Review: Bot Wars

Bot Wars

by J.V. Kade

Find it at: Your library | Amazon | Indibound

Published: Dial Books for Young Readers, imprint of Penguin Young Readers (March 21, 2013)

Recommended reading age: 10 & up

In a nutshell: Action, adventure, and a new author to put on your radar. Bot Wars by J.V. Kade, pen name for Jennifer Rush, is a futuristic, dystopian read, with robots and techie gadgets that would make anyone wish for a fast forward button to the future just to experience the world created in this wild ride of a read.

Just make sure you remember to breathe. It’s a full-out action sprint.

It’s been two years since the Robot Wars, and twelve-year-old Trout St.Kroix’s dad, a solider, is still missing. His “heart thread”, a tracking device chip that everyone has implanted in their heart, has been “offline” since the war ended. Bots used to be everywhere; Trout even had one as a nanny when he was young. Now they are feared and labeled as dangerous. Trout’s teenage brother Po lost his leg to Deeta disease, a byproduct of serving in the war. Trout likes to hide Po’s prosthetic leg just for kicks until Po threatens to take away Trout’s Net-tag, a keycard that gives him access to the Network (read video games), something no preteen boy could survive without.

In an attempt to locate his dad, Trout devises the long-shot plan of sending a vid viral on the Net in the hope that someone has information. It works. When Po learns what Trout did, he is furious – but for reasons he won’t share with Trout. Po orders the vid be removed, but it is too late. Still angry with his brother for the unshared secrets, the next day Trout receives a call from Po which says only one thing, “RUN!” In a frantic escape, Trout finds himself forced to choose between two paths; surrender to government patrolmen, or take the help of a robot he was taught to distrust more than anything else.

And that’s only the first quarter of the story! Any down time for Trout is few and far between. The futuristic lingo and phrases  like “All geared out” or “Totally wrenched” are quick to pick up on, as well as the techie terminology. One of the most enjoyable elements of the story was all the different gadgetry, such as cars that can auto drive, links (modern cell phones), and my personal favorite, hoverboards (think skateboards, but they can fly). I tend not to gravitate towards science fiction. Realistic fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy are my go-to reads, but this book has me reconsidering a new reading life in sci-fi. Bot Wars completely won me over.  Craftily written, relatable characters, and a clever, truly original storyline; I couldn’t put it down.

Middle grade readers who enjoy a heavy dose of action in their reading will, without a doubt, find themselves absorbed in this page-turner. The only problem for readers is knowing they’ll have to wait a whole year for the second installment in the series to come out in March 2014.

Don’t take my word for it: “This is an action-packed, cleverly imagined middle grade book with strong boy appeal. Hand this off to those who want futuristic books, those who love science-fiction, and those who would like reading a book about a boy who won’t give up hope.” -review from Heise Reads & Recommends.

Extras: Bot Wars map of the United Districts of America:

Visit J.V. Kade on her website.

Source of book reviewed: Advanced reader copy provided by the author.

Please be sure to check back here TOMORROW for an exclusive author interview with J.V. Kade a.k.a. Jennifer Rush, the mastermind behind Bot Wars!

5 Responses to “Review: Bot Wars”

  1. John Conner says:

    when does bot wars take place

  2. Stan says:

    Great blog right here! Also your site rather a lot up very
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    I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  3. Alex says:

    Can you name all the characters?


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  1. […] interview with Jennifer Rush writing as J. V. Kade, author of the action-packed middle grade novel, Bot Wars! You can read my full review of Bot Wars HERE. Jennifer Rush lives in a little town on the […]

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