Saturday, 28 July 2012
Robopocalypse - Daniel H. Wilson
Author: Daniel H. Wilson
"Robopocalypse" by Daniel H. Wilson has actually been in my TBR pile for quite a few months but I never got around to reading it. However, as part of a Sci-Fi Reader Challenge I had to read a book about robots and so I finally decided to read it. What I found was an action packed spectacle that I really think will work incredibly well on the movie screen which is where it is destined to appear.
The story is set in the near future and is based around a single AI entity that manages to take control of the masses of robots used by humans in their day to day lives. The AI then uses these robots which include such things as cleaning droids and intelligent cars to attack humanity on a global scale with apocalyptic results. This is all presented to the reader in an episodic format that covers various events and people from just prior to the robotic uprising to several years after.
In all honesty it isn't the most original of storylines and I am sure many people will quickly draw parallels to the Terminator franchise. However, I still found this book to be an enjoyable and entertaining read with lots of fun action sequences. There is also a bit more to the book than just action and destruction and I found that it does a good job in highlighting bravery in the face of horror and seemingly hopeless situations. This ranged from soldiers themselves, to regular people just trying to survive in the devastated streets of their home towns.
I found the episodic format to be quite well written and it enabled the author to quickly present the various characters to the reader in addition to enabling the author to present the bigger picture of the overall war with the robots. I also enjoyed the way that the pace of each chapter varied quite considerably. Some were slow, creepy and methodical whilst others had a lightning pace and were full of frantic, desperate action. The only issue with the format is that it did feel at times like there were pieces of the story missing and I do thing some of the character development did suffer a little.
There was one aspect of the novel that also left me a little bit perplexed and that is around the premise that the book has been written by a soldier who finds a collection of video records of various events and starts to write them down. I just don't understand why someone who had trekked across the Alaskan wastes and fought robots would suddenly decide at the end to write about some events that were a recorded in a visual format that people could just actually see. It didn't really affect my enjoyment of the novel but it just felt to me like Wilson was trying to create an excuse within the novel for the way he wanted to portray the story.
Overall, this was a fun, action packed adventure that is sure to be a future blockbuster on the big screen. Wilson does however still attempt to capture more than just brainless action in some of the chapters and I appreciated that. If you are a fan of action packed and relatively light science fiction then you should probably go and give this a read.
The Book Depository
Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Speculative Fiction Challenge
Sci-Fi Reader Challenge