First on the book review list is The Obsoletes by Simeon Mills which is a story of twin brothers, Darryl and Kanga, in their school years living a secret: they are robots. Where they live is filled with robophobic humans that if they were to find out the twins, they would rip them to shreds. Unfortunately Darryl, Kanga continuously ignores their rules of anonymity and decides to join the school’s basketball team as the star player. It is up to Darryl to cover up for both himself and Kanga in order to avoid being torn apart and becoming obsolete.
This book takes an interesting premise and drys it out with a myriad of unlikable characters. The world that is built is fascinating, but when every single inhabitant of said world makes you want to put down the book, there is an issue. A book like this thrives on character driven storytelling and while Darryl and Kanga both have interesting traits and turns in their arcs, they simply remain to be missing the likability programming in their processors. The supporting characters and the main antagonist are also really flat and had very little fleshing out.
Along with the aggravating characters, the main thing that ruins this book is Simeon Mills’ voice and writing style. The voice was very flat through the majority of the novel, with the odd exception of when he was talking about feet, and the writing style, while easy to read, was not enjoyable prose at all. The writing is very grammatical and precise, but the voice and character development is lost in that.
All of that said, this book would work great as a movie or television show. The world prime for new original storytelling with these characters, and with the proper screenwriters and director(s), a lot of flaws of the book could be rectified. What this book needed most was to add dynamics to the characters and facial expressions and tics that can be displayed through film can do just that. Overall, this book acts as a canvas for a series or movie to polish, and could spawn a great adaptation (given that they don’t let Simeon Mills help screen write) that would blend elements of Suburbicon, Ex Machina, and Wonder.
Book Review: 2/5