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Publisher's Summary

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.

When the Robot War ignites - at a moment known later as Zero Hour - humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years.

Daniel H. Wilson earned a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of such nonfiction works as How to Survive a Robot Uprising. Wilson lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and daughter.

©2011 Daniel H. Wilson (P)2011 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Things pop along at a wonderfully breakneck pace, and by letting his characters reveal themselves through their actions, Wilson creates characters that spring to life. Vigorous, smart and gripping.” ( Kirkus)
"A brilliantly conceived thriller that could well become horrific reality. A captivating tale, Robopocalypse will grip your imagination from the first word to the last, on a wild rip you won't soon forget. What a read…unlike anything I’ve read before." (Clive Cussler)

What members say

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  • Overall

OMG! The hyperbole is the GREATEST EVER!!!!!

Clever book that is worth reading if you want to hear about the coming robot apocalypse. However, the author tends to turn every ordeal into an epic moment. No matter if it is climatic or mundane, the cast is "pushed to the limits of human extreme - gritting their teeth in total absolute effort beyond the most greatest challenge ever" as they crawl out of bed.
Concept is great, but don't read unless you can tolerate hyperbole and that kind of geeky foreshadowing were someone acts like something coming up is the PENULTIMATE BADARSE THINGY, but you don't get told what and have to wait four chapters to see.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Tacoma, WA, United States
  • 06-10-11


When Asimov (I, Robot) and Matheson (I am Legend) set the bar for the for the killer robot and zombie story…many, many years ago…it’s hard to imagine really successful works following. But, great authors have amazingly done it…produced well thought out, original ideas that earn them the right to sit on the shelf next to their ground breaking predecessors. Dr. Wilson, a genuine “mad” scientist, has successfully done it with Robopocalypse. I read reviews that compared this to Max Brooks (World War Z)…and the book is similar to Brooks, in that dooms day is chronologically covered through different characters. I loved both books…gives the story a much broader scope…and bigger feel. Both zombie and apocalypse junkies will not be disappointed…gore, battles, villains and heroes….something for the entire family!

47 of 51 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Nobody Knows Nothing, For Sure

There were plenty of off the wall sayings for me to pick as the title for this, such as: Leave enough ticks on a dog and pretty soon there ain't no dog left or A mechanic is just an engineer in blue jeans or It's the Cowboy Way.

This is Wilson's first novel, not his first book. He has written books on robotics. He has a PhD in Robotics among other degree's. When it comes to robots the guy knows what he is talking about, his writing in this novel can be sophomoric and I agree with the reviewer that complained about the present tense form.

Putting the bad writing aside, the use of present tense, the lack of character development, etc, I still liked the book. Like B.V. Larson's Swarm, the concept and chapter by chapter development kept me interested. I am a sucker for A-I, Robots or Vulcan type characters. There is solid Science Fiction in almost each and every chapter and those of us who have been reading Sci-Fi for a while have grown used to putting up with lower writing skills to get the science we crave. Another good thing about Wilson, is that even though he knows the in's and outs of robotics, he does not bore us with all the technical jargon.

Like Stephen Baxter and Ben Bova, I believe that Wilson has a big career in writing if he wants. He will need to get some help with his writing skills, but he won't be the first writer to improve his skills as he matures. Hell, the guy was born two years after I graduated High School.

The narrator is not terrible. He has a nasal quality to his voice and he does not do voices well, but maybe he can hone his skills also.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Zach
  • Eureka, MO, United States
  • 07-03-11

Not a fan of the Narrator

Another novel in the fear mongering genre that makes like an updated, more human version of movies similar to iRobot, 2001 A Space Odyssey, or the Terminator. The story, a set of recounted narratives, is written entirely in the present tense, while read from a futurist perspective. This choice of tense makes the audible version slightly annoying.

Plus, the narrator, Mr. Chamberlain, leaves a bit to be desired in the quality category. Of the dozen or so characters, he portrays each in one of three dialects/accents. These three become fairly repetitive and somewhat grating. It came to the point, where I couldn't figure out if I really disliked the book or just his reading. You will have to decide for yourself I guess.

Each character is written in a way that brings out the best attributes of humans. This is the saving grace of the book. If you like the post-world ending stories, this is at least a fresh take on an old tale.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Terminator meets Zombieland

Robopocalypse is an interesting variation on the increasingly common emergent-evil-AI theme. A really smart AI wakes up and hijacks the arms and legs and wheels of all the smart devices we've been building, extending itself into all of our smart machines, which suddenly begin to attack humans like artificial zombies. The story is told from the perspective of both people and machines beginning right before and immediately after the singularity (awakening), and it does a fair job of capturing what might be distinctive about those different points of view. The author has a tin ear when it comes to the portrayal of some of his characters (young girls and women seem especially badly done), but on the whole there are some memorable and compelling players here (the Japanese roboticist who genuinely loves his robots is quite moving). There isn't a lot that's new otherwise, except the suggestion that maybe the evil AI isn't really evil after all but is just trying to teach humanity a lesson for its own good. Those hints in the plot aren't very coherent and becoming annoying by the end. The narration is excellent, the story idea is solid, and it's a perfectly entertaining way to spend several hours, but the execution could have been better.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Retread of an old story

Although it has been done before (and much much better) I enjoyed the story found it entertaining and it kept my interest. The reader did a fair job but his UK accents are pretty bad and almost every American sounds like they spent varying lengths of time in Texas.

The real problem is the format. Mr. Wilson wanted to pull of a World War Z but just didn't have the chops. The story is supposed to be made up of interviews as well as "found footage" conversations and communications recorded surreptitiously by CCTV and various electronic devices under control of the Robots. Although the reader gives the characters voices that are easy to tell apart they STILL sound exactly the same. There is WAY too much description, environmental detail and analysis. It didn't take long for it to be apparent that the robots spared only the gifted storytellers.

It would have been better third person omniscient.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Thanksgiving Day is never going to be the same me.

I just adore this book. I like the way the story is delivered to you. I will agree the first listen it was a little slow to get into, but that is because you land right in a battle scenery. I have read this .... sorry listen to this book a couple of time. I do skip to certain parts sometimes. If you like the style of WWZ you will like. there are parts that i was glued to & even thought i was there. I loved the delivery of the story. The only problem i can see it not with the book or story. It will be with the movie that is set to come out, now granted this will make an awesome movie. However, it is not a family movie(which you know they will make) Some scenes in this book are a little graphic & i don't see how you could film them and not be "R" or even NC-17.
I would like to thank Mr. Wilson for now making me a little edge on Zero Hour a/k/a Thanksgiving Day.. 8-)

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jessica
  • Gladstone, OR, United States
  • 06-15-11

It was only OK

Great concept but poorly executed. I would have liked more of a climax to the story. I felt the final scene was a bit of a let-down.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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A Future all too possible

I bought this with apprehension. So many books try to capture the reality of the situation. This book however made it seem very plausable. Excellent performance makes this a darn good listen.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • chris
  • Eugene, OR, United States
  • 07-15-11

Cliché after cliché after cliché.

This future history is a string of progressive comfortable assumptions about people and technology, save your time and get how to survive a robot uprising if you’re interested in this topic. I recommend you skip this title unless you like predictable story lines.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful