Blog Archive

View My Stats
Saturday, April 14, 2018

AUTONOMOUS BY ANDY MARINO BLOG TOUR: Review of Autonomous by Andy Marino (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)


Fantasy Book Critic is excited to be the final stop on the Autonomous Blog Tour. For this stop of the blog tour, I will be reviewing this YA sci-fi/thriller novel. It is a combination of contemporary fiction, sci-fi, and adventure (think Fast and Furious). A huge thank you to Disney Publishing for providing me with an ARC and allowing me to be a part of this blog tour.

OVERVIEW: William Mackler is about to go on a road trip of a lifetime. After winning a contest—and nearly dying in the process—he becomes the proud owner of Autonomous, a driverless car that knows where you want to go before you do. #Worthit! To sweeten the deal he gets to pick three friends to go with him on a cross-country trip to see their favorite band. For William, a reckless adrenaline junkie, this is the perfect last hurrah before he and his friends go their separate ways after graduation. But Autonomous is more than just a car without a steering wheel. It's capable of downloading all of the passengers’ digital history—from the good, to the bad, to the humiliating. The information is customized into an itinerary that will expose a few well-kept secrets, but it will also force William to face some inner demons of his own. Think you know Autonomous? The real question is, how much does Autonomous know about you?

AUTONOMOUS by Andy Marino  combines social media stakes with jaw-dropping, high-tech action for a road trip saga like no other. The Fast and the Furious meets Stephen King’s Christine in this YA novel about a group of friends and a cutting-edge driverless car (OTTO) that taps into their online profiles, unlocking deep secrets that put the entire group in danger.

FORMAT: Autonomous is a contemporary YA thriller with sci-fi and futuristic elements to it.  It stands at 368 pages and was published April 3, 2018 by Freeform. 


ANALYSIS:

Sometimes in the YA genre you have to be willing to take risks. This means stepping outside of the standard format and trying something new. That is exactly what happens in Autonomous.


Andy Marino takes a different approach to YA writing. Readers are given four main characters but unlike some novels where all the characters' personalities and background is laid out in the first few chapters, Autonomous takes you on a very slow journey where you are constantly learning about the characters from the first few pages to the last page.

This unique approach to writing has a very disorienting feel at first because, as a reader, you want to know what is going on and you want to feel connected, but you don't – at least not at first. While reading Autonomous, I kept thinking "does this writing style work? Would it work for other novels" and the answer is "yes it works for this novel, but not every novel would benefit".

The slow approach to character development works for Autonomous because the main focus of the novel is sitting back and watching as OTTO (the automated car) grows and develops as he learns more about the four teens that are travelling with him. If readers knew everything up front, the novel wouldn't feel the same and would honestly feel very flat.


In addition to the unique writing style, Autonomous does an amazing job at showcasing some very 'edge of your seat' car chases and races. There were a number of scenes that involved OTTO and our main characters playing in a Grand Theft Auto type real world game. I confess, I found these scenes the most interesting. While I can't say whether they were absolutely necessary to the plot of the book, they were fun to read and brought a certain level of action/adventure to the novel.

While Autonomous was an interesting read, it wasn't without its flaws. One of the biggest teasers in the book was the unveiling of each of the characters secrets. I was invested in knowing the characters' secrets, but when the secrets were unveiled they were sadly disappointing. They had the potential to be ground-breaking but between the way the other characters reacted and the faster pace of the novel, it just seemed like they were just disappointing.

Another issue I had was I felt there was a big build up to watching as OTTO developed as a character. Unfortunately, this didn't really happen until the last few chapters. Maybe I misunderstood the novel, but I really expected OTTO to play a bigger role and again I was left a bit disappointed by it.

Even though I had a few disappointments, I don't think Autonomous was bad. I believe for the right reader who is looking to adventure into novels that aren't written in a cookie-cutter style, especially those in the target demographic of approximately 13 to 16, it would be an interesting novel. I do think that adult readers, who have read numerous sci-fi, horror or thriller novels, would find numerous problems with the novel. So, would I recommend it? Yes if you were in the target reader group, but if it sounds like something you've read before, I would say skip it.

0 comments:

Follow by Email

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Demon of Destruction” by M. R. Mathias!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Infernal Machines” by John H. Jacobs!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Skullsworn” by Brian Staveley!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “A Game Of Ghosts” by John Connolly!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Queen Of Swords” by R. S. Belcher!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “A Dragon Of A Different Color” by Rachel Aaron!!!
Order HERE