YMMV: The Robots of Dawn

  • Creator's Pet: Gladia. If you didn't like her much in the last book, you won't like her here, no matter what the writer tells you you should. And if the muttered, clumsy justifications under Your Cheating Heart aren't enough to sway your mind, she more-or-less takes advantage of Lije's impaired mental state.
  • Flawed Hero: Even though Elijah Baley cheats on Jessie with Gladia, you still root for him because the alternative (Kelden Amadiro) would be a total disaster. Plus he's kind of a Wise Owl to the robots.
  • Freud Was Right - Played with. Vasilia offers herself (i.e. proposes sexual intercourse) to her father, Han Fastolfe, though she insists that this was because he was the only man she knew up to that point. He himself believed it was natural for her, since he was close to her and educated her on the subject, and for the life of him couldn't figure out why he refused.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Baley, in a briefly unguarded moment in The Caves of Steel, demands to know if Daneel is a telepath. Obviously, he isn't, but come this book and its actual telepathic robot...
  • Ho Yay: Elijah and Daneel, not losing it in the slightest despite the passage of time in-universe and the nearly three decades between when this novel was written and its predecessor. Indeed, the biggest hangup Elijah seems to have is that Daneel is not a human, rather than the fact that Daneel is physically designed as a male (and considering Gladia's relationship with Jander, Daneel's virtual twin, such a thing was not impossible).
    Vasilia said "Friends? An Earthman and a humaniform robot? Well, there is a match. Neither quite human."
    Baley said, sharply, “Nevertheless bound by friendship. Do not, for your own sake, test the force of our—” Now it was he who paused and, as though to his own surprise, completed the sentence impossibly, “—love.”
    • Then of course the severely agoraphobic Elijah's reaction to being caught outdoors in a storm:
    He could not allow this. If all else failed—thought, pride, will—then he would have to fall back on shame. He could not collapse under the impersonal, superior gaze of the robots. Shame would have to be stronger than fear. He felt Daneel's steady arm about his waist and shame prevented him from doing what, at the moment, he most wanted to do—to turn and hide his face against the robotic chest. He might have been unable to resist if Daneel had been human—
    • It's hardly one-sided, either. Daneel's perspective:
    "I cannot say what I feel in any human sense, Partner Elijah. I can say, however, that the sight of you seems to make my thoughts flow more easily, and the gravitational pull on my body seems to assault my sense with lesser insistence, and that there are other changes I can identify. I imagine that what I sense corresponds in a rough way to what it is that you may sense when you feel pleasure."