If you are an existing a fan of the Bobiverse, why are you here reading this review, shouldn’t you have already read the book, or be currently reading it? Bob would be so disappointed if you were not! You would not want to disappoint Bob now, would you? If you have not already experienced or been graced by the Bob, I suggest you first read book one in the series; there is a review for it on my site if interested. Bob would be proud of you for starting the series. You do want to make Bob happy, right? Go get the book now.
“For We Are Many” is the second book in a series rightly titled the “Bobiverse”. As with the first, this book is authored by Dennis E. Taylor and narrated by Ray Porter. I believe there are planned a total of three books in the original series (based on Goodreads data), but the shear vastness of an open universe opens one up to an innumerable number of possible future books; which is a good thing. Books #1 and #1 are currently available in audiobook format. Note, this book picks up right where the first one left off, so to understand what is happening you will need to get through book one first; both books I highly recommend. Book two provides no preamble, prologue, or preface, but instead the reader is dropped right into the action where the first book leaves off. You could almost take the two books and combine them into a single volume. For those who do not like books that are written in this way, for whatever reason, I suggest you wait until the third book is released before staring them because book two also leaves with a few cliff-hangers dangling. I simply wanted more Bob so I’m happy to have to wait for book three. Just be aware that if you wait, you will be missing out on all things Bob.
Because you have already read book one, this review will not cover the details on what the story is about. As stated in my earlier review, the exploration and journey are half the fun of this series. What is there not to like about Bob? He has given us BobNet, BobTube, and WikiBob just to name a few. He has also provided us with so many other things that would not have existed apart from Bob; kudzu anyone? This book is not simply focused on Bob but gives the reader a view into civilizations lost, civilizations saved, and civilizations conquered and these are only a small part of what one experiences in the Bobiverse. What is there not to like about drones, cats, dogs, Jeeves, and a Guppy, and of course Bob himself? As one would expect from the first book, many of the same funny references to pop-culture from the 80s, 90s, and 00s is found in this book. The same well-done style of writing continues in book two also. If you liked book one, this second book is a no brainer, go grab it and listen.
I will say for me this book in the series seemed to have many more serious and emotional ups and downs compared to book one. In some ways, Bob seems to have matured in his older age, but he has not lost what makes Bob; well Bob. The book seemed to be a bit more complex and action packed from the first. The easiest way I can describe it is there were more points of tension in this than I found in the first one. I liked this new-found aspect of Bob as we could see a different side of him then we had previously been exposed too. There were more difficult decisions to be made along with greater consequences needing to be addressed or overcome in this book and what will be book three. Although there is humor, this book includes life, death, romance, friendships, and broken promises.
A few general things about the book I enjoyed were its small chapters so I could more easily consume parts of the book during shorter sessions. The ability of the author to keep track of all the activity of the many Bob’s along with their own story plots, etc. I also liked the many new creatures, ships, and adventure we were introduced to in this book. I wish I could have told my past teachers that a Hippograph ate my homework. There was also some great content based on research of the stars and computer technology that I found well included into the story without just throwing in technological word for technology sake. The saying that the Universe is your playground is really where the author of this series wants to take you, and he succeeds quite well.
As with many of my other reviews, I did want to point out that this book (as with the first) includes a small number (four from what I counted) uses of vulgar word. These words were often used during time of deep expression. I will give the author credit for not using offensive language as much as other authors, which helps open the series up to a younger audience than if he had. Just be aware there are some used here. On a similar note, there are a few scenes that cover topics that could be difficult for some younger readers such as death and suicide, but again nothing that was over the top or unexpected in this genre of book.
Let me say up front that any audiobook you listen to that is narrated by Ray Porter, you will not be disappointed because you will get a masterfully produced piece of work. I have listened to many of his other works, and not one was I ever dissatisfied with. The many varied characters along with their accents were spot on and there was never a time where I heard characters use the wrong voice. I am simply amazed at the people who can pull this off every time. I do have to say that I noticed (slightly) two chapters where there appeared to have been a short edit inserted lasting only a few seconds each. It was only noticed because the volume was not consistent with the rest of the books quality, but it is nothing that would prevent me from listening to the book; effected sections were found in chapters 16 and 38.
In summary, there is no reason you will not like this book if you have already listed and like book one. It is simply more of the same. If you did not like the first book in the series, I would say that you would not like this book either; Bob would be sad. As stated earlier, I highly recommend both books to anyone who enjoys great science fiction and science fun! We are all now waiting for book three to be released so we can be complete.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.