Robot Blood (Sleep Writer Book 2) is published
Posted on July 8, 2015 (Subscribe to Blog)
And... here it is! Robot Blood, the second book in my Sleep Writer series, is published. It takes place a week after the first book and throws Liam Mackenzie into all kinds of danger on an alien planet. But there's a twist, because Liam can't die and should therefore be perfectly safe on this deadly mission. Or so the Ark Lord says.
(Sleep Writer Book 2)
Liam is kidnapped by a small robot and taken into space. There he meets the Ark Lord, a creepy cyborg bent on recruiting a team of so-called invincible soldiers for a very specific mission.
There's nothing special about Liam except that he's seen his own future, which means his chances of survival are pretty much guaranteed, making him ideal for a potentially deadly task. To help him along, the Ark Lord injects Liam with cyborg-creating nanobots...
This is the second book in the Sleep Writer sci-fi adventure series.
Available on Kindle US, Kindle UK, Nook, Apple, and Kobo. See also Goodreads.
Brian Clopper (beta reader, author, buddy, 5th-grade teacher, and foot soldier in Quincy's Curse) was kind enough to read the book in its earlier stages and found typos and made some excellent suggestions. I'm glad I sat on it for a week while I was away on vacation, because it gave me time to realize it was missing something. So I inserted some new material somewhere near the end, and now it works much better, a more complete story. Brian had this to say about the book:
"Robot Blood, the second book in Keith Robinson's Sleep Writer series, continues the adventures of Liam, Ant, and Madison as they once again let wormholes get the best of them. Or do they?
This books moves at a swift pace but doesn't sacrifice character development. The kids act like kids. They make both good and bad choices and learn to adapt in a way that makes it clear Robinson knows what it's like to be a kid who just so happens to stray in and out of wormholes like most of us splash through small creeks and streams.
Liam gets thrust into a dire predicament when he is snatched up by the menacing Ark Lord. Injected with nanorobots that change him into a techno warrior, Liam is forced to go on a mission with others equally transformed.
Liam questions their goal and the price of their actions. Robinson does a great job of showing how kids have a strong sense of what is morally right and wrong under extreme circumstances that doesn't come across as out of character or acting too adult.
A concept that Robinson explores in this installment is the idea of whether time is malleable or not. Liam got a glimpse of his future in the first book, Sleep Writer, and knows something crucial about his senior years. The whole thrust of the second book answers the question of whether what he saw in the future is something that is fixed and destined or if his future can be changed. I tend to see time as something that is always in flux and able to be altered, while the author posits that maybe it isn't all that flexible, that what awaits us at the end of the road is something fixed and irreversible. Knowing your future can be a horrible burden or a liberating release. Only time will tell how Liam feels about this.
While Keith tackles some serious philosophical timey-whimey perspectives, the book doesn't feel heavy. It zips along at a delightful pace and is loaded with action and time-traveling grubs. Yes, that's right, grubs who can manipulate time and space. What next, weevils with the ability to fold space? Leave it to Robinson to deliver a science fiction novel with style and import and grubs.
I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in this series, Caleb's World."
— Review by Brian Clopper, Author
By the way, this might be a good time to mention that recently I received a fantastic review of the first book, Sleep Writer, from New York Times bestselling fantasy author Piers Anthony. He's usually pretty matter-of-fact in his reviews, not overly gushy when he likes something and not afraid to say when something needs work. He's read all my books to date, and I'm happy to say he's liked them all so far, but I was astounded by his review of Sleep Writer. See what he wrote:
"I read Sleep Writer by Keith Robinson, published last year by UNEARTHLY TALES. This is a juvenile with a twelve year old protagonist, but as with this author's other juveniles, don't let that discourage you as an adult reader. For my taste this is one of the best novels I've read regardless of genre; it haunted me for several days after I read it. I have remarked before, I believe, on how traditional publishers tend to be stupid, missing some really sharp new authors, and Keith Robinson is an outstanding example, as his Island of Fog series shows.
In this one, Liam has a filthy rich friend his age he calls Ant, short for Anthony (no known relation to me), and they tend to get into incidental mischief the way boys do. A new family moves in next door, with a pretty 15 year old girl, Madison. Liam is disappointed; obviously she won't be any good as a pal. Little does he know! Then she comes over and asks where the nearest cemetery is. About that time Liam, Ant, and the reader, realize that this will get interesting, and not just because he soon develops a hopeless crush on Maddy. She is the sleep writer: in her sleep she writes cryptic little messages to herself calling out places and times. The next one is that night in the cemetery. Naturally Liam, Ant, and Maddy sneak out to make the rendezvous. And lo, an alien portal or wormhole opens, complete with weird alien creatures. The story goes on from there, getting pretty wild at times. They make other connections, and at one point Liam even jumps into a wormhole and briefly visits the alien realm, snatching an alien artifact.
But wild as the story seems, it all makes sense in the end, and there are concluding revelations that made me pause in awe and wonder. This author has found a way to handle the equivalent of time travel without dissolving too badly into paradox. Paradox is inevitable with time travel, but it can it seems be managed it you're careful, though it's best not to examine it too closely.
I'm glad there will be a sequel, Robot Blood, because I really like these characters and this setting. What can I say? Read this novel regardless of your age; I doubt you'll be disappointed, and your mind may be stretched a bit. Buy it for your twelve year old son; he should love it. Maybe your teen daughter will like it too. The final ten percent blew me away, transforming the picture. Maybe it just happened to relate to me in a way it won't to others, but read it and see."
— Review by Piers Anthony, Author (see the July 2015 newsletter and scroll down a long way)
If you're a fan of Island of Fog and want to try something new, see how Liam compares to Hal. He's a lot more reckless but has the same inner strength and nobility that makes Hal so likeable. And the adventures are pretty wild.
The next book in the series is called Caleb's World, and I expect to publish this around September 2015. Things are hotting up (British phrasing) around here!
You'll be sick of seeing my name Keith. Just wanted to add a note in this part, I got the book this morning (first thing- I mean that. I wasn't even out of bed). Currently I'm only on to chapter 7 due to three children or it would be finished.
Congratulations on all of your well deserved reviews. I'm sure you'll continue to receive great mentions, I know I mention your name a lot these days. Like I've said before I am 28 years old and don't find these books childish or any such thing. I love them, pure and simple.
For anyone who was waiting for the release, grab the book now because I literally can't put it down.
^^^ Everybody, look. ^^^
Nuff said. :-)
At first I was skeptical of this series, thinking it would never be as good as Island of Fog (my all-time favorite, by the way), but I was surprised! Sleep Writer was great, and I'm glad that Robot Blood is out, I hope to read it soon!
Welcome aboard, whoever you are! :-)
Just finished the book, as my son would say, "I didn't like it...... I loved it!" For anonymous - it's just as great as Sleep Writer if not better.
I saw that PA review on his blog and reacted the same way. Highest praise indeed. Congrats.