Robopocalypse is in the same genre as the Terminator series, Heinlein's The Moon is Harsh Mistress, or Asimov's I, Robot. The assumption is that at some point, machine intelligence will become sufficiently advanced and complex so that "consciousness" will emerge. Typically at that point, machine intelligence will decide that humans are too illogical and contradictory to maintain their dominance of the planet.
Rather than focus on the lone rebel who must defeat the machines, Robopocalypse interweaves multiple story lines from around the world of various individuals playing a role in overcoming the machine menace. There are tales of lost love, lost childhood, lost innocence, and lost anti-social personalities. Of course, humans are triumphant in the end, but it's the process that we enjoy, not the ending that makes the tale worthwhile.
This is not hardcore sci-fi; rather, the emphasis is on the struggle to preserve our humanity in the face of technological superiority that is the real message.
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.
The premise of this book is well worn. The characters in this book, men and machines, are a little mechanical. But it's the details, the ideas, the technologies and the sinister machines themselves that provide the surprises and suspense. If you can overlook the books shortcomings, you will enjoy it as I did.
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.