The Concept of "Others" - Boy Robot (Review)

I am so glad this book exists.

It’s difficult to put into words what I felt reading this book. So many tears for both the tragic and happy parts of the story. I found myself aching for the allegorical (and literal) references to homo- and transphobia, told through the eyes of Isaak and a group of "others" (youth who find out at age 18 they are robots, through no choice of their own) who are out in force throughout the book. To the obvious hate crimes and the metaphorical ones for those born different due to something out of their control. There was also a message of hope and love, of friendship and ally-ship. Simon does a fantastic job of describing the emotions, and head on collisions, the characters experience, positive and negative.

Books like Boy Robot are what we need to see discussed in our youth English classes and book clubs, to be available in our libraries, and accepted rather than labeled “controversial.” Exploring social constructs in a sci-fi world makes Boy Robot an attractive option for teens. This book was clearly written for the young adult audience and I appreciate that. It examines what it means to be human.

As a bonus, the book itself is gorgeous. I remember being at YallWest this year, where a publisher reached out to me and said, "You want to be back here at 1:30pm because the book we are giving away will be the best you will read this year." My immediate reaction was a skeptical eye and to ask, "What book?"...As you can imagine, the title stuck with me over the months. And they weren't kidding...You need this book in your life.

Simon Curtis, thank you. Thank you for sharing your experience and message of hope. Thank you for sharing the stories of so many of our youth.

As a cisgendered, straight woman, I default to the LGBT community for their thoughts over mine so I encourage you to seek their reviews, too.


Boy Robot
by Simon Curtis
Published: November 15th 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Audible

Seventeen-year-old Isaak discovers the truth about his origin and the underground forces that must come together to fight against a secret government organization formed to eradicate those like him in this high-octane science fiction debut.

There once was a boy who was made, not created.

In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever.

His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.

An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.

Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination.

He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground—a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future.

To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable.

Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be.

In his debut, recording artist Simon Curtis has written a fast-paced, high-stakes novel that explores humanity, the ultimate power of empathy, and the greatest battle of all: love vs. fear.


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