My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Overall the book is very good, It took me about a day to finish it, I am busy enough that it’s rare for me to read that much these days. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction and are geeky in any way.
Bob is very engaging, he reminds me of Mark Watney (from The Martian). Like Watney’s character has a lot riding on him because he is the only one around.
While he does have a very good skill set for the situation, he does have to learn and improvise in many areas and do things that do not come easily to him.
As the name of the book implies, by the end there are many Bob’s. They are off doing different things around various stars. This could easily get bogged down in details or confusing but it never does. The sign of the best art, in whatever form, is that something very hard is made to look very easy.
The writing is what can only be called smooth. It flows easily and never at any point are you tempted to stop, wait or even to skip ahead to a more interesting part.
I have read books, even some that I really like where this not the case. Even Game of Throne’s has parts where you want to change point of view badly.
The book starts off with just the life of one Bob, where pleasing those in charge and staying alive is all he can or has to worry about. Before too long it grows though, stretching about 40 years into the future and a couple dozen light years away.
While very very far from the first writer to do it, he does it well.
The Science (and technology)
I really do like how he maintained a hard sci-fi setting. The only technology that might not be considered hard is the subspace tech. Mainly the drive that creates gravity around the ships and pulls them forward. Otherwise there were no violations of physics that I could note.
It really is a good lesson that the constraints caused by science can help you tell a good story.
One thing I see here that I really wish I saw more often is how Bob was very creative and how he researched new technology. It also explored the various applications of the subspace tech.
Edit: review of the sequel: For We Are Many