Requiem for a Genocide
Traanu Enterprises (2021)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (01/2022)
“Requiem for a Genocide”, by Michael Drakich, is a completely compelling science fiction novel that fans of classic sci-fi and new sci-fi will love.
The standout feature for me is the POV of the warbot, JAK037, whose primary function is to kill Dalrea enemies. He has outlived all the others, and is the last in line of his generation. Since he is the only surviving JAK model, he’s called Jak. He has a positive view of the rumor of a treat has taken place with their enemy, Carthia, because he would like to live out his last days in peace instead of war. But his hopes fade when he finds out the treaty is being used against a race of human newcomers from a different world. Jak and other aged warbots are up against enemies with more advanced technology, so the question is, can they survive? He needs to return Hannah, a seven-year-old human child, to her home. All he wants is to put a stop to war and save those from impending doom. Against all odds, his weakened body, robot laws, and enemies, he takes a stand.
Drakich has crafted the kind of sci-fi I love—the kind with a personal story. In this case, the personal story of Jak the robot, or warbot. Right away you’ll know you’re in for a different kind of science fiction novel, of drama, humanity, pathos, and risk. Even though you’ll find a plot with action, suspense, conflict, and interesting characters, there is a loftier story here, and it’s one that examines war and peace, and perhaps has you examining it too along the way. The technology is interesting to read about, especially Jak and his ailing body, and his almost human emotions of empathy and regret. He’s a thinker, a problem-solver, and reflective. Sometimes he comes across as more human than humans, and inspires reflection and insight, as Spock does from time to time. He is programmed and can only do certain things. He has limits. But can he find loopholes?
I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a robot-themed novel this much, and I highly recommend it for sci-fi fans everywhere. It has the kind of universal appeal that underpins a good sci-fi movie. Sometimes simple stories are the most profound. “Requiem for a Genocide,” by Michael Drakich, will both enrich and entertain you.