The Robots of Dawn
Series: Robot 3
Reviewed date: 2020 Jul 12
Asimov is a still a great writer. However, I prefer the 1950s Asimov to the 1980s Asimov, which is to say, The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun are better than The Robots of Dawn. Part of the problem with The Robots of Dawn--which is not a bad book, and in fact, is rather good--is that it's the beginning of Asimov laying the seeds of connecting his robot stories with the Foundation series. Asimov melded the two together masterfully, without cheating, explaining the inconsistencies in ways that seem natural, demonstrating that he is a skilled storyteller. Truly, he is the best. But I think tying robots and Foundation together is a mistake.
The second problem with The Robots of Dawn is that 1980s Asimov feels compelled to add sex to the story. It's not graphic, but it is present as part of the characters' motivations, and Asimov is as bad at writing characters as he is good at storytelling.
But like the other robot novels, The Robots of Dawn is a science fiction detective story, and once again, Asimov weaves a clever mystery that doesn't cheat the reader. The clues are there, and the solution is obvious in retrospect--if you knew what to look for.