Trout and his brother, Po, are trying to survive on their own after their father has gone missing in the Bot Wars. Po does his best, even though he lost a leg to disease (he tells the girls he lost it in the war), and takes Trout on weekly visits to the Heart Center, where they see if any activity has been supported on their father's heart monitor. When nothing shows up, Trout decides to get help from a friend to post a video about his father. This goes viral, and Trout hopes that this helps find his father, but instead it alerts the United District government, and they take Po into custody and hope to use him to lure their father out. Trout manages to escape and finds that his father is now living in Bot Territory. We don't have complete details about the Bot Wars, but robots are now outlawed. For surprising reasons, Trout's father is a member of MetaRise, an organization hoping to get robots reinstated as citizens. The government offers to give Po back to his father as long as key members of MetaRise give themselves up, so Trout decides that if he can rescue his brother, MetaRise can continue the fight for robot rights, and hope to overturn government corruption in the United District.
Some cool technology, dystopian setting involving robots and not the most terrible world, likeable characters, and some interesting twists make this a good choice for sci fi fans. I actually like the publisher description of "Transformers meets Percy Jackson"! There's not a whole lot of action packed science fiction for boys; this was pretty good.