For We Are Many by Dennis E. Taylor Review (Bobiverse #2)

Title: For We Are Many | Series: Bobiverse #2 | Author: Dennis E. Taylor | Pub. Date: 2017-4-18 | Pages: 311 | ASIN: B01MZI77C0 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Kindle Unlimited

For We Are Many

Bob Johansson didn’t believe in an afterlife, so waking up after being killed in a car accident was a shock. To add to the surprise, he is now a sentient computer and the controlling intelligence for a Von Neumann probe. 

Bob and his copies have been spreading out from Earth for 40 years now, looking for habitable planets. But that’s the only part of the plan that’s still in one piece. A system-wide war has killed off 99.9% of the human race; nuclear winter is slowly making the Earth uninhabitable; a radical group wants to finish the job on the remnants of humanity; the Brazilian space probes are still out there, still trying to blow up the competition; And the Bobs have discovered a spacefaring species that sees all other life as food. 

Bob left Earth anticipating a life of exploration and blissful solitude. Instead he’s become a sky god to a primitive native species, the only hope for getting humanity to a new home, and possibly the only thing that can prevent every living thing in the local sphere from ending up as dinner.

Book cover for We Are Many

For We Are Many Review

For We Are Many is a book that left me with mixed feelings. I absolutely loved the first book, and I can state decisively that I didn’t dislike this book. However, I think I should have experienced it the same way I experienced the first one. Which is to listen to it being told by Ray Porter rather than to outright read it. I don’t think the reading experience was nearly as enjoyable as hearing the story brought to life by Porter. Would I have even liked the first book as much if I hadn’t listened to it? I honestly can’t say. I definitely got confused more easily in this book as there were so many clones to keep track of, and so much going on.

The second book in the Bobiverse series was, by necessity, darker than the first book. And that created a bit of a quandry for me. The darker tone was a natural progression. I should have appreciated the further exploration of several issues. But part of the reason I liked the first book so much was the sheer amount of snark, and joy at the universe, and such. For We Are Many has very little lightness to it. The side story with Archimedes made me a bit sad. I didn’t understand some of the differences the Bobs were displaying towards the end. They seemed to be evolving, and not in a positive way. Bob-1, the one who was so vibrant and interesting, barely seemed to be present in this book. The others were okay – I mean, they were Bobs, but they weren’t BOB, you know?

We Are Legion danced around so many interesting ideas. Ethics, choice versus free will, souls in clones, and so on. It stimulated my imagination even whilst letting me bask in the snark. For We Are Many is more straight-up exploration of saving humanity and finding out you aren’t really all-knowing. Oh, and it introduces an AI/human relationship and the fallout associated with that. The pace is rapid, to the point that it feels more like an ADD kid jumping around than any guided story. Even while I was cognizant of the fact that the author was drawing threads together, it felt much less coherent than We Are Legion did. This is perhaps, again, due to the sheer amount of characters.

Even though I had already purchased the third audio book, I’m not entirely sure I want to continue on with the series.  For We Are Many just doesn’t feel as well-done as the first book was. It was kind of fun reading against Bob versus the Others, but at the same time, it felt like a blatant rip-off of something any Star Trek fan will recognize. But, given that Bob is an acknowledged Star Trek fan, it kind of makes me wonder if maybe some of this isn’t Bob going crazy.

Hm, that is an interesting thought. Now I do have to read/listen to the third book. Bother!

Overall, For We Are Many isn’t the follow-up to We Are Legion that I was hoping for, but it’s not horrible. I think your reaction will vary according to what you enjoyed most about the first book. Proceed with caution.

2 thoughts on “For We Are Many by Dennis E. Taylor Review (Bobiverse #2)

  1. This series sounds fascinating. If I do decide to try it I’ll go with audibles. I often find I like some books better while listening thatn while reading. Depends on the narrator, I expect. I’ve come across a couple that didn’t work and a few I watch for.

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