I was hooked by Comac Wallace and his narrative excerpts of accounts on humanities struggle with Rob, as the machines are called in the robot war depicted in this book. Then I heard that it would become a movie by Spielberg and Dreamworks and knew I had a hit book in my hands. Just an hour into this excellent listen and the narrative of the "Big Happy" loosing his mind and attacking an average ice cream and yogurt jerk made me me cringe and laugh. I immediately starting telling my friends about this book. It is an excellent read. Daniel Wilsons intimate knowledge of robotics (He has a PhD in Robotics) gives a first rate sci fi adventure full of all the cool stuff we sci fi heads are looking for. Savor the book, dont waste a chapter and get it now you wont be dissapointed.
No new ideas, really. Computers attain self-awareness, decide to wipe out all humankind. Lots of sci fi books written on this subject. Whole concept requires widespread use of servant humanoid robots. One interesting chapter was from the point of view of the robot. If you haven't read any of the old classics on this subjects, it might be more interesting.
At first it was hard to listen to the novel and not think of all the previous sci-fi novels/movies that have came before it. However, it did develop into a plot of its own as you became more intimate with the characters. In the end, it quickly had to cover ground and close the story, leaving a few questions without answers.
Think about the kind of movie that substitutes tension and dramatic scenes for plot. Now imagine that instead of viewing the movie, you are reading the script. That's how this book reads. It's written as series of increasingly scary and violent scenes, each involving different settings and people. The premise - "What if we made really good robots that went bad on us?" - is tired, and there's nothing fresh or inventive about this treatment of it. Lots of graphic, gory descriptions though. Not my cup of tea. To be fair, I gave up when I was half-way through; maybe it redeems itself in the end, but I lost patience. I'd call this more thriller than sci-fi. Maybe it will make a better movie than book.
After listening to a few hours of this book you are going to go into epileptic fits if you hear Cormac Wallace, Mill Number GHA213 one more time. After the original idea this book gets boring fast, and the story delivery mechanism - a series of recorded snippets from ... you guessed it ... Cormac Wallace's journals gets old. Unless you are interested in hearing a series of battle vignets over and over pass this one by.
There is an irony to Mr. Wilson's advanced degrees in robotics, because that is just how this book reads. The story is flat and the characters lack anything that would allow the listener to feel some thread of emotional connection. The narration did not work at all, and I felt at times that Mr. Chamberlain was trying to create something that fundamentally is not there in the book. Sadly, on film this will be a blockbuster summer film in some not too distant year, but the hook will be gore and explosions, as opposed to real story. Mr. Wilson will probably make more money than anyone who attended the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Save your credit, and settle down with your Roomba...watching it vacuum will be about as compelling as Robopocalypse.
I think the book was ultimately good, but I kept having issues with the dialogue. It felt like it was supposed to be real dialogue and things people would say in a conversation, but it never happened. It felt more like someone was reading was was written as opposed to having a conversation. This was not the narrators fault. Its totally an issue with how things were written.
Ultimately it was still a decent book though.
Yes it was a good book and I liked the character development. A classic view of good and evil in the future. The only beef was the endding, felt clipped, rushed and dry. If you liked "how to survive a robot uprising" you will like this book.