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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.
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on 7 August 2014
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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on 21 October 2015
Far fetched plot full of holes, politically correct stereotypes and little technical insight, which is surprising given the author's background.
Only the sub-plots regarding the Brit hacker and the drilling rig crew are interesting, the rest is eye-rolling.
Obviously written with a film script in mind, it deserves to be shelved indefinitely.
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on 17 October 2012
The first few chapters of this novel, (Apart from the character story set in Japan) were pretty hard going. It read a lot like airport trash, sub Airport Trash...I'm a big Sci-Fi fan but found it hard to get into the story; reminding me of those 70's disaster movies....

But about a third into the book, it's as if the author wakes up and starts telling a decent story that both Sci Fi fans would like, and general readers.

The novel follows a set of characters all around the globe as the Robots take over, that's the book in a nutshell. The trouble is some of those characters aren't really worth knowing, and early in the book, the writer introduces very interesting ones that don't seem to re-appear.

A decent Editor could have ironed all these out, but hey, the author hit big with the rights getting snapped up by Dreamworks.

The general reader will get a Da Vinci -esque page turner, with enough science in there to satisfy Sci Fi fans who aren't too interested in the `kick ass' battalions of the human army versus the Droids......
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on 21 February 2015
While the story itself was good enough I can't help but feel somewhat let down by its delivery. There was too little character development, the many POV voices all read the same - lacking any kind of individual distinction. I wanted to know more about the characters, but sadly there is too little there and the story has left me of the opinion that the whole thing was rushed, as if the author couldn't wait to finish.
All in all, the ideas and overall premise of the book were great, but the author failed to actualize them in anything other than a distinctly average delivery. Perhaps Speilberg will succeed in film where Wilson was unable to in print.
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on 12 February 2013
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this and ploughed through it in a couple of sittings but I can't help comparing it - unfavourably - with Max Hastings' World War Z.

Describing a Terminator style, "computers take over the world" story, it paints a picture of a world dependent on a technology that turns against it with horrific results. Written as a journal, it describes the lead up and downfall of society and the eventual triumph of humans over machines.

There are some nice ideas and its quite thought provoking at times but for a apocalyptic, end-of-the-world type of novel it lacks depth and emotion - characters are a bit stereotypical and you can practically see where it has been written with a big screen adaptation in mind. It didn't stay with me in the same way as WWZ did - for all the thematic similarities, Hasting's book felt much more human and intimate.

That's not to say its not worth a read - just don't go expecting a masterpiece.
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on 2 February 2013
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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on 31 July 2012
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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on 4 January 2014
I really enjoyed reading this. It was well thought through with interesting characters and I couldn't put it down. I especially enjoyed reading about how the robots evolved over time in order to track down the humans in hiding! Some pretty gruesome way of killing were invented by the machines which added to the tension. Rumour has it that the book is being made into a film....looking forward to that.....
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on 3 November 2013
The author has covered a scenario that has been covered by a number of authors before. Computers take over the world...
I bought it to read on holiday, and read it over a couple of days. The technology is realistic and does not stretch the imagination too far. A little gruesome in places.
It does follow a somewhat predictable apocalyptic formula, but the author has added some twists to keep the reader's attention.
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