Reviews for Bot Wars

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Twelve-year-old Trout St. Croix and older brother Po were orphaned when their father went off to the Bot Wars. Though raised to fear the remaining robot population, they seek their missing father. When Po is kidnapped, Trout enters enemy territory to rescue his family. Using clever robot-based slang, Kade creates a fantastic, intriguing world where man and machine are not so different.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 February #1
The Bot Wars are over, but the robot menace still exists…or does it? Twelve-year-old Trout St. Kroix has been living with his one-legged brother Po for two years, ever since their father went MIA. Trout hasn't given up hope, and he hatches a plan to get their story on the Net with classmate Tellie Rix's help. The video-message upload has unintended consequences. Trout finds himself on the run with a robot headed for the robot territories, while forces within the District government capture Po. Unbeknownst to Trout, their father is leader of the Meta-Rise, a robot equal rights movement started in the wake of the wars. Learning why his father kept so many secrets is just the beginning of Trout's story, and he's out to prove himself his father's son. Kade (who has just released Altered, also 2013, under the name Jennifer Rush) manages to be both naïve and condescending in this short-on-thrills adventure. Set in a future that is as laughable as it is improbable, the tale features lame slang that wears thin early on and "science" that is more convenient to the tale than accurate. The characters are flat, and the prose is replete with awkward and unintentionally funny similes. SF-starved readers should look elsewhere. Sequels are promised…few will be waiting for them. (Science fiction. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 February #2

Kade (a pseudonym for Jennifer Rush, who recently made her YA debut with Altered) offers a fast-paced, futuristic adventure in which one boy risks everything for his family. The Robot Wars left the U.S. in shambles, divided between Bot Territory and the United Districts. Even though the wars ended months ago, 12-year-old Trout St. Kroix is still waiting for his soldier father to come home. When Trout makes one last desperate attempt to bring attention to his father's plight, he discovers the surprising truth about where his father is and what he's been up to. Meanwhile, Trout's older brother has fallen into the hands of the U.D.'s corrupt government, and it's up to Trout to save them both and prevent disaster. Strong characterizations and nifty tech keep Kade's story from succumbing to a relatively predictable "everything you know is wrong" dystopian plot. Kade's robots tread the fine line between the familiar and the alien, and her world-building shows potential, resulting in an entertaining reading experience. Ages 10-up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 May

Gr 5-7--The Robot Wars have been over for six months, and the former United States is divided into autonomous districts. "Bots" are banned, except in the Bot Territory. Twelve-year-old Trout lives with his older brother, Po, an injured war veteran, in the heavily militarized 5th District. Their father is missing. Hoping to prove that he's still alive, Trout posts a search appeal for him on the Net. Sure enough, his dad's ID thread comes back on, but the message attracts the attention of the authorities. After Po is arrested, Trout realizes that his father and brother are involved in the Meta-Rise pro-bot resistance movement-and now the police are after him as well. He needs to find his dad and rescue Po, a mission that takes him to resistance headquarters in Bot Territory, and, with secrets everywhere, he isn't sure whom he can trust. The dialogue occasionally struggles with dialect and accent, and the constant repetition of slang gets to be a bit much. Some of the most engaging characters are the robots Trout befriends-for example, steady, courageous LT and clumsy but clever mechanic Scissor. The rather complex story line includes a lot of background information about the wars and the resistance and leaves several plot threads open for potential sequels. Science-fiction fans will enjoy the action and subtle exploration of just what it means to be human.--Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL

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