Plastics’ are attempting to infiltrate human society in insidious ways, and a few astute people aren’t having it in Ryan’s Robot, which moves between real people and the robots which are replacing them.

There’s a lot happening in Ryan’s Robot, and no singular robot is at the heart of these events. From the introduction of Eva and her little robotic dog who try to get the residents of a small community used to the benefits of ‘plastics’ living alongside real people to the motivations of a son and magician who seeks to translate magic to life’s challenges, Ryan’s Robot takes some unexpected turns.

At times, it almost feels like there is too much going on. Murders, ethical and social issues, a son’s changing relationship with his father, a quasi-romance…however, all these elements coalesce in a story that moves briskly but logically between all these facets and more.

Brian Kacica is able to keep all these topics on track as he juggles a myriad of special interests, from corporate to personal, and this keeps the story line flowing and intriguing. The reader never quite knows where it will wind up, and this uncertainty provides a satisfying element of surprise as Ryan’s Robot continually challenges its own apparent trajectory and injects many food-for-thought moments to keep readers on their toes.

The result is a read which holds futuristic elements but is not quite sci-fi; crimes which can’t quite be identified as such because their victims aren’t human; an evolving romantic element which takes an unexpected turn; and even a futuristic time-travel theme that keeps readers guessing about where the story will end up.

Readers who appreciate multifaceted novels that hold no linear path to resolution will find this book a delightfully complex, even whimsical survey of the impact of robotics and special interests in one community, and possibly the world.

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