The first one is called Cog and it's written by Greg Van Eekhout. It's about COG, which is short for cognitive development. Cog is a robot with artificial intelligence, so he's meant to learn things and he looks exactly like a 12 year old boy. He lives with his inventor, Gina and she's trying to teach him lots of things, like shopping and smiling. Gina tells him that he learns from his mistakes. So one day Cog decides to make a mistake to learn something new. He goes outside by himself. He sees a dog in the street and car coming straight for the dog. He calculates the speed at which the car is moving and decides that he should save the dog. In doing so, he is badly damaged but Gina brings him home and is able to repair him. But apparently, in doing so, she exposes her Cog project to the home office and they think Gina's been making some modifications that they want. They tell Cog that they are going to remove his brain. Cog decides this is a bad idea and comes up with a plan to escape. The escape plan is fraught with peril and evil corporate villains. It's scary and funny and full of heart, which is a bit surprising, considering all the main characters are robots. This is a WONDERFUL story about free choice, loyalty, creative problem solving, and compassion as well as some of the consequences and ethical dilemmas of artificial intelligence. I love this one.
The second one is also WAY outside my usual wheelhouse. It's called Cogheart by Peter Bunzl. Ok, and it's a little hilarious that these two title are so similar, but where COG is set in the present, Cogheart is set squarely in the Victorian time and would definitely be considered steampunk. It starts with John, who is captaining a zeppelin, which is attacked by pirates. He sends his trusted confidant, Malkin, to take an urgent message to his daughter, Lily. Malkin is a mechanimal-an animal that has been created to look and act like a real animal, however, this mechanimal can think for himself. Lily, meanwhile, has been in a boarding school, where she has been bullied and unappreciated. She likes reading stories about air pirates and would rather go on adventures than dress up and act like a lady. Her governess from home comes to tell her that her father has been killed, Lily and the governess head for home and weird things start happening. Lily comes to understand that maybe the governess ISN'T really acting in Lily's best interest, but is maybe a lot more interested in John, her dad's inventions. This is a very fun, very fast paced story with lots of plot twists, chase scenes, betrayals, and new loyalties and friends. I liked this one a lot.
Here's a video introduction: