I, Robot: To Preserve
by Mickey Zucker Reichert
Review by Mel Jacob
Roc Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451242303
Date: 02 February 2016 List Price $27.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The last of a new series continuing Isaac Asimov's I, Robot novels and stories, Mickey Reichert was hired by the family foundation to write three books: I, Robot: To Obey, I, Robot: To Protect, and I, Robot, to Preserve. The novels follow the career of Dr. Susan Calvin and the United States Robots and Mechanical Men, USR, in developing humanoid robots. When a humanoid robot, Nate, is accused of murder, Susan is determined to prove otherwise.
Lawrence Robinson, head of USR, is arrested for the murder of Ari Goldman because he built Nate. Susan knows the Three Laws of Robotic prohibit such an action by Nate, but the available evidence suggests otherwise. Worse, Nate believes he must have killed the man, but has no memory of the event.
The three novels are a combination of medical and action thrillers as the Society for Humanity and Cadmium, an agency of DOD, chase Susan. The SFH had killed her father and tried to kill her while Cadmium believes there is a secret code left Susan by her father and they want it. Neither group will stop at anything to achieve their goals.
Lawrence Robinson, the head of USR and the developer along with Susan's father of the positronic brain used in all humanoid robots, hires her and orders her to discover who killed Dr. Goldman. A supposedly astute woman is easily taken in by lies and a pretty face. However, her intellect, memory, and stoic manner allow her to outwit her opponents, yet her enemies are relentless and have unlimited resources. Susan has her few friends, Nate, and the resources of USR. In the end, it comes down to Susan.
Better known for her fantasy novels, Reichert is not Asimov, and it shows in these three follow-on I, Robot novels. The final novel leaves some issues unresolved and cries for a further sequel. While set in the future, other than the robots, there is little of really advanced technology obvious in this particular novel.