cover image Rabbit & Robot

Rabbit & Robot

Andrew Smith. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2220-9

On Cager Messer’s 16th birthday, Rowan and Billy sneak him aboard a lunar cruise ship, the Tennessee, to save him from his addiction to the enhancement drug Woz. Cager and Billy have lived lives controlled by their parents, powerful figures in their technologically advanced and war-ravaged version of Earth, where most humans work as coders (“Robots”) or soldiers (“Rabbits”). On the ship, it becomes clear that war has destroyed what’s left of planet Earth; cogs—robots that experience heightened human emotions and drives of joy, sadness, and arousal—begin to devour each other; and the boys begin to suspect that other humans might be on board. Absurdist characters and scenarios abound, from a kind, French-speaking giraffe, released from the ship’s zoo when gravity fails, to a constantly horny valet with a distinct lack of boundaries. Readers will enjoy unraveling the meaning within this provocative jaunt by Smith (Grasshopper Jungle), which dissects society, technology, othering, and what makes humanity human. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Sept.) [/em]