Tag: Installments

Isaac Asimov – The Robots of Dawn | Review

Title: The Robots of Dawn

Author: Isaac Asimov

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 480

Rating: 3.5/5

This book is one of the installments in Asimov’s Robot series, and so that makes it essentially a science fiction detective novel with a whole bunch of ethics thrown in. Asimov is probably most famous for creating the three laws of Robotics, which are the following:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

What’s fun about this book, like the other books that tie in with these laws, is that Asimov basically created them only so that he could bend and break them. We get some great examples of that here, including some suggestions of scenarios which could cause two of the laws to come into conflict with themselves and to cause a robot to overload.

Then we have the morality side of things. In fact, the whole case here revolves around the murder of a robot, and so there’s a lot of discussion around whether such a thing is even possible. After all, robots aren’t alive, right? There’s even some stuff on how while you can use roboticide and homicide, the word murder” doesn’t seem to quite apply.

Obviously I don’t want to go too much into the details of the plot, because the last thing that I want to do is to spoil it for people. What I will say is that it holds its own both as a science fiction novel and as a mystery novel, and indeed I think that Asimov is one of the underrated masters of the genre. I’ve read a mystery of his called A Whiff of Death which was set in our world on an American college campus, and that was fantastic.

Another piece of good news is that despite the fact that this is the third book in a series, you can still read it as a standalone if you want to. Sure, you’ll get a little more out of it if you follow the series through from start to finish, but it’s not a hard and fast rule and all that you miss out on is a little character development.

So all of this brings us on to the final big question of whether this is worth reading or not, and my answer to that would be 100% yes. Asimov is a fantastic writer no matter what he’s doing, and while there are other books of his that are a lot of fun, this is great too. Jeez, he always is.

Learn more about The Robots of Dawn.


Tsugumi Ohbi and Takeshi Obata – Death Note: Black Edition Volume VI | Review

Title: Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

Author: Death Note: Black Edition Volume VI

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 426

Rating 4/5



Well, the adventure has come to an end, and while there was a little bit of a bounce back up in quality here, it just wasn’t quite as good as the first couple of installments in the series. Still, it was good to see the denouement of the story and to have it all come to an end, and I have to admit that it was kind of satisfying, even though it turns out that I already knew how it was going to end from somewhere. I think I watched it in one of the Japanese movies back in the day.

For my first introduction to manga, I don’t have much to complain about here. The writing and the artwork were excellent throughout, even though the quality did start to dip here and there after a while. Kudos to the authors for resisting the temptation to keep on milking the story and dragging it out to make more money. They could have done that, and it would have ruined it.

Looking around online, it seems as though a lot of people were disappointed with the series after a major character death towards the middle, and I can totally see why. That doesn’t mean that it’s no longer worth reading, though. You just might want to take your time after the first half, instead of forcing yourself to finish it, which is what I did. That probably didn’t help, either.



But you have to hand it to the Death Note series: they came up with a fascinating concept and they executed it in such a way that they could keep on planning in as many twists and turns as they wanted to. It never felt as though the story was slowing down, even though there were bits of it where I wasn’t as engaged. Stuff was still happening, I just didn’t care too much.

And then we get to the end of this volume, where everything all kicks off and gets tied together. I’m not sure if it’d be less predictable if you hadn’t had any previous experience with the series, but really there was only one way it could have ended, and that’s what happened. I liked it though, because it worked. It also had just the tiniest bit of ambiguity– not enough for it to be annoying, but enough to make you think.



Click here to buy Death Note: Black Edition Volume VI.