I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...
I gotta say off the bat that this is a book i can tell wouldn't cut it in print for me. The format is patched together from different sources and voices. But in audio format it's not bad. The parallels to the Terminator are there, sure. After all, it is a tale of the same ilk. But overall it was entertaining and the thought process of how the machines think and the environmental goals of the takeover give it a little twist. I wouldn't chase it down or relisten to it much, but it was better than some I've fallen into recently.
This book had a potential.. but very long winded, every chapter introduces a new futuristic threat rather than getting on with the main plot.. like an introduction that never ends. The reader is good, but a wasted talent here. He deserves better things. I can't believe the author enjoyed writing this book--it is laborious and cumbersome, and well, plain unenjoyable. I listen and become annoyed and angry.
Author, rabid Audible listener.
Just before writing this review I thought no one else realized that this book shared a really similar feel to Max Brooks' World War Z (not to mention Max also wrote a book called the Zombie Survival Guide and Daniel H Wilson created a book called How to Survive a Robot Uprising). It seems as if others here did indeed notice this as well. As a matter of fact there were points in the book I just felt like the whole plot was lifted and re-purposed. Okay so with all this aside...
The book was actually quite good. The story is essentially a re-telling of how a computer program named Archos found a mind of its own and in pretty short order decided to go to war with the humans. The story took place somewhere in the near future which made some of the story a bit easier to believe.
My 3 stars are really because there are many unanswered questions. So many unanswered questions in fact that I believe there must be another book in the works. There was so much ground to cover in so many years, you really wanted to know more about what was going on. Without giving anything away, I will say I kept thinking "What was Archos' strategy and why did he do some of the things he did?"
Perhaps the best part of this book was Mike Chamberlain who read the book perfectly. Perhaps one of the reasons for why I wanted to learn more about Archos was the fantastic voice Mike used for him. Anytime Archos spoke, I got that weird creepy feeling that added some real entertainment.
Enjoy the book but be aware it feels like it was designed for a movie more than a good book. Perhaps that is why Steven Spielberg is directing it :-)
I'm sorry but this is more than a bit juvenile. I understand what it is trying to achieve but it sort of feels a bit less epic than it's intentions. It's very simple. If you are a fan of Stephen King...it will leave you wanting a bit more storytelling. Go for "The passage" if you need a bit more philosophy and a lot less action gun battles. If you are a fan of an easy listen and you absolutely love techno robotic babble and are under 20 years old you will love this. If you are a fan of the "what after" post-apocalyptic worlds and its complexities, this is not your book. I should have waited for more reviews. I should have known from the cheesy book title.
I read and listen to books as much as possible.
Because they had to make it a point that the author has a PhD in robotics, I expected some good old hard science fiction, it was not. The audio production was excellent, but the book was poor. There is no real explanation for the technology.
This book was recommended by a Co worker of mine and didn't disappoint at all. Great graphic detail of every scene. This narrative has vivid and unique details to the action along with characters who you see develop.
Mikes narration is solid. A bit of the east coast accent comes through here and there but a bit of personal touch is cool I suppose.
What I didn't like is that I was waiting for a big reveal at the end....a set up for a sequel....some type of cliffhanger. (Spoiler alert This does not end like an Avengers movie)
Will this be made into a film....probably. You should be one of those people who "Read the book...it was much better" and really get that internal dialog that film can't convey.
So basically, eventually, we are all screwed when AI gets mobile and the robots take over. The story was good especially the details how super intelligence emerges. I would give it five stars however there were some parts that seemed unbelievable as the super intelligent AI made some really stupid mistakes. Maybe this is wishful thinking as obviously the author spent many hours thinking about this concept. This piece is congruent with the rest of the book. Solution: make sure that AI super intelligence does not escape?
I honestly just couldn't dude do my disbelief on this one. I'm usually pretty forgiving, but the writing in this one was not well thought out. It's ostensibly an oral history, transcripts of people telling their story. Not only does everyone "speak" in the same voice, they all talk like novelists. Seriously, the guy working the yogurt shop sounds just like a Senator. Heck, even a small child uses evocative description like a novelist. I just couldn't disappear into the story.
I would recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in science fiction, especially if they have any interest in artificial intelligence. The story is well written and the performer for this audiobook enhances the experience.
I like that this story is told from different characters views and you get a wide range of settings, situations, and emotions.
Any interaction that our villain has with anybody or anything is great. The performance of our villain is amazingly convincing and haunting.
I chose this book because I was aware of the authors experiences and education. "Hard Science Fiction" is, well... hard. It requires a deep understanding of the themes. While the book has some redeeming aspects later in the narrative you may find yourself disappointed by the utter laziness of the premise.
The book is effectively the equivalent of a car spontaneously exploding during a chase. The title should act as forewarning. If you know anything at all about AI or machine learning you will feel cheated before you get far enough to suspend your disbelief.