Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Bringing Up Mike @askmarpub

Bringing Up Mike
Title: Bringing Up Mike
Author: Mark Duncan
Release Date: September 1, 2014
Format: Paperback & Ebook
Publisher: A
skmar publishing
Source: complimentary copy from the author in exchange of an honest review.

A teen prodigy makes drastic changes to his life and attends high school incognito with Mike, an artificial intelligence.
His plans take an unexpected turn when he buys a neglected former racehorse.
To achieve his goals, he must change everything about himself.


Mark   DuncanMark Duncan grew up in Pasadena, not far from Caltech. In high school he spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL) and subsequently was a member of the Homebrew Computer Club. He has worked for numerous startups in Silicon Valley. He lives in Menlo Park, near Stanford and has written extensively on emerging technology topics.

Bringing Up Mike is a contemporary Young Adult book that tries to include science-fiction in it. It's a book about a boy who starts to grow up and change without even realizing he is becoming a new person.

I will start with the positive and then I will explain why the book wasn't entirely my cup of tea.

I liked that the main character is a nerdy kid. He surely is smart and graduated college at a young age but going to small conservative town to try to be a normal kid seems beneficial for him and others. He meets amazing people and touches every single life one way or another. He evolves naturally and in a way that doesn't seem forced.

Mike, the Artificial Intelligence, is really funny. However, he appears from time to time. I would have like to read more about him and also that he was a more relevant subject in the story. He did interact with all the characters and helped them somehow but I wanted more.

Also, I think that including horses was a great idea. Animals are always a good way to bring alterations into people lives.

Now... the book was too long for me. More than 400 pages for a boy coming to age are too much. There were a lot of things that could have been cut out. I understand why the author tried to talk about the foods and the Civil War reenactment but for me wasn't necessary. He was trying to create a more complete world but it was overwhelming.

Another thing that bothered me was the constant changing POV. The narrator was all over the place, talking about all these events at once and it was hard to follow.

The writing style wasn't bad but there was something missing. For moments it felt like simply narratives of events in someone’s life.

Overall, I gave it 2.5 stars because it was a good read but the length made it hard to go on and that’s why it took me so long to read it.

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