Printz Honor-winning author Andrew Smith returns with Rabbit & Robot, another audaciously bizarre and bewilderingly funny YA novel.
At first glance, Cager Messer is not your normal teenager. He has a manservant. He’s also hopelessly addicted to Woz, a futuristic drug. But in this disquieting future world, where the U.S. has just entered into its 30th simultaneous war, pretty much everyone’s addicted to Woz. That and “Rabbit & Robot,” a television program that keeps children merrily distracted while teaching them all about coding and firearms. But like most teenagers, Cager feels neither normal nor adequate. Luckily, he has two people looking out for him—Rowan, his manservant, and Billy, his one and only true friend. To break his Woz addiction, Rowan and Billy trick Cager into boarding the Tennessee, an interstellar cruise ship staffed by robots so advanced they’re coded with human emotions.
Unfortunately, the robots are only so advanced. They tend to have one overriding emotion that informs their character. There’s the perennially enraged Captain Myron; Milo, the despondent yet dutiful maitre d’, who constantly bemoans the sad absurdity of life; and Maurice, a French bisexual giraffe who’s just, well, weird. To make things stranger still, a blue worm has crawled aboard the Tennessee and is disrupting the robots’ codes, turning them into robot cannibals.
Part satire, part dystopia and as wholly unique as all of Smith’s previous novels, Rabbit & Robot is one of the strangest and funniest books in recent memory.