I picked up this book based on the recommendations of Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly. It seemed like a good summer read. Who doesn't want to reaI picked up this book based on the recommendations of Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly. It seemed like a good summer read. Who doesn't want to read about robots taking over the world? A nice respite from vampires and zombies taking over the world anyway.
This novel, told in flashback sequences through first-person accounts and computer recordings, is the story of how Archos took over computers and turned them against man. Like most apocalyptic stories, it's told in a not-too-distant future in which man has put some form of a computer into nearly all objects. The story starts with the first moments when Archos takes control, testing its strength and takes us through to the final moments of the New War.
There are great creepy bits in this book, images of robots coming to life, stalking victims, turning on ... us. Some good enough to be their own short film. But these were too few and too far between for me. Tension didn't build properly because there wasn't enough character development for me to care when disaster struck. Even in a robot apocalypse I need humanity. That isn't to say I need to have human characters worth caring about, I would have taken a robot or two instead. Wilson didn't give me humanity. Further, I didn't get any social commentary as I have from some of the better apocalyptic science fiction like the Hunger Games trilogy by Collins, The Road by McCarthy, The Passage by Cronin, or Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Finney. The only message is a warning about the pervasiveness of technology in our lives.
This will likely make a great movie. I am sure that it has already been optioned. Parts of the book already read like a script. Some of the visual descriptions were written almost as if they were instructions for a director. The character outlines here in the book will be perfect for a two-hour movie. They just weren't enough for a 350-page book....more
Tory Brennan, niece of famed anthropologist Temperance Brennan, is stuck living on secluded Morris Island. Her mother died recently in a crash and sheTory Brennan, niece of famed anthropologist Temperance Brennan, is stuck living on secluded Morris Island. Her mother died recently in a crash and she's just reunited with her father who, until the crash, never even knew she existed. On the bright side, she's befriended Hiram, Ben, and Sheldon who share her love of adventure and science.
When the four visit a neighboring island where scientists study a monkey colony, they discover a caged dog that appears to be the victim of secret, experimental tests. They quickly decide to rescue the dog, changing their lives forever.
Reichs is a scientist. I haven't read her Bones series, so I'm not sure how much latitude she takes with that book, but I found it surprising how much latitude she takes with the science here. Additionally, it's hard to hear characters being described as smart and obviously above average when the readers are steps ahead of them at several points in the book. This makes the characters appear less than smart.
Did a publisher approach Reichs about writing something for the YA market and encourage her to continue to use science but make it accessible for teens by injecting some supernatural elements because of the current trends in YA literature for vampires and werewolves? Wouldn't it have been wise to just stick to the science and write an intelligent, younger protagonist?!
I had other issues with Reichs writing. She uses far too much foreshadowing at the beginning of the book. We get it! Something bad is about to happen! I also found her narrative choice of using a first person omniscient voice was poor. Telling most of the story from Tory's perspective, but allowing the audience to read bits of what other characters did and felt spoiled much of what could have been used for dramatic tension.
This book was clearly written as the first in an intended series, but I won't be waiting to read future titles....more