Adam is a robot who describes himself as, “Adam version two point zero, a prototype experimental artificial entity.” He has been living in the basement of an abandoned building for over two hundred years when he is discovered by two children, Runa and Linden. Adam follows them into the outside world that has been ruined by a civil war between humans and robots.
Adam gains a cautious acceptance into the human’s world because he is useful for fixing broken equipment which empowers the human’s fight against the robots. When Adam is captured by the robots, he begins to see the civil war from their point of view. Adam realises he needs to find a way to create peace between humans and robots before they destroy each other.
This is an interesting story that realistically illustrates the tensions between cultures and why solutions are difficult. However, I did encounter a few problems. While Adam is the hero of the story, Linden plays a major role and goes through the most character growth. Linden is non-binary, that is neither male nor female, but this makes Linden a difficult character to relate to. There’s also no physical description of the children apart from their clothing. Much of the middle part of the book concerns Linden and the lack of relatability causes the story to drag at this point. Also, several times I had to check the point of view and reread some descriptions which were unclear. Apart from these issues, the story has much to offer in terms of the need for empathy and tolerance in overcoming conflicts between people groups.
Overall, the story has interesting themes. The technological gadgetry and conflict would appeal to boys.