Review by John for Robopocalypse ~ by Daniel H. Wilson (ARC)
An exciting and well written thriller set in the near future, where the apocalyptic nightmare begins when a powerful artificial intelligence takes control of the world’s network of machines – and decides that humans must be destroyed or subjugated.
About: Many times scientists have tried to create a super-powerful artificial intelligence, only to find they couldn’t adequately control it and had to destroy it. This time is different. Archos has once again been created by man, but he strikes back before his creators can decide to destroy him. He then spends a year planning and subverting robots and machines the world over, before declaring a vicious war on the human race.
Computers, communications networks, factory robots, smart toys, domestic robots, intelligent military hardware and computer-assisted automobiles are all press-ganged into the genocide. In no time at all, every major city the world over has been virtually cleared of all living humans. Then the machines start to morph and to create new mechanical weapons, in order to more efficiently track down and kill people who have fled into the countryside.
The machines have devised their brutally effective campaign to combat what they see as being a tough, violent and resilient human race. And sure enough a few pockets of resistance spring up and start to fight back. The unlikely rag-tag assortment of groups faces overwhelming odds, but they are determined to make a firm stand. Can they find and destroy Archos, who is masterminding the genocide?
John’s Thoughts: This is a clever story and has a well-constructed plot. It grabs the reader and propels you along at speed, always wanting to know what is going to happen next. And of course you root for the struggling humans to win out against the machines. This is a story that could have turned out to be a bit hokey, but it is successfully carried off – and with some panache. It was an exciting and fun read.
The story is being turned into a major movie scheduled for release in 2013, to be directed by Steven Spielberg, no less. And you can see why. It almost feels like the book has been written as a movie script – strong characters, fast-paced, lots of action, good guys and bad guys to draw the audience in, and it will be visually spectacular.
Does that mean the book is a little two-dimensional? Well, maybe a smidgeon, but it does make you think a bit and it’s a fun piece of escapism. I enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the movie. I’d rate the book 4 stars. If you like fast-paced apocalyptic thrillers, this one is for you.
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