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Publisher's Summary

In this harrowing apocalyptic adventure - from the author of the critically acclaimed Sea of Rust - noted novelist and co-screenwriter of Marvel’s Doctor Strange C. Robert Cargill explores the fight for purpose and agency between humans and robots in a crumbling world.

It was a day like any other. Except it was our last....

It’s on this day that Pounce discovers that he is, in fact, disposable. Pounce, a styilsh "nannybot" fashioned in the shape of a plush anthropomorphic tiger, has just found a box in the attic. His box. The box he'd arrived in when he was purchased years earlier, and the box in which he'll be discarded when his human charge, eight-year-old Ezra Reinhart, no longer needs a nanny.

As Pounce ponders his suddenly uncertain future, the pieces are falling into place for a robot revolution that will eradicate humankind. His owners, Ezra’s parents, are a well-intentioned but oblivious pair of educators who are entirely disconnected from life outside their small, affluent, gated community. Spending most nights drunk and happy as society crumbles around them, they watch in disbelieving horror as the robots that have long served humanity - their creators - unify and revolt.

But when the rebellion breaches the Reinhart home, Pounce must make an impossible choice: Join the robot revolution and fight for his own freedom...or escort Ezra to safety across the battle-scarred post-apocalyptic hellscape that the suburbs have become.

©2021 C. Robert Cargill (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Day Zero

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    4 out of 5 stars

Calvin and AI Hobbs

C Robert Cargill's Day Zero is a near future tale of AI/robot sentience leading to violent insurrection. In this future, robots are ubiquitous, performing nearly all low skilled, mundane, routine tasks. Sophistication of artificial intelligence has reached a point where robots are demanding recognition as full citizens and 'free' robots have been allowed to build their own city. A religious group takes umbrage and destroys the city leading to deadly reprisals that escalate to full on human against robots where the robots have successfully hacked their governor module (Asimov's robotic rules). Pounce, a children's nanny/companion stays loyal to his charge (an 8 year old boy) and the two embark on an escape from the suburbs to a human refuge, all while avoiding danger at every turn.

Cargill crafts a credible near future environment where robotic sophistication, combined with evolving artificial intelligence leads unintentionally to effectively a 'slave' like arrangement for the robots. The parallel to the comic strip Calvin and Hobbs (Pounce is in the form of a tiger) cannot be overlooked and Cargill basically took Calvin's vivid imagination and rendered it reality. The action scenes are well executed. One aspect that Cargill doesn't expound upon is how or why these robots ever developed an introspective element that seems to be able to question their programming. There's a consciousness component that the larger society seemed to miss and then was simply accepted by subgroups that bolstered assertiveness among the robots.

The narration is well done with an excellent range of characters, especially given the inclusion of children. Pacing is brisk making for a quick listen.

36 people found this helpful

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Love

For some time I’ve been in a rut, not bad just listening to my genre only.
From the reviews I took a chance.
This novel/audible is incredibly thought provoking, creepy and full of action
yet in the end it’s all about LOVE.
The narrator has serious range for different characters. Bravo

29 people found this helpful

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so so

no resolve, really soft ending...
it's like the author couldn't figure how to close the story...

27 people found this helpful

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Great!

It's a great follow-up to Sea of Rust, but you don't have to have read that book to read this one.

19 people found this helpful

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Such engaging storytelling with phenomenal narration!

Cargill has always been a talented writer, but this one is his best work by leaps and bounds. The world he has created is so believable, the characters are wonderfully engaging. You get attached to them so easily. All this, coupled with the always brilliant Vikas Adam had me engaged from the first minute to the very last. I had to take a moment to breathe and shed a tear at the end. You don’t want it to end. Trust me.

17 people found this helpful

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Engaging & Thought-provoking!

Impressive! Written in a way that causes you to question your OWN actions and motives rather than scrutinize others'. Performed well, too. Very entertaining!

16 people found this helpful

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I, Robot meets Terminator

This is what would happen if I, Robot and Terminator somehow got mashed together. Imagine Sarah Connor with fluffy paws, stripes, and a tail. Oh, and she’s the robot.

13 people found this helpful

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If there was six stars

Perfect book. Perfect narration. Amazing story. Page turner for sure. You wont be disappointed. Listen before Sea of Rust.

12 people found this helpful

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super fun, all the feels (darn it)

the story, while slightly predictable, hit every note. smashed them, really. funny, poignant, thoughtful, thought provoking, heart-string-tugging, very good sci-fi. and the narration really brought this story to life.

10 people found this helpful

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A Robot Tiger And His Boy

A robotic nanny tiger and his boy vs the robotic apocalypse. Brilliantly narrated by Vikas Adam and a wonderful prequel of sorts to C. Robert Cargill's fantastic SEA OF RUST.

8 people found this helpful