Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Review: ROBOPOCALYPSE by Daniel H Wilson
From the back of the book
They are in your house. They are in your car. They are in the skies… Now they’re coming for you.
In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late.
Adopting a short story approach to the early chapters to detail the robot uprising, ROBOPOCALYPSE hooked me in from the get-go. The short, sharp bursts of pulse pounding action and steady characterisation of the key players established the scene for what was to be a unique look at a war many feared would come - and come it does.
Set in the near future (the exact year isn't specified), robot intelligence has managed to surpass its makers. No longer confined to code and control, these self thinking, self aware machines carve out a path of destruction across the globe. However, humans are resilient and soon small bands of fighters gather to ward off the impending extension of humankind, fighting fire with fire, or as the case may be robots with robots.
I really liked the way the narrative flowed and was kept fresh by the differing perspective and manner by which humanities fight back was told. My only complaint was certain aspects to the war were glossed over but it's only minor in what was otherwise a very enjoyable read.
Since finishing ROBOPOCALYPSE I've learnt there are more books set in this setting. The good thing is this book reads very well as a standalone and doesn't require the reader to source further installments, however I'll be sure to check them out.