Monday, June 20, 2011

"Robopocalypse" by Daniel H. Wilson

Summary: An account of the humans' war against the robot uprising.

Musings: In many ways, Wilson's book is relying on old material.  First, as other reviewers have pointed out, Robopocalypse is very similar to Brooks' World War Z, only robots have replaced zombies.  Like Brooks' novel, Robopocalypse takes place after the end of the war and follows a variety of different characters throughout the nearly three years between robot uprising and robot destruction.  Unlike Brooks, Wilson follows a smaller number of recurring characters, most prominently Cormac "Bright Boy" Wallace and his squad.  The book also focuses almost exclusively on the U.S. and American characters, lacking the world response that World War Z had.  Secondly, the very concept of Robopocalypse--that robots will become sentient and attack humankind--is one that's been around for awhile.  It's then a testament to Wilson's skill as a storyteller that absolutely none of this mattered while I read the book.  I found Robopocalypse a fun and engaging read the whole way through.

This is a book that's focused on action, and for that reason is does lack some character depth, even in especially interesting characters like Takeo, a Japanese robot mechanic with an unusual relationship, and Mathilda, a human-robot hybrid who proves instrumental in the humans' survival.  However, Wilson does an excellent job of keeping the tension high and the fights exciting.

I nearly finished Robopocalypse in a day, and it's been a long time since I've been so engrossed in a book.  Highly recommended for anyone who loves killer robots and an exciting sci-fi read.

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