This review was originally posted at Goodreads and imported here later with next to no spell/grammar checking.
After the previous books in the Robot series, this one was a bit of a disappointment.
It is set on Aurora, the supposedly most advanced human colony. It should be something in between the extremely crammed underground cities of Earth from the first book and the almost entirely isolated humans on Solaria from the second one. But for some reason, it comes out kind of bland.
The previous two worlds, their people and customs were fascinating. This third book seems to delve less into that and more into the detective case itself. And the whole character dynamic is a bit off as well. Baley (the main character) despite feeling much warmer towards Daneel, his robotic partner in investigation from the first two books, almost doesn’t discuss the case at all. Or anything, really. Daneel is mostly delegated to a role of a walking encyclopedia and bodyguard.
And the whole story started really slow and only picked up the pace in the final third.
That said, Asimov’s undeniable strength has always been in endings (the way he turns an entire short story with a single sentence at the end is still unmatched) and The Robots of Dawn is no exception. I was entirely satisfied when I put the book down.
It neatly ties into the Foundation series and while the final gimmick is a bit too much to accept without question, it still feels great.
I do think the book would benefit from being about half as long though.