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Thursday, January 21, 2016

"Robopocalypse" Book Review



Review: John Miller's Reviews > Robopocalypse - Goodreads.com

Disjointed Evil Robot Chronicle

Mimicing the concept of Max Brooks' "World War Z," Daniel Wilson's "Robopocalypse" basically adds robots.

I have "WWZ" on my to-read list. But, I have thumbed through its initial chapters when I heard that "Robopocalypse" mimics Brooks' style. I agree. Here, in Wilson's book, you get that style of different accounts of the robot war. It could work well enough. But, the characters are pretty flat. You get little feeling for who they are as people. Add to that, you very much have to suspend your disbelief, as these everyday people describe things using writer's prose, instead of talking how a non-author would talk. So, there's stuff like "the sun was glinting radiantly off the steel hull," etc. And, even though you hear from different characters, they use common adjectives and similar styles. This style undercuts the narrative and the good ideas that lie within the book.

You have to be okay with lots of gore, lots of gamy descriptions of stuff, and lots of cussing in this book. If the story was more entertaining, it would be not that big a deal. But, since it isn't that great, it just adds to things to dislike about it.

Especially if you are listening to the audiobook, you will close to lose your mind if you have to hear "Cormac Wallace, MIL Number (whatever)" one. more. time! Since he's the chronicler of the book, you have to hear that every single chapter! Add to that, the audiobook performer's on-and-off attempts at doing the various accents. With the colorless characters, injecting them with life is an admitedly difficult task. Otherwise, the performer does a reasonable job, but more average than other audiobook performers I have heard.

(SPOILERS)
*** Don't read unless: 1.) You have read the book or 2.) Just plain don't care! ***

So, you go through 300 pages of this, and you finally get to the final confrontation with the evil Artifical Intelligence, Archos. This evil computer has attacked our heroes with all kinds of crazy stuff, ending with missiles. And, in the end, is destroyed by the hero throwing rocks at it. What?! So, this Archos is supposedly super protected, but is taken out easily with some rocks. Good heavens!
(END SPOILERS)

I am amused by how the author, Daniel Wilson, talks glowingly in the "Acknowlegements" section about his relationship with Dreamworks, to whom he sold the movie rights. Then, in talking about his 2014 sequel book, "Robogenesis" he disses them in saying that they meddled in his first book. Which is it, Daniel?

★★ (2 Stars Out of 5)

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