Ahoy there me mateys! This was Seth Fried’s debut novel and I picked it up because it deals with an AI and a mission in the greatest city in the United States. This book was worth reading for the relationship between the protagonist, Henry Thompson, and the AI named OWEN. I absolutely loved crazy OWEN and his sense of humor. I also rather enjoyed stick-in-the-mud loner Henry. I completely sympathized with Henry and his background and wanted him to succeed. I thought that the juxtaposition of the two characters was awesome and I was always wondering what they were going to do next. In addition, I loved watching them change and improve each other.
Unfortunately, I thought the mission, the world-building, and the bad guys were lackluster. For a town that is supposed to be the “gleaming city of tomorrow,” it really felt like any regular city with a couple of additions like more drones. The mission proceeds in a haphazard way and makes no real sense in terms of how the detective work is done. And the bad guys are boring and have dumb reasons to want to destroy the world. So aye, the plot was not to me taste even if I enjoyed the silly moments. But OWEN and Henry made up for it in the long run and kept me reading. Seriously OWEN is worth picking up this book and his and Henry’s friendship is awesome. Arrrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
In Metropolis, the gleaming city of tomorrow, the dream of the great American city has been achieved. But all that is about to change, unless a neurotic, rule-following bureaucrat and an irreverent, freewheeling artificial intelligence can save the city from a mysterious terrorist plot that threatens its very existence.
Henry Thompson has dedicated his life to improving America’s infrastructure as a proud employee of the United States Municipal Survey. So when the agency comes under attack, he dutifully accepts his unexpected mission to visit Metropolis looking for answers. But his plans to investigate quietly, quickly, and carefully are interrupted by his new partner: a day-drinking know-it-all named OWEN, who also turns out to be the projected embodiment of the agency’s supercomputer. Soon, Henry and OWEN are fighting to save not only their own lives and those of the city’s millions of inhabitants, but also the soul of Metropolis. The Municipalists is a thrilling, funny, and touching adventure story, a tour-de-force of imagination that trenchantly explores our relationships to the cities around us and the technologies guiding us into the future.
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