HOUR OF THE ROBOT
By Paul R. McNamee
This sci-fi actioner
begins when an advance scout ship from an alien empire arrives in orbit around
the Earth with the intent gathering data for an invasion. As it turns out, one
of the three members of the crew rebels at the idea of conquest and sabotages
the mission at the same time stranding himself here. Seven years later, this
castaway has become a superhero to the people of the great city Palas simply
referred to as the Alien. His secret lair is managed by an intelligent robot of
his own design called Robot.
clearly spins his tale from the iconic comic book mythos of the twentieth
century. Whereas the Alien is another version of Superman, in the nearby dark
brooding metropolis of Crowsport (re-Gotham) a masked crimefigther named the
Protector has taken to cleaning up the street aided by his firecracker of a
lovely sidekick, a young lady called Understudy.
But what are heroes
without villains? And in this case, we immediately learn of brilliant genius
called Mr. Medina and a cruel, thuggish mob boss called Dufresne. Together they
are forever hatching various get rich schemes to acquire wealth and power. It
appears the forces are good and evil are equally balance until the Alien uncovers
clues of a mysterious third party’s involvement. This unknown element could
prove the most dangerous threat the planet has ever encountered unless Alien
and the Protector then discover its identity and goals.
“Hour of the Robot” is a terrific first novel and a fun read. McNamee’s prose is succinct in its brevity detailing the action clearly throughout without wasting so much as a single word. He tells you his story without fancy trappings while at the same time drawing forth really wonderful personalities from his cast of characters. Though based on all too familiar themes, “Hour of the Robot” is really something fresh and exciting and a bravo first novel of a very skillful storyteller. Honestly, we want more. Lots more.