27th Sep2017

Book Review: ‘Sea of Rust’ by C. Robert Cargill

by Paul Metcalf

Written by C. Robert Cargill | Published by Voyager


Robots taking over the world is one of those dystopian fantasies that we always seems to obsess about. What happens though when humans are extinct and robots are left to live in a society together, will it be peaceful? That is the question answered in Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill.

The Sea of Rust is a place that robots go to die, though there are some scavengers who use the wastes as a place to collect parts that can either be used or sold on. Brittle is one of these scavengers, but is running out of parts to keep herself alive. When another similar robot hunts her down and they damage each other in battle, the two are pushed into a partnership that will change the world for all robot kind.

While the story is at first personal to Brittle, the battle with Mercer for the parts they each hold make both willing to take risks to survive. This is what makes them agree to take part in a journey to where it all began, when the robots decided to go to war with humans.

Through flashbacks the reader is introduced to a world where robots have become sentient beings and worked out that humans are a waste of resources, they are only destined to die. What the robots haven’t figured out of course is that their lives are as futile, especially in a world where no spare parts are being created.

When the robots win the war (that was fought in the past) a number of supercomputers take over and battle against themselves. In a Borg like move the dominant supercomputer decides to assimilate all robots to pool all of their power together, and in essence this is the “big bad” of Sea of Rust.

The journey that Brittle, Mercer and the rest of the group take is one of self-discovery, with a promise of freedom at the end. It would spoil too much to do into more detail than that, but the important element is that the robots have a life, even if this doesn’t seem logical to them, they are fighting for a life outside of the control of outside forces. The fighting to survive, whether it be fighting each other over components, or fighting for individuality is what makes them alive.

What C. Robert Cargill does well in Sea of Rust is that he humanises the robots for the reader. We understand that fight they are going through, know the fear that they show when they know the end is near. Their ways of dying may be different, but in the end, it is all about the body/components shutting down.

One of the best compliments I can give a book is that it manages to keep me hooked even when I’m busy having to watch films and play games for review. It can be hard to find time to read a book in all of the chaos, but I definitely found time for Sea of Rust. One of those books that feel like they could easily be a damn good movie, Sea of Rust is well worth checking out.

***** 5/5

Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill is available now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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