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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robots uprising!
There is a New War igniting by the very machines that were serving humans 'Robots.' Is there any hope for the human race and what weapon could match the ability of the artificial intelligence?
We had zombies with World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War and vampires with The Strain nows the time for something new and fresh setting a new trend, evil robots. A...
Published on 19 Jun. 2011 by Lou pendergrast

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, generic, disposable
'Robopocalypse' is a fast-reading science fiction adventure set in the near future. Humanity succeeds in creating the first viable artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, the AI's ideas about human-AI relations are rather different from those of its creators; the resulting struggle threatens humanity with subjugation or extinction.

Daniel Wilson has a...
Published on 26 Nov. 2011 by Paul Bowes


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, generic, disposable, 26 Nov. 2011
By 
Paul Bowes (Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Robopocalypse (Robo 1) (Paperback)
'Robopocalypse' is a fast-reading science fiction adventure set in the near future. Humanity succeeds in creating the first viable artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, the AI's ideas about human-AI relations are rather different from those of its creators; the resulting struggle threatens humanity with subjugation or extinction.

Daniel Wilson has a background in robotics, and he seems confident in extrapolating from the current state of the art to this disastrous fictional scenario. Unfortunately, he isn't so able a writer as a scientist. 'Robopocalypse' reads like a less subtle version of Max Brooks' 'World War Z', with sentient and semi-sentient robots replacing the zombies in a very similar narrative structure, with multiple narrators.

Oddly, Wilson seems more comfortable when dealing with action than with the science, and the book has considerable pace - which is useful, in that the reader is carried rapidly past the numerous implausibilities. The author's grasp of character never develops much beyond stereotypes, and he seems frankly uninterested in some of the people he creates; a number of them simply drop out of the story, never to be heard from again. His grasp of politics and foreign affairs is minimal: it won't surprise the British reader to learn that this is yet another parochial American SF thriller in which a well-armed American citizenry saves the world (with a token tip of the hat to a solitary Japanese).

The premise itself is not contemptible - put simply, nobody has any real idea of what a human-created machine intelligence would be like - but Wilson never convinced me that he had considered the issues raised in any depth. His imagination seems heavily dependent on popular movies (spot the 'homages' to The Terminator, Star Trek's 'Data', 300, and Bladerunner along with the horde of generic 'apocalyptic survivalist' films) and a handful of fictional sources: Max Brooks in particular, but also Philip K. Dick ('Second Variety' and its film versions) and Vernor Vinge. The result is a page-turning but disposable book that reads less like a novel and more like a screenplay for one of those adequate but uninspiring SF movies that spring up in the wake of something more original. In fact, Wilson explicitly thanks DreamWorks SKG at the end of the book - the film rights were sold before the book was completed - and 'Robopocalypse' is at the time of writing to be filmed by Steven Spielberg, with an adapted screenplay by Drew Goddard of Cloverfield fame.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read World War Z instead, 19 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: Robopocalypse (Robo 1) (Paperback)
I so wanted to love this book. I thought that the writers background, Spielberg's buying of the movie rights from Foley's, and all of the great reviews, would guarantee a technological & emotional roller coaster, a magnificent world striding tour de force - in short, a modern sci-fi classic. What we got instead was a small, largely badly written, jingoistic, borderline racist, "isn't America the greatest country on Earth" movie treatment; and not a very good one at that!

Admittedly, the robots are far more imaginative than anything the Terminator movies dreamt up, but it all feels very small and lacking in any real jeopardy. With the whole world to write about the entire story involves a small handful of people whose lives are intertwined in the most contrived ways possible - then written about in the most mundane way possible. The writing is so poor that at times you can't decipher what's being described.

Oh, and if you're British, prepare for a London where Trafalgar Sq. has FIRE HYDRANTS and hoodies say things like "see you in the funny pages". You can tell where all of the writer's research went!

The final straw for me was reading about how the Indian, Chinese, Russia & Eastern European armies failed in their attempt to destroy the AI because they didn't wait for a handful of American's (the world's saviours, yet again - YAWN!) to show them how to do it. Not that it's any old Americans - no, it's Indians being led by cowboys! (Note: America, your history may seem like a long time ago to you, but to us it's a blink of an eye ago to the rest of the world and has been done to DEATH! Get over it. It's now very, very tired to the rest of us.)

If you want to read a book of true worldwide conflict and human suffering, adversity and courage, then do yourself a real favour and read World War Z.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ... a short period of time so it must be good, right, 7 Aug. 2014
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I can't really criticise this book too much as I did read it all the way through in a short period of time so it must be good, right? Well I hate to be overly critical but there are just a few niggling things which mean I haven't given it four or five stars. Firstly, I knew it was going to be a trashy read and I love a good trashy read. However, this book could have been written a little better and pitched itself just a bit higher in terms of vocabulary etc. It is quite simple.
Another criticism is that it's very similar to World Wide Z but unfortunately this similarity only serves to highlight just how much more superior WWZ is. I bought this as an eBook at £1.99. Book two is £6.50 and I don't think it's worth it. I suppose that says a lot really.
This said, I enjoyed the story and it should make a great movie. It wasn't bad, just not amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Concept disappointing Format, 2 Feb. 2013
By 
Mr. David J. Stump "DAST" (North Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Robopocalypse (Robo 1) (Paperback)
Whilst the story was exactly what I thought it was going to be (and an excellent concept of a story I should add) the format of delivery is slightly disappointing. It is delivered in a series of logs which although related (chronologically) do not gel as well as they should - I should advise i have not got that far into the book but that is partly because of this issue (hard to read).

This book also suffers from a similar issue I have had with a lot of books recently in that the Characters are not adequately described to enable you to picture them in your mind - I often find being able to picture a Character helps with the realism of the story (perhaps this is because of watching too much Television) and therefore can not bury myself into the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks Substance, 26 July 2014
By 
M. Forrest (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having just finished the zombie novel Zone One, this seemed like the natural second feature in a literary double bill. It cracks along at a fair old rate and maintains a fairly lightweight approach to the end of humanity and although some sections are satisfyingly gory it never drifts into out and out horror.
It is no surprise that the novel has been picked up by Dreamworks as it has that filmic feel to it, which is not a bad thing it just means that there is an overall lack of substance to the entire book, although as the author is apparently an expert in robotics, the driving concept does have a genuine air of possibility about it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robots uprising!, 19 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Robopocalypse (Hardcover)
There is a New War igniting by the very machines that were serving humans 'Robots.' Is there any hope for the human race and what weapon could match the ability of the artificial intelligence?
We had zombies with World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War and vampires with The Strain nows the time for something new and fresh setting a new trend, evil robots. A writer who has a Ph.D in Robotics has created a gauntlet race of time to a concluding event that will change the path of robots and humans forever. Written in neat chapters of different accounts that chart the unraveling of war from the artificial intelligence Archos, unleashing unrelenting destruction upon humans via it's robots. The writing flows well and does well transferring the words well to your thought imagery as you ride along the train as time zero's down to the grand finale. Once i rode on the train i did not want to get off until an outcome is reached in this page turning orchestra of cataclysmic events. You become immersed in the battle for human salvation against the ensuing apocalypse at the hands of the robots.

"The machines are now designing and building themselves. More varieties are coming. We believe that these new robots will have greatly increased agility, survivability, and lethality. They will be tailored to fight your people, in your geographic environment, and in your weather conditions.

"Let there be no doubt in your mind that the combined onslaught of these machines, working twenty-four hours a day, will soon be unleashed by Archos on your native land."
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating sci-fi read that's also an enjoyable thriller, 9 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Robopocalypse (Robo 1) (Paperback)
I wanted this purely because I had heard Spielberg is making a movie of it. Although I usually don't care much about whether the movie differs from the book, this time the plot synopsis intruigued me enough to hook me in. I'm glad it did. Robopocalypse is a rewarding read in more ways than one.
Firstly, it's a dramatic and lean thriller. I never felt like I was reading filler or a badly paced chapter.
Secondly, it's inventive and makes you think - the gift of all great sci-fi.
And thirdly, simply structurally, it's brilliantly clever. The novel doesn't follow a traditional structure of following a cenral character. Rather it initially introduces key characters, each in a self-contained mini-tale of their own, chapter by chapter, and then begins to link them, believably and intricately weaving the story strands together and reintroducing them as they become more prominent in the tale.
It's also a lot of fun. As Artificial Intelligence 'Archos' becomes self aware, it turns on its creator, but although such an idea is far from original, the way the tale evolves and grows IS handled with originality. Wilson cleverly uses technology that already surrounds us to introduce a sense of unsuspecting unease as everyday gadgets begin to suffer apparently random and unconnected blips, until the pace of the disaster accelerates rapidly and becomes something so dangerous that the survivors have to un-learn their modern ways of life and embrace skillsets they never thought they'd have to use.
One scene of a simple family journey is so tense and daringly shocking that it's a masterpiece, and should form a prominent part of any competent screenplay.
A brilliant read that any fan of Michael Crichton's style of technothrillers will likely find easy to enjoy and should readily embrace before the movie arrives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ah Mah Gah!!!, 31 July 2012
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This review is from: Robopocalypse (Robo 1) (Hardcover)
Found this book by accident.
So glad I did.
I'm not usually into sci-fi at all, but this had me GRIPPED!
Solid, water-tight, brilliant, AMAZING storyline from start to finish.
Basically, it's set in the sort-of-near-but-a-bit-of-way-off future where virtually everyone has a domestic robot and technology is used for literally everything.
Then some mad scientist decides he wants to create an artificial intelligence internet.... thing, that can be told things, and can learn itself.
Only when he turns it on it begins to learn far too fast than hoped. So he goes to turn it off and start again. But 'Archos' has other ideas and decides to remove all the oxygen from the lab to suffocate this scientist, and then goes on to infect (via internet) all other forms of technology on the planet with its own brand of malevolent sentience.
The story is told via many characters who appear to the protagonist in an internet cube that was made for the specific purpose of recording and documenting all events of 'The New War'. These characters span a multitude of backgrounds and cultures including a high court judge and her children who end up enslaved by the robots (think robot nazis at Auschwitz), a computer nerd and prolific prank caller in London, your average squaddie fighting out in Afghanistan, and an old man in Japan - I get the feeling this was done to represent the global appeal and usage of technology that is apparent both in the novel and in real life.
I won't spoil the plot for anyone, because it's that good I think you should all go read it yourselves!

Word of warning - Wilson did such a good job of writing this, it left me too scared to use my laptop, my phone and my ipod for 6 days after I finished reading it!
I would also very much recommend that if you like this book you then go and read Wilson's follow-up novel 'Amped' which is equally mind-blowingly brilliant!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Action Packed Light Sci-Fi Novel, 28 July 2012
By 
Killie (Armadale, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Robopocalypse (Robo 1) (Paperback)
"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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's for our own good, apparently, 9 April 2012
By 
M. Cantrell "Author of the Orwellian thriller... (Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Robopocalypse (Robo 1) (Paperback)
Robots are rebelling against their human masters, but don't go looking for Arnie -- he won't be back. Comparisons with The Terminator are inevitable, in fact that's what went through my mind when I read the blurb, but it's far removed from the Skynet universe. I wouldn't have known this had I followed my initial impulse to put the book back on the shelf, but for some reason I bought the book instead. Must have been a slow day.

I don't quite regret the impulse buy; nor do I feel enthused about the book. There is significant divergence between Wilson's telling of a battle for survival between man and machine from that depicted in The Terminator films, with some interesting ideas and philosophical notions raised, but it never quite manages to lift off and fly away with my imagination. It peeked my interest enough to keep me turning the pages, but I didn't feel any strong compulsion towards it.

Essentially, the artificial intelligence Archos -- created as an experiment, and rather perturbed to learn its previous iterations were killed because they didn't match expectations -- escapes from the research facility where it was born. It proceeds to infiltrate the various technologies that serve mankind, growing in strength until it's ready to strike.

Archos has decided to kill mankind for reasons that are never quite clear. On the one hand, it sees man as savagely destructive to life on planet Earth and so must be destroyed. It's not just about the AI's notion of self-preservation. There is also more than enough to suggest that Archos adores its creators, is enthralled by the best in human potential, and so has struck upon a brutal strategy to force humanity to find the best in itself -- by launching a wholesale genocidal war against its creators, thereby forcing them to fight for their very survival.

This ambivalence to Archos's motives is quite deliberate; it keeps the reader guessing and asking questions. Is it really an extreme case of 'tough love'? Certainly, for all its occasional demonstrations of a 'god complex', Archos never takes the easy option: no nukes in this post-apocalyptic struggle between flesh and metal. This is an ecologically aware mass-murdering machine.

All told, Robopocalypse isn't a bad book, but it's nothing to write home about either.

Mark Cantrell,
Author of the dystopian thriller CITIZEN ZERO
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Robopocalypse by D Wilson (Hardcover - 7 Jun. 2011)
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