Like most of Asimov's work, the ideas and concepts are unique and interesting, but the writing can feel a little technical for a novel.
Unlike most of Asimovs work, this one is a murder mystery, but the mystery takes a backseat to a typical Asimov examination of the future and human interaction with robots.
Overall, its a short, interesting read, but not Asimovs best.
Spread over 30 years, these books comprise Asimovs robot detective stories starring Lije Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw. (The R. stands for Robot) All are murder mysteries of a sort that are premised upon a paradox that is caused by the three Laws of Robotics that regulate the behavior of robots. In each, Baley solves the dilemma and smoothes over inter-galactic tactility but manages to allow the culprit to escape castigation.
Such an interaction of characters, man and robot, yet personalities with depth. Great plots in the entire series. I love the way Science Fiction sets the mundane of a murder into an entire new world. Mr. Asimov is one of the best.
Let me preface by saying I am not a fan of mysteries. I think they take forever to get to the point, and I'm usually not charmed by the ending. This book is different. Asimov uses a robot detective, and its awesome. Robots are the best, and this one is so much like Data from Star Trek TNG.
This book didn't blow my mind as much as I,Robot, but it still kicks ass.
Joe S. reviewed The Caves of Steel (R. Daneel Olivaw, Bk 1) on
This was a whodunit story without the benefit of enough information for the reader to guess the answer for themselves. I personally didn't find the story effective nor compelling enough to read a second time.
Gripping thriller from 1953. Sci-fi/mystery hybrids usually don't work for this reader and the author notes the problems of such in his 1983 intro. The story was suggested by editor Horace Gold who said:"How about an overpopulated world in which robots are taking over human jobs?...Put a murder in such a world and have a detective solve it with a robot partner. If the detective doesn,t solve it,the robot will replace him." The mystery isn't anything special but the context in which it is set is what makes it work. A chilling picture of life on an overpopulated earth in which millions are crowded into giant enclosed buildings, people are "classified" or "declassified" according to perceived value and everything is rationed including privacy, personal space and the time alloted to use it. Then there are robots and spacers to boot. TPB