Read Serengeti by J.B. Rockwell Online


It was supposed to be an easy job: find the Dark Star Revolution Starships, destroy them, and go home. But a booby-trapped vessel decimates the Meridian Alliance fleet, leaving Serengeti—a Valkyrie class warship with a sentient AI brain—on her own; wrecked and abandoned in an empty expanse of space. On the edge of total failure, Serengeti thinks only of her crew. She herdsIt was supposed to be an easy job: find the Dark Star Revolution Starships, destroy them, and go home. But a booby-trapped vessel decimates the Meridian Alliance fleet, leaving Serengeti—a Valkyrie class warship with a sentient AI brain—on her own; wrecked and abandoned in an empty expanse of space. On the edge of total failure, Serengeti thinks only of her crew. She herds the survivors into a lifeboat, intending to sling them into space. But the escape pod sticks in her belly, locking the cryogenically frozen crew inside. Then a scavenger ship arrives to pick Serengeti's bones clean. Her engines dead, her guns long silenced, Serengeti and her last two robots must find a way to fight the scavengers off and save the crew trapped inside her. ...

Title : Serengeti
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 28945627
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 233 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Serengeti Reviews

  • Jean Poulos
    2019-04-13 12:14

    This is a different and interesting story. Serengeti is a Valkyrie class Warship with a sentient AI brain. The AI ships are special. Their personality depends on the kind of spaceship they are in. They have complete authority over the captain.Serengeti belongs to the Meridian Alliance fleet and they are at war with the Dark Star Revolution fleet. The two fleets have a battle and Serengeti is badly damaged and is on the edge of total failure. She was unable to evacuate her human cryogenically frozen crew and send a distress signal. Scavengers board the ship and Serengeti and her two robots must fight them off and save the ship and crew.Rockwell made the AI and robots very humanized almost too much so. Had the feeling this book was written for young people. I had to suspend belief a few times but overall it was a fun book and a bit different from the usual space operas. The book was well written and the robots were cute. The book dragged a bit in the middle of the book. Wiley does a good job narrating the book particularly between Serengeti and her robots. Wiley is an actress and an award winning audiobook narrator.

  • The Grim Reader (
    2019-04-04 08:10

    Sci-Fi is a genre that I don't boldy go into very often (see what I did there?!) Serengeti is a tale about survival. When the crew of a ship badly damaged during a fire fight a put into cryogenic stasis the artificial intelligence assumes control of the ship. Scavengers board the ship in an attempt to strip it but come up against an A.I. that has a deep affection for her crew and will stop at nothing to protect them. A Well-paced, fun read, Serengeti is not hard Sci-Fi, but it is a good book. 4 stars.

  • Michael Stewart
    2019-04-17 11:59

    Fresh, poignant, unexpected. This is not a shoot ‘em up adventure. It is a story of love, sacrifice, and perseverance. I loved how it threatened my suspension of disbelief and then captured me wholly. Well done; I hope this is only act one.

  • Leona (Books Inside The Keep)
    2019-03-27 12:07

    Now that I've finished listening to Serengeti I've come to two conclusions; one, I don't know how to rate it (although I'll probably work through that in this review), and second, the two major points of the story was, in a way, completely opposite from the other. What I mean is that the story started off one way with high intensity, and yes that in itself helped in forming the way it ended, but the ending was on a completely different atmosphere and storyline.Serengeti starts off where there's a conflict brewing between another AI - Brutus I believe his name was, Serengeti, and Serengeti's crew. This conflict leads to some of her crew dying, becoming injured, and it subsequently leads in Serengeti and her crew - for their sakes - to part ways. I was somewhat on board with the storyline of how Serengeti started, but I have to admit that I was so confused as to what was really happening that I couldn't get into the story that much.The world that Rockwell built for Serengeti - although Rockwell gave a good effort in trying to make it as uncomplicated as possible - was hard to follow. From the point of Serengeti sending off the remaining members of her team to safety was also the point where the story birthed another storyline, one where Serengeti was now alone with the robots she found after the crash.Outside of my confusion of what the story of Serengeti was supposed to be about, I did enjoy the relationship between Serengeti, Tig, Tilly, and their mini-me robot (can't remember her name nor how to spell it, the curse of reviewing audiobooks). My heart strings were pulled something fierce, and I know this was so because of the narration of Elizabeth Wiley.Elizabeth Wiley did an amazing job on all the voices and the pacing of Serengeti. The way she was able to understand what was going on and bring this story to life was what kept me interested.  Just off her performance for Serengeti alone I had to add her to my list of narrators to look out for.***Originally reviewed at Literary Treasure Chest:

  • Heather Fleet
    2019-03-30 14:09

    So not my normal genre. But OMG the feels. loved it! Full review to come.So here's the thing. I only read romance. Like, it's the peanut butter to my jelly. BUT Ms. Rockwell (who I affectionately refer to as the other peanut butter to my jelly in life) drew me into this story after I worked with her on a writing contest. To be honest, I was petrified of reading this. Not because I didn't think it was badly written, but because I went into it thinking: Okay. Space ships. Outer space. Stuff I don't jive with. (Note my shelves? It's all about the romance.) Anyway...So I picked this one up, and you know what happened? I read it in two days. TWO DAYS. That does not happen to me anymore. You know why that happened? Because I genuinely fell in love with this story. Not just the writing, but the characters, the grew, Serengeti...a freaking spaceship! I know, right? Me, loving science fiction, sans romance? Unheard of. Until now.This is the story of Serengeti. She is the brain of her ship, with human emotions, and a dying need to keep her crew safe. She fights, she loves, she is amazing. An AI warship!! And the robots. ROBOTS. I loved the robots.But what drew me in was Ms. Rockwell's writing. Fluid, poetic, heart achingly real. Gosh, if anyone can get me to love something outside of my comfort zone, it's her.

  • K.C. Shaw
    2019-04-08 09:13

    I loved this one! The main character is a battle starship's AI, but while that might make you think of a militant HAL-type computer, Serengeti is anything but. She cares for her crew--human and robot--and will do anything to protect them, even if it means she might die.The story is wonderfully different. At times it's action-packed and suspenseful, other times contemplative, but it's always warm and hopeful--even at the end when I kept having to blink back tears. I really hope there's a sequel!

  • Carl
    2019-04-01 09:00

    any author who can make me as invested in 2 robots as this book did deserves all the success and awards that can be heaped upon them

  • Ken
    2019-03-26 10:52

    Serengeti was one of those rare novels that you wait for years to encounter. And when you finally do come across one, you`re admitted to an author`s fascinating vision, one that you`ll remember for a long time afterwards. Serengeti is basically about an Interstellar Spaceship, one containing, one being, an Artificial Intelligence. She was created as a vehicle of War - the usual harbringer of technologically advancements. And though Serengeti was an AI, she still had to work with a Captain and Crew, one that to her, she had to protect at all costs. Without going. into dreaded spoilers, the gist of the story is that Serengeti is part. of a battle plan, run by a newer type of AI, one without the, shall I say, Finess, of Serengeti`s Class. The plan goes wrong, Serengeti is damaged, and she escapes. But she realizes that her Crew did not escape, and she must somehow rescue them, though she herself is damaged beyond repair. From there it`s a story of her survival, how she does it with the aid of a surviving Robot crewman (who can be her eyes and ears), and the survival of her human crew. It`s a rather poignant story, one filled with wonder and emotion. Yes, the author does a great job of providing emotional experiences for the reader - especially when the story is told from Serengeti`s (an Artificial Intelligence) viewpoint. I am an emotional person, able to empathize with others, and when I was reading various passages, emotional ones, I often found myself on the verge of tears, and many times, I did feel tears streaming down my cheeks. There are few authors who have that power, J.B. Rockwell certainly does. When I did finish the novel, the story ended in a comfortable place, but in no means did I feel that Serengeti`s story had ended. There is still much, too much that I want to discover about Serengeti and her Universe. Only J.B. Rockwell can provide us with that in the form of a sequel, or novels set in that particular Universe. All I know is that I will be anxiously awaiting her next book about Serengeti. I do have a few more comments. When I first came across this book, and knew it was going to be about a Sentient Ship, I thought back on a novel I read decades ago, one named "The Ship Who Sang" by Anne McCaffery. That was a ship not controlled by an AI, but by what the author called a "Shell Person". A human who was born with various defects to the body, or one who had been in a severe accident, and could only live in a Shell. Fed by nutrients, hooked into the Ship's systems, the Shell person had complete control of the Ship. But, they also had to have a human Pilot/Crew when Planetbound, or mobile things had to be done. So, I thought this novel would somehow be a copycat. Boy, was I wrong, gladly wrong. Because if you think about the differences between a Shell-Person Ship and an AI Ship, the AI Ship would have come out on top. In Serengeti`s War, and her subsequent quest for survival, there is no way a Shell-person would have survived the ordeal. Serengeti did, and though the Ship who sang has remained in my heart since the mid-1970`s, I now have a spot right besides her, one for Serengeti. And for me to put an Author`s work next to Anne McCaffery`s, well you know it has to be a place of honor, don`t you?

  • Lilyn G. (Scifi and Scary)
    2019-04-20 09:09

    So, I never thought I’d read a story where the whole first third of it was one massive battle, and walk away saying I liked it. I have a short attention span, so protracted scenes tend to make me wander off. However, the action in J.B. Rockwell’s Serengeti was interesting enough that it kept my attention glued to it. I read it while taking a bubble bath, whilst walking through the house, etc. And when things calmed down (and they do calm way down), I happily kept reading it.Serengeti is one part pulse-pounding action, two parts Wall-E 2. And, surprisingly, the two completely different types of books work really well together. The first third allows you to garner respect for the AI controlling the ship Serengeti, and to begin thinking of her as a ‘person’. As Serengeti, herself. A being, not a ship. That’s a crucial step to being able to feel for her as the other two-thirds happen. And you do feel for Serengeti. J.B. Rockwell does a fantastic job of showcasing the AI’s humanity even as she’s doing things that no human could do. The feelings of isolation, and sorrow tug at you again and again. But her sheer determination and loyalty to her crew keep you rooting for her.There were problems with the book, though. One of the biggest problems I had with Serengeti is that I had trouble believing the AI was that human. It had its moments where it seemed more like an unwitting anthromorphosism than actually believable evolution. That might partially be my mind’s unwillingness to believe that the development of AI can progress that far. However, J.B. Rockwell inserts enough coldly logical thoughts/acts that she mostly keeps pulling it back from being too much for too long. Mostly. There’s a character introduced at one point in the later half of the story that I just cannot buy. It’s a little too much.It’s hard to review the book as a whole because of how very different the sections are. I will say that J.B. Rockwell wrote one of the best space battles I’ve read in a long time. It was clearly written, easy to visualize, and full of enough deaths and explosions to make my heart go pitter-pat. It’s a lovely book to curl up with, as it gets you revved up and then slowly pulls your emotions back down. Serengeti is one of those books you’ll end up re-reading, just to see if she can invoke the hope and melancholy in you all over again. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author for review consideration.

  • a hooded figure from your friendly neighbourhood dog park
    2019-04-02 09:13

    This was supposed to be a cool book. All the right things were there! I liked Serengeti herself, and her relationship with the other ships and her captain. A srsly refreshing take on writing an AI without a hint of creepy or unhinged. I'd have read a trilogy of them just hanging out between battles. But then the lesbians die and the book turns into some weird Robinson Crusoe experience with super annoying, BLUSHING robots! Everyone blushes so much in this book isg. And the ending, while maaaybe hopeful, had no actual reunion o_O Why.

  • Nancy A. Dennis
    2019-03-22 07:49

    AII am not a computer person, etc... but this story brought me to tears! You get attached to the characters! Especially the AI! It has a heart! Loved it. A must read!

  • Ruqiyah
    2019-04-02 07:56


  • N.A. Granger
    2019-04-01 13:15

    This book is not your usual sci-fi outing. For those who were anticipating something hard-core, it will disappoint. For me, the humanity of the main character (an Artificial Intelligence or AI) and her two sidekick robots were the compelling draw.The Meridian Alliance battle fleet is tasked with finding and destroying the ship of the Dark Star Revolution, which have been attacking Alliance members and with whom they have had a decades-long war. The ships constituting the Meridian Alliance fleet are varied, from the humongous and stubborn battle group commander Brutus to Serengeti, the Valkyrie-class warship and her sisters, who are equipped with the latest iteration and most highly developed AI. The star ships themselves are the bodies of these AIs, but ships still have a human crew, ostensibly for their ability to solve problems intuitively. It is clear from the outset that the human crews are subservient to the AIs, and while some captains have difficulty accepting their roles, Hendrickson, Serengeti’s captain, has a solid working relationship with her. Serengeti admires many of Hendrickson’s qualities, which she comes to emulate.Underestimating the strength of the Dark Star fleet, the Meridian Alliance ships are decimated and the decision is made by Central Control to withdraw. As the ships leave one by one via hyperspace jumps, a booby-trapped vessel explodes near Serengeti just as she makes her jump, and she is forced to drop out of hyperspace in an unknown and empty location – her body wrecked and most of her crew dead. She herds the remaining crew, including Captain Hendrickson, into an escape pod, where they are cryogenically frozen so they can be slung into space. The escape pod is unfortunately stuck within the ship, and over the next decades, we follow Serengeti as she and TIG-442, a worker robot whose body she can inhabit, work to free the pod and save her humans. Confounding her efforts are the loss of the ship’s energy cells and the appearance of a ship reclaiming space junk, with the threat to take her apart.The character of Serengeti is all too human, as her devotion to the remaining crew and her robot sidekick demonstrate and the relationships evolve. That is what drew me to the book. There are some drawbacks: TIG creates a mate, then grows a family with the addition of a third smaller version of itself – this and perhaps their mannerisms are a bit too cute. The initial battle sequence continued too long, frustrating me (as well as Serengeti) and the repeated descriptions of the wreckage of Serengeti became a little monotonous. However, the concept of the book and the good storytelling kept me reading and the drawbacks are minor compared to my reading enjoyment!I think there are many readers, both sci-fi fans and not, who will like this book!

  • Tina
    2019-03-24 13:48

    Interesting and unexpected. Initially, I thought it was military SF. But ultimately the story concentrates on the mind-life of a ship's AI as it struggles to survive (along with the cryogenically frozen remaining crew members) in the wake of a battle. The story drags occasionally, but that slowness arises from and reflects the long, long time period over which the story takes place. A really nice book.

  • Greg
    2019-04-21 10:58

    A ship and crew become damaged in a huge space battle and then become lost in the retreat, with only the AI and some robots left to preserve the survivors until help arrives. Good story, although a little slow at times.

  • Linda Seward
    2019-03-27 10:51

    Masterful storytelling and unique perspective made this a real pleasure.

  • Jesse Deleon
    2019-03-22 07:56

    Summer crying for 2017!Thank you J.B. Rockwell for this first book of the series. The greatest summer crying of my 2017 book list! A fan.

  • Elena Alvarez Dosil
    2019-04-05 07:51

    My original Serengeti by J.B. Rockwell audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.The premises of this book were so good. During a battle between the Meridian Alliance and the Dark Star Revolution, Serengeti, a war spaceship, suffers important damages which make her to retreat, but with the bad luck that the ship gets lost and the navigation system breaks down. The few survivors go into the cryogenic pod to be ejected and send a stress signal, but the power failure prevents it. For some reason the stress signal cannot be send if the pod is still inside the main ship, so Serengeti and her robots will need to find a solution to this.Ships AI are very special in Rockwell's world. Their personality depends on the kind of spaceship they are in, and they have complete authority over the captain.Here are two different story lines for different public. The first third of the book is about the battle and some character introduction. This part could be a little bit confusing because we also get presented with how ships AI work and the different kinds, but I would say it is the most science fictional part of the book. The second part is about how Serengeti and her robots try to get the lifeboat ejected. There is little science or science fiction here. If you are looking for science fiction facts, like me, you will be disappointed. There are some faulty attempts at techy babble, but it is just that, babble. On the contrary, there were a lot of characteristics and actions from the AI and the robots that you will never see in other science fiction books, like: shrugging, shivering, laughing, getting angry, blushing, melting with pleasure, being on the edge of robot tears. I also wonder how Serengeti stroked her electric fingers across the robots' cheeks. This second part seems indeed a Disney movie for children, due to the fact that the AI is too humanized to be realistic, has feelings and a will, and addresses the robots like they were her children. And they behave like so repeating 'tada!' again and again.Something that made me cringe too were the failed attempts to express techy concepts that were in fact, like explaining them to children: Serengeti's interference over the lifeboat was explained like there was too much of her for the lifeboat to be able to send a signal; the cameras were called electronic eyes; Serengeti had 'subminds' (strange word for multitasking). It is also mentioned a couple of times that Serengeti's mind is a hundred times more powerful than human. Well, that's quite poor, I would say. There is also the fact that Serengeti asks one of the robots to fix his translation routine because talking to him is becoming tireless. From here the robot switches from beeps to actual words. This is just nonsense, since machines communicate at a much lower level. With all these details you see that Rockwell does not know much about science or IT, something essential if you want to venture into writing science fiction.The second part of the book is full with Serengeti's ramblings with many repetitions and reiterations, making it very slow paced. The goal here were saving the humans, which Rockwell tried to introduce in the first part and then later on in Serengeti's dreams. Even like that, except for the captain, they were one dimensional and it is difficult to connect with them.Elizabeth Wiley did a very good job in transmitting the endearing atmosphere between Serengeti and her robots, but sadly it also accentuated the fact that this book is like a movie for children. Male's voices sounded like cartoon characters and the robots' voices were just too cute and sounded like a movie from Pixar.All in all, even with all the eye rolling I did while I was listening to it, I remember now the book with a smile. It is not a book for science fiction lovers, but I expect it to have much success among those who are not into science fiction. The story between Serengeti and her robots is beautifully told, and it would work well with the younger readers.

  • Doug Clark
    2019-04-01 11:53

    Interesting take on AI.

  • Susan
    2019-04-11 12:51

    Serengeti by J. B. Rockwell Serengeti, complete with AI brain and human crew, is a Valkyrie class warship with the Meridian Alliance fleet. Their task was to analyze the area surrounding the spot where the Meridian Alliance scout ships disappeared during their mission to search out the Dark Star Revolution fleet. However, they find almost nothing of the scout ships, which is disturbing. Then the Meridian Alliance fleet shows up under the command of the AI Brutus. The arrival of the Dark Star Revolution fleet completes the guest list and the party gets started. Things don’t go well for the Meridian Alliance in general and Serengeti in specific. Pretty soon, she is stranded in deep space with little power, heavy damages, and a reduced crewlist. Drastic measures must be taken to preserve what is left of the crew.I really, really enjoyed this book. The initial scouting mission by Serengeti and then the near-epic space battle between the two fleets was totally gripping. The second half of the book is all about Serengeti the AI and her attempts to save her human crew. It’s a much different pace but I still quite enjoyed it. First, I really liked this symbiotic relationship between the AIs and their human crews. For Serengeti the AI, her captain, Hendrickson, was a jewel of a commander and somewhat of a friend. From the beginning, we see how Serengeti cares for her crew, tries to assist without embarrassing or overshadowing them (such as is the case with Finley). Later, once the crew has been placed in cryopods to conserve resources, we learn more about how Hendrickson became Serengeti’s captain. I was much amused by the friendships between the AIs and how some of them found the AI Brutus to be too set in his ways.After the big space battle and Serengeti’s failed attempt to flee, the remaining crew are put in an escape vessel, but the locking clamps can’t be released. Serengeti has lost too much power and she herself must sleep in order to survive. She tasks a small worker robot, who she names Tig, to be in charge of the remaining bots. My one little quibble is that the bots from here on out become a bit anthropomorphized. I still liked the book, but now it was much more WALL-E  instead of Hal, not that Serengeti is homicidal. The book goes from this mostly serious, nearly epic to this tiny hope of survival in these cutsy-wutsy bots. It did take me a few minutes to switch gears. Both halves of the book are good, but they are totally different paces.The story’s end does build the suspense. Serengeti and her remaining bots are doing their best to keep the crew alive and the ship on target for the nearest inhabitable scrap of dirt. The tension mounts as Serengeti looses more and more abilities, as resources dwindle. They are in space for decades. At the end, we aren’t sure if Serengeti the AI makes it, though there is hope. The author did a great job in wringing some emotions out of me with Serengeti the AI.I won a copy of this book from the author via The Audio Book Reviewerwith no strings attached.The Narration: Elizabeth Wiley did a great job with the narration. I liked all the funny robot sounds. Her voice for Brutus and Hendricks were also very good and masculine. As the story required it, she did well with imbuing the characters with emotions.  

  • Steven Poore
    2019-04-01 05:52

    On the surface a complete departure from JB Rockwell's previous Breakshield fantasies, Serengeti actually continues and develops the themes of persisting and holding onto life and slender hopes that were deep at the heart of Breakshield. This time it is the AI Serengeti herself that struggles to survive over several decades, near-mortally damaged after a massive battle that takes up the first chapters of the book. And it's the ship's repair robots that persist and hold onto hope over those decades as resources deteriorate and exterior threats loom. And nowhere is the danger made clearer than in the continued threat to the remaining crew of the ship, who are in cryogenic sleep aboard a lifeboat that failed to launch.That said, it's a generally optimistic piece of SF, rooted in character and emotion in the same way that Jen Foehner Wells' Fluency was, far more reminiscent of Golden Age SF in that there's little reliance on the massive military stratification that dominates much of the modern SF market. Tig (and Tilly) demonstrate that there's life and hope, and they develop as characters too, as dependent on Serengeti as she is on them.If there's any downside, it's that Serengeti's condition forces a lot of time-lapse, and a lot of nothing-very-much happening. The desperate attempt to repel scavengers is welcome as it adds some much-needed tension to the narrative. The actual design of the ship also feels quite artificial, as though it needed to be that way in order for the plot to happen. Hopefully Serengeti's upcoming refit will give her a more practical design. :)

  • David Brown
    2019-04-09 12:12

    This book was not what I expected but charming and worth the listen. Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book (audiobook version) in exchange for an honest review.Serengeti, by J.B. Rockwell, opens with an epic battle, armada against rebel armada. After the first fifty pages (nearly an hour of the audiobook), I realized the pace was diverging from what I've come to expect with such a scene and genre. Rockwell takes her time in unfurling the relationships between the human crew and AI crew of the Valkyrie class starship Serengeti, and an interesting dynamic guides these relationships. In Rockwell’s universe the AI are in charge while remaining humbly indebted to their human creators. AI minds are master’s of their own fates while still harboring human crews inside their starship hulls.The story is not a military sci-fi at all. Instead it becomes quite the AI drama. Without spoiling the story, I'll simply say that Serengeti herself is the central focus. This much should be obvious by the title, but the reader could easily start off by thinking of "Serengeti" as "Enterprise." This is not at all the case.Serengeti is a stark and slow-blossoming story featuring moments that made me laugh and a couple that brought me to the verge of tears. Rockwell's strengths are the intimate, small-scale moments. She seems to recognize this. Even the epic battle at the beginning of the story is broken down and parsed out amidst continuously developing relationships and growing tension.A couple of times I was jolted from the story when plot elements made me furrow my brows. Once, Serengeti overlooked an important aspect of her own schematic. For a super AI this struck me as convenient for the overall plot. And a few phrases were overused. Perhaps these stood out more due to hearing the story rather than reading it.But these are small complaints for a story that I rather enjoyed. The audio performance was excellent as well. As all good books should, Serengeti left me asking a handful of deeper questions: What is intelligence? Organic? Artificial? Can the two be bridged? What of morality? What of life? Is there a universal created order/pattern that will emerge within all intelligence if given time? Or will the things humans create always gravitate toward human characteristics—imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? Thoughtful questions from a well-told story.

  • Hobart
    2019-03-23 10:08

    Serengeti is the AI that runs/inhabits a Valkyrie class warship. She and the rest of the fleet of the Meridian Alliance are hunting for ships belonging to the Dark Star Revolution. Sadly, the hunt finds them -- but the DSR ships were waiting for them. The ensuing battle doesn't go well for the Alliance -- and Serengeti barely survives, and the crew aboard her is decimated.They escape the scene of the battle, but don't end up where they're supposed to be -- and so Serengeti begins her trek to return to the fleet, limping along while hoping her remaining crew in the lifeboat will make it. She and a couple of repair robots make the long, limping journey alone -- relying only on each other, some surprising ingenuity and hope to make it.To help her -- both for companionship and because she needs some better help, Serengeti upgrades a robot friend and the two quickly learn to rely on each other for moral support, encouragement and basic needs. It's a pretty cool story in that way, and not one I can remember seeing anything like before. It's like the Firefly episode, "Out of Gas," starring a non-bickering C3-PO and R2-D2. But not at all, really.There's some humor, a lot of heart, and some good SF action to be found in these pages. I'm not sure what else to say without spoiling it, so I'll keep this brief. This is a solid SF adventure with some surprisingly sympathetic AI protagonists. It's the first of a duology -- and I fully intended on getting my hands on part two pronto.Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for this post -- I appreciate it.

  • Scott Whitmore
    2019-03-29 09:15

    Featuring an extremely interesting — and very well executed — core concept, and thrilling action scenes, Serengeti by J. B. Rockwell (@Rockwell_JB) is a very satisfying sci-fi read. In fact, it’s more like two great reads, which I’ll elaborate on below.First up, that interesting concept: the story’s protagonist is Serengeti, a sentient Artificial Intelligence, or AI. Serengeti’s “crystal matrix” mind controls a heavily-armed space warship, which shares the AI’s name. There is a human crew onboard as well, including a grizzled and blooded veteran as captain, but Serengeti is in charge. One of the hottest military trends today is using drones and robots to remove people from the dangers of combat; Serengeti is a logical extension of that trend although the addition of a human crew seems to be a nod to tradition as well as providing redundancy. In fact, all 300+ ships in the Meridian Alliance battle group sent on a mission to destroy a smaller fleet of rampaging rebel ships are controlled by AIs of various capabilities, including Brutus, the prickly battle group commander. Going up the chain of command, the alliance’s entire fleet is also controlled by an AI. As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, I found the idea of having highly-evolved computers command both the ships and battle groups/fleets intriguing, and more directly the interplay between Serengeti and her crew, and Serengeti with the other AIs in the battle group, was simply fascinating.Serengeti’s affinity for her crew sets up the second half of the book. As mentioned above, to my way of thinking Serengeti the book tells two interconnected stories. The opening half takes place over the course of a few hours as Serengeti and the Meridian Alliance battle group search for the rebellious ships of the Dark Star Revolution. The pace is quick and pages fly by. The back half of the book, detailing the decades-long consequences flowing from these hours, moves at a more measured tempo. Both “stories” form a riveting whole capped by an epilogue that resolves the immediate plot. There is a second book — which I added to my To Read List after the first few chapters of Serengeti — but those readers who dislike cliffhangers won’t have any quibbles.

  • Jim
    2019-03-30 13:59

    This book is very science fictional, but then again, it’s also more humanistic than most science fiction books. First off, “Serengeti”, is a space ship or rather a warship. She is also the AI that is the ship. We’ve seen this before in the old Star Trek shows were the “computer” is omnipresent, always waiting to answer questions or warn the crew of imminent dangers. Serengeti is that and more. The writer has imbued her with also human concerns and feelings. That right there changes the whole complexion of the story. Serengeti is way, way too involved with her crew and her crew is always on the brink of death because they are in a warship. Serengeti, herself can be destroyed or almost destroyed which would involve a lot of terrible emotions on the part of her crew and herself. Warship should not have emotions, especially Artificial Intelligence ones.In this Alliance, the AI ships have total control of the space battles. The human Captains of each ship are just figure-heads, making few if any critical decisions. They can’t even convince the AI to withdrawal when destruction is imminent. I for one would not serve on such a warship, especially warships with AIs that have human emotions! But, without those emotions, this book couldn’t be written.You see, the latter part of this book is about companionship, compassion, caring, and eventually, almost dying. I don’t think Serengeti can truly die, but her human crew certainly can. It’s interesting to see how much effort Serengeti puts into trying to keep the last of her crew alive. This book makes you sad in several places or at least it did for me. The author really did a good job bringing out human emotions in the reader.I did enjoy the book, but I wish there was more. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I don’t think there will be a sequel; might not be worth it. [Update: The author says she has an idea for a sequel. I will be the first in line to buy it!]

  • Amber
    2019-03-30 13:15

    This was a nice take on military sci fi where we see things from the point of view of the ship itself the Serengeti. Most of the ships of the Alliance Fleet have advanced sentient A.I. minds and human crew. When Serengeti ends up partially destroyed and adrift in space its a desperate fight to try and keep her power going so that she can save as many of her human crew as she can.It's a nice concept but Serengeti's way of speaking and thinking seemed too humanized. She felt too much like just another human and not enough like a sentient warship. I love science fiction and sentient A.I. stories (especially ones that aren't just branded as "evil") but her voice didn't feel distinct enough for me.

  • Richard Rupp
    2019-04-09 09:03

    I enjoyed listening to this book. It is a creative story and the characters are well developed. I did think it is too long by 20 - 25%. The ending is abrupt which is awkward after so much of the novel is stretched out.

  • Perry
    2019-04-16 08:12

    Pretty serviceable science fiction, if you ask me. There were definitely some weird typo kind of errors here and there, which just seemed...sloppy. This isn't a ground-breaking, deep thoughts kind of book? But it was fun. Pretty tightly focused, got in, told its story, and got out. I have a bit of a soft spot when it comes to like....ship AI characters. Just love them. I REALLY wish there was more of Serengeti's past memories in there. Things like that last sequence where it shows how she chose her captain? I really wished there was a bit more of that. But alas. Seems a bit of a missed opportunity.

  • BobA707
    2019-03-28 13:47

    Summary: Space opera with a bit of a difference as the main characters are the AIs rather than the human crews, a story of stupidity (showing AIs make the same rational but in hind site idiotic decisions) and the sacrifice to survive and sustain the human crew. Well written, but ultimately doesn't really go anywhere.Plotline: Well thought out, and to be honest realistic.Premise: Not too much given away, but works wellWriting: Well written, descriptiveEnding: Pretty sad stuff for the main characters.Pace: Never a dull moment!

  • Miguelito
    2019-04-15 11:05

    It's a really engrossing story.Without spoiling any of the plot, it's about an AI warship that's compelled to protect her crew and robot inhabitants.Pretty gut wrenching at times, action packed in others, it's pretty awesome. It's also interesting how the AI has a pretty strong maternal instinct despite the AI being artificial. Never piss off a mother, and I think this describes Serengeti pretty well.