - personally, for me, it was refreshing to have some more depth to the story.
Erik Johnson is an excellent narrator and adds the right amount of inflection and depth to the story. I'm not a big fan of 'gravely' baritone narrators but Erik keeps well below the window-shaking rattle level and easily passed the "does he make my dog bark if I play the audiobook on my speakers" test. ;)
All in all - good fun for the sci-fi robot enthusiast.
Note: I received the audiobook for free and was asked, in return, to provide an honest review, which this is. If I'd hated the book I would say so.
The idea of robots reaching the singularity, becoming self ware and declaring war on humans is a fairly common story in books and movies (see The Terminator and The Matrix as the best known ones) but Michael La Ronn skips all that and move straight to the post-war world, when the androids and humans have made peace. Humans won the war but then went back to making androids, this time with a few limits in place. What could possibly go wrong with that?
Our main characters are X, an Special Agent android, and his human partner, Shortcut. They work for the Earth government putting down rogue androids.
The setting is interesting story has potential, but i don't feel like La Ronn made the most of it. The characters are all extreme, without nuance or middling characteristics. They just seem intense or over the top almost all the time and are hard to take seriously.
The pacing of the book seemed off.
I also feel like La Ronn didn't make good use of the book length he gave himself. It is a fairly short book (clocking in under 4 hours) but there is time used (wasted?) on subplots and things that don't feel like they do anywhere. usually things involving the character Shortcut - fights with his boss whom beat him out for the top job, discussions about his cybernetic implants and trying to get some illegal parts and an attempted romance. I guess these were all trying to flesh out the character but they all rang false to me and didn't play into the main storyline. Maybe if there was only one, two at most, but having so many seemingly pointless tangents and extras around the character just slowed things down.
There are also times La Ronn could have spent more time. Generally with the action sequences. The bare minimum is given in detail, usually falling short of what is needed. There are things like "X opened a cupboard full of guns and knives. He took one of each." It was full, but were they all the same? or 20 different things? because that will clarify how many items he took.
Another point X and another guy are in a gun fight. The whole fight amounts to "they both kept shooting, emptying their guns at each other." Are the ducking and weaving? Hiding? Just standing there doing nothing but shooting? Are they hitting each other? What damage does the gun do to an android? We are told X doesn't have to worry about being hit, but do bullets bounce off (where do they ricochet to?)? do they lodge in him like in a bullet proof vest? does the velocity of a bullet move him at all so that even if he is undamaged he can get knocked over? things like this aren't addressed at all. It makes the 'action' sequences very static.
Erik Johnson does pretty good work with the narration. More of a 3.5 /5, but I rounded up.
He is intense in his reading, managing to carry some excitement into the static sequences.he provides a variety of voices for characters making it easy to tell them apart. He does quite a few accents throughout the book, all performed well. Easy and enjoyable to listen to, I never had an issue following what he was saying.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of audiobookblast dot com.
Would you listen to Android Paradox again? Why?
What other book might you compare Android Paradox to, and why?
I have not listened to any of the books to android paradox.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Yes, I found it funny listening to the adverts adout getting improvements to compete with the androids. It reminded me of total recall when they are advertising the total recall vacations.
Any additional comments?
A great story and very good performance by Erik Johnson. <br/>Is this a part conspiracy story, part mystery and part buddy cop story<br/><br/>I enjoyed the contrast between Shortcut and X. Shortcut seemed willing to go to almost any lengths to improve his body to complete the androids, while ex wanted to explore is humanity.