Drones by Rob J Hayes

(8.0/10)

Overall
All-around great, short sci-fi cyberpunk. Mr. Hayes took a little break from grimdark fantasy to satisfy his muse, and the result is a dark, intimate, and relevant story about a man who'd rather feel nothing than his own emotions. I really enjoyed it and tore through in a couple days.

Setting/World-Building
A noirish, high-tech-but-not-too-high-tech vision of the future, where mankind has colonized the moon and buy and sell emotions like drugs. I'm not a big sci-fi fan, but I found this very accessible and didn't roll my eyes once. The setting here is the backdrop and not the point. It lets us play with the possible while the characters strut their stuff, and the plot intrudes. Everything came across as believable and realistic without being forced.

Plot
Our 'hero' is a drone. His past haunts him, and now he earns a living experiencing emotional highs and selling them off, in an ever-more dangerous escalation of addictive behavior. But what happens if he loses his fix...and what if everyone was like Garrick... I think the plot basically just worked. It's quick, it's interesting, and fun to read.

Characters
James Garrick, aka Robot, is much akin to the cynical detective narrating his descent through the filth of a corrupt society. In fact I was waiting for him to bust out a cigarette on many occasions, and kind of felt disappointed he didn't. Your like or dislike of Mr. Garrick may depend on your own level of cynicism, but I found him interesting in any case and a worthy teller of a fast, brutal tale. Through his eyes we see corrupt corporate executives, terrorist/freedom-fighters, gangsters, addicts, and one rather scary assassin.


Writing
This was my first experience with the author, and I quite liked the style. I started to think of it as 'Pierce Brown writes grimdark'. Sentences are often short, visceral, and emotional. Description gets to the point, and twists it. A great style for the genre.

Final Thoughts
This story was an excellent introduction to the writer, and I'd now comfortably buy any of his other work. Writing in multiple genres isn't so easy as one thinks, and even as a tentative dabbler in sci-fi I found this readable and well done. Thanks very much to the author for the read.

Review by

15+

More Rob J Hayes reviews

It Takes a Thief to Catch a Sunrise

by Rob J Hayes

There comes a point in every thief's life where one has to take stock of all that they have achieved. We have stolen almost everything there is worth stealing: Prince H [...]


Published: 0000

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

City of Kings

by Rob J Hayes

War makes monsters and corpses of us all. For generations the blooded have ruled the Wilds, cultivating a lawless frontier and bleeding the good folk dry. [...]


Published: 2018

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Never Die

by Rob J Hayes

Ein is on a mission from God. A God of Death.Time is up for the Emperor of Ten Kings and it falls to a murdered eight year old boy to render the judgement of a [...]


Published: 2019

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Where Loyalties Lie

by Rob J Hayes

Everybody knows Captain Drake Morass is only out for himself. As the fires of a dying city burn on a distant shore, Drake sees an opportunity to unite the other pirate Capt [...]


Published: 2017

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

The Fifth Empire of Man

by Rob J Hayes

The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki [...]


Published: 2017

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.2 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Along the Razor's Edge

by Rob J Hayes

No one escapes the Pit.At just fifteen Eskara Helsene fought in the greatest war mankind has ever known. Fought and lost. There is only one place her enemies wo [...]


Published: 2020

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

The Lessons Never Learned

by Rob J Hayes

I am the weapon. Eskara is free of the Pit, but far from safe. She is beset by the ghosts of those she has killed, and plagued by the ancient horror that p [...]


Published: 2020

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.2 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

From Cold Ashes Risen

by Rob J Hayes

The Corpse Queen Comes.Eskara has lost everything. The War Eternal has cost her everything she loves, and the Iron Legion has taken the rest. Y [...]


Published: 2020

Score: 0

Our rating: 8.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Drones reader reviews

8/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

Books you may also enjoy

Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a floor sweeper and the gentle butt of everyone's jokes - until an experiment in the enhancement of human intelligence turns him into a genius [...]


Published: 1959

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.1 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

The Human Race

by OC Heaton

Ever had a secret so big that the very knowledge of it consumed you? Uma Jakobsdóttir has one. A huge one. And if it falls into the wrong hands it could obliterate m [...]


Published: 2011

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Paris Adrift

by EJ Swift

Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her al [...]


Published: 2018

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Rosewater

by Tade Thompson

Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless&mda [...]


Published: 2018

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+