Top positive review
A fascinating sci-fi read that's also an enjoyable thriller
on 9 January 2013
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.