Book Review: Sexbot by Patrick Quinlan

Sexbot by Patrick Quinlan

Sexbot by Patrick Quinlan

I know what you’re thinking. But despite the title and the cover, this isn’t Kindle porn. For one thing, I have a paperback copy of it. For another, Patrick Quinlan is an established author of thriller novels. That background shines through in Sexbot.

Susan Jones and her partner Martin Wacker were robotics engineers who made a fortune designing lifelike sex robots for Suncoast Cybernetics. While furthering their research, they stumble on a method for uploading consciousness from living bodies into robots. After Martin is murdered, Susan uploads her mind into the latest Sexbot prototype to prevent the same fate at the hands of assassins Mr. Green and Mr. Blue. In her new robot body and believed to be dead, she sets out to discover who ordered the murders of Martin and herself:

The police? Who was she kidding? She was a robot, a piece of machinery. People, men mostly, would use her for their sexual pleasure. What cop would believe her as she described a murder, especially her own murder?

The experience of reading this book is like watching a high-budget action film. The plot is fast paced, full of intense action sequences and has just the right amount of sleaze as a nice cherry on top. The characters aren’t all that deep, but they’re compelling enough to keep the reader interested.

While it’s usually pretty competent, there are moments when the prose is a little clunky. For example, the Sexbots are described as “cartoon women” one too many times. It doesn’t exactly help the experience to imagine the sex robots looking more like Jessica Rabbit than porn stars.

This book also works far better as a thriller with science fiction elements than as pure science fiction. The science behind the brain transfer works fine for plot purposes, but hard sci-fi it ain’t. There are also moments like this.

“How do you know that you have independent thought? Because someone told you so? Maybe you just think the things that some guy in India typed into a keyboard.”

Do Sexbots dream of inflatable sheep? This sort of thing has been old-hat for awhile now. It’s difficult to put a new spin on. Thankfully, Quinlan seems aware of this and doesn’t linger on it. He knows his strengths lie in action and keeping the plot moving fast, and ultimately that’s what makes the novel work.

While nothing groundbreaking, Sexbot is a highly entertaining read that begs to be finished in one go with your favorite EDM playlist as the soundtrack. Myself, I’ll be looking into Quinlan’s back catalog for some of my future thriller needs.


4c4iIXqDBen Arzate lives in Des Moines, Iowa. His fiction and poetry has appeared in Ugly Babies, Bizarro Central, Spoilage, The Mustache Factor, Twenty Something Press, and Keep This Bag Away From Children. He blogs at

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