Author Jason Bradbury is best know for his role as a presenter on The Gadget Show and he certainly brings his experience of technology to Dot Robot.
Aside from technology, the book’s also packed with action. That’s a blessing and a curse, because we don’t dwell on anything for too long (this isn’t a book with a lot of depth) but it also leaves you racing along trying to keep up.
Credit has to go to the concept, most young adult books have to figure a way to get the kids away from adult supervision. Bradbury instead uses remote tech, which means the characters can save the world from the comfort of their bedroom and still manage a few chores.
The problem I found was that I didn’t empathise with the characters, certainly not until lives were on the line. Maybe that was to do with the characters themselves, their traits certainly aren’t mainstream and it’s unlikely you went to school with anyone like them (or dreamed of being someone like them).
The key moment in the plot seems a little contrived (and not too hard to guess) and everything seems to go a little too smoothly, with any obstacle quickly overcome.
The book sits firmly in the market for action novels aimed at a young audience. The likes of Alex Rider, Young Bond, Agent Cody Banks, Spy Kids and Kim Possible are the market this is aimed at. The tech element also drew parallels with Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, but without the latter’s punch.
Not a bad book, but it needed another layer for me, as any emotional aspects were quickly brushed away, even the action flashed by and all you’re really left with is piles of tech being thrown at you.