You remember A.I. right? Will Smith, rogue murdering robots? If you enjoyed that movie, like I did, you will love Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson….or be scared to ever get around something mechanical again.
Not far into our future, the dazzling technology that runs our world turns against us. Controlled by a childlike—yet massively powerful—artificial intelligence known as Archos, the global network of machines on which our world has grown dependent suddenly becomes an implacable, deadly foe. At Zero Hour—the moment the robots attack—the human race is almost annihilated, but as its scattered remnants regroup, humanity for the first time unites in a determined effort to fight back. This is the oral history of that conflict, told by an international cast of survivors who experienced this long and bloody confrontation with the machines. Brilliantly conceived and amazingly detailed, Robopocalypse is an action-packed epic with chilling implications about the real technology that surrounds us.
In Robopocalypse, the robots have gone evil, but it’s not just robots, it’s cars, planes, bulldozers, etc! There are chips in machines all over the world…wait we already have this uh oh… and a virus/program is created that links itself to all these machines and they go on a human extermination quest. Picture it, a world where basically every machine has one of these chips and they start grouping together to kill every human they can find.
Then you have the people trying to find a way to survive and learning their way around this scary new world. But as they survive and evolve, so do the machines. The machines build new creations and learn to hunt and defeat the human; they get stronger and harder to escape every day. Many people die, but many stick together to fight a war where no one can see the winner. The craziest part for me was when the robots started work camps with humans and started studying them AND doing experiments on them! I won’t spoil some fun here folks, but man that was crazy scary cool.
Robopocalypse is set up so that each chapter is an individual story of a person or group who makes an impact on winning the war against the machines. Basically it’s a timeline of what happened from beginning to end around the world. Each chapter switches point of view between a person/group. Each person/group is dealing with different types of machines. And every battle helps the people learn to defeat the machines.
The writing was well done and there wasn’t a ton of technical mumbo jumbo to confuse my little brain. The characters were very realistic, very believable and mostly likeable. I liked how it wasn’t a bunch of warriors fighting this fight. It’s a man who built robots in Tokyo; a guy in the Army and his brother in New York; a hacker who used to torment people for kicks but has turned good in London; Osage Indians taking any one who is in need of help onto their land in Oklahoma (woohoo for my home state, hehe); and a little girl and her little brother who were sent to work camps.
My main complaint was that everyone knew what was going on outside of their area. You do see a group moving to find another group, but no mention of how they got their information, just word is there’s a place to go. I need more than that, how did this person or group of people survive the machines to get around the country to spread the news? And why would they leave a safe place? Eventually the people do find a way to communicate, but in the very beginning there was no way for them to pass on info. The other part that I didn’t like was that some of the characters aren’t wrapped up, or if they were I totally missed it in my frantic need to finish the book.
I loved Robopocalypse. This is one of those thrillers that is too far fetched. It scared me by how real it is, or how real it could be. I probably won’t read it again to avoid nightmares but, LOL, I totally recommend reading it.