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Publisher's Summary

In the bleak future of West Angel City, Vanity Rose is having a great time. She has a loving robot caretaker and a fake elf for a sister, and she roams the walls of West Angel's endless skyscrapers every night, thanks to her precious gravity shoes.

What Vanity doesn't have are money and adventure, but she has a plan to get both. She's going to walk the dark side, joining the thieves and mercenaries who get paid to do all the little jobs that make a corrupt city go around. She'll only have to deal with killer robots, vengeance-crazed and not very bright computer programs, cyborg vampires, telepathic capybaras, and mean girl mech pilots, and have every homemade weapon in the city pointed at her.

Fourteen is old enough for that, right?

©2020 Richard Roberts (P)2020 David N. WIlson

What listeners say about You Can Be a Cyborg When You're Older

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Meh

Supervillain books are way better. Main character is truly a very young teenager with all of the faults you have at that age. Constantly getting into trouble with wild mood swings. Nothing special.
The world building was excellent as usual. All of the other characters were extremely interesting. Too bad the book wasn't about one of them. I still think the author is very talented and will try his books in the future.

4 people found this helpful

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Clippy strikes back

absolutely love the idea of evil clippy. brilliant plot, fantastic representation, and a joy to read.

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Fantastic Eightis Cyberpunk homage

YOU CAN BE A CYBORG WHEN YOU'RE OLDER is a Young Adult affectionate parody of Eighties cyberpunk. It's an interesting twist, implementing a lot of tropes that only adult readers will get and not necessarily all of them but also a great way of introducing the genre to people who wouldn't normally be familiar with it. It also takes a number of pot shots at the sillier ideas in the world of neon, rain, androids, and street samurai. As a fan of both cyberpunk and Richard Roberts' PLEASE DONT TELL MY PARENTS I'M A SUPERVILLAIN series, I was very excited to get into this book.

The premise is that an orphanage in the most run-down part of a decaying urban hellscape is run by a malfunctioning but benevolent gynoid named Ms. Understanding. Vanity Rose is the 14 year old antiheroine of the book that is cursed with machine telepathy (a disability in her world) and fear for the orphanage shutting down at any time. Vanity decides to raise some money for her home and the best way to do that turns out to be organized crime for corporate thugs. However, this turns out to be harder than it sounds (and it sounds quite difficult). Vanity soon finds herself on the run from several shady characters and reliant on her fellow oddball orphans to get out of the mess she's gotten herself into.

Richard Roberts has an immense love of cyberpunk and it shows with every page, making frequent homages to everything from literature to anime to video games. I also think I spotted a few tabletop RPG references as well. That doesn't mean his world is unorginal, though. Indeed, there's several surreal and satirical elements that make it quite fascinating. For instance, one of the largest religions in West Angel City is the Enchanted. People who use bio-modding, cybernetics, and costume jewelry to live their lives in a perpetual World of Warcraft LARP. Except the elves and necromancers are actually willing to kill each other.

Arielle Delisle does an amazing job with this book and really brings the protagonist, Vanity Rose, to life. I hope they do a sequel to this book.