Tatiana's Reviews > Robopocalypse

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
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's review
Mar 30, 11

bookshelves: sci-fi, abandoned, why-the-hype
Recommended to Tatiana by: Eve Davids
Read on March 29, 2011

Robopocalypse is a poor book, but I am sure Spielberg will make a great movie out of it. I think I will even watch it when it comes out in 2013. Mindless entertainment in movies is fun, in books - not so much. For me anyway.

You see, I went into reading this novel thinking that a story about robots breaking free and taking over the world and humans fighting back would be something more intellectually challenging and complex than this. I guess Philip K. Dick, Ted Chiang and Bernard Beckett with their fanciful ideas about the nature of artificial intelligence and moral and ethical dilemmas that arise with its development must have spoiled me for this book which is nothing more than a bunch of action scenes held together by cliche characters.

Borrowing from Max Brooks, Wilson writes his book as a series of first-hand accounts of events highlighting various stages in robot rebellion. You have a young fast-food workers who tells a story of a domestic robot suddenly going out of control and attacking him. Or a young engineer witnessing his older co-worker being chewed up by his previously harmless love doll. Or a 14-year old girl remembering how her robotic toys threatened and blackmailed her...

The sad thing is, all these narrators sound exactly the same. Even when they talk about something that happened years ago they love to describe things in a play-by-play present tense manner. And when the author tries to squeeze emotion out of readers by putting in some melodrama in his scenes, it becomes even much more evident that he doesn't have any real writing chops.

Bottom line: Robopocalypse is nothing more than an embellished action-packed movie script and is as thought provoking as a Michael Bay movie. I'll bet it will be a bestseller. After all, I Am Number Four is.
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Reading Progress

03/29/2011 page 23
7.0% 2 comments
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Comments (showing 1-38)

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message 38: by Kat Kennedy (new) - added it

Kat Kennedy Eh, that doesn't bode well.

I'll be interested in reading the review!

message 37: by Eve (new) - added it

Eve Davids Ha! one star? Oh boy. *cowers head in shame* You've recommend so many good books to me Tatiana, I was really hoping I could do the same. :(
Cant wait for your review. By the way, Unwind is double, triple Awesome! I dont even want to finish it.

message 36: by Cory (new)

Cory Wow. You hardly ever give out one star ratings.

message 35: by Eve (new) - added it

Eve Davids I know right Cory, that's why I was like wow, she must have really disliked this. I wonder what magic Mr. Spielberg is going to do with this.

Tatiana I didn't like this book at all. Reads like a movie recap.

message 33: by AH (new)

AH I think that robots scare me more than all of those paranormal creatures. Robots and clowns. They seem more real, I guess.

I am Number 4 wasn't a bad movie if you are an 11-14 year old boys. My boys enjoyed it.

message 32: by Tatiana (last edited Jul 18, 2011 07:56AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tatiana Oh, Sarah, you really got me there! And wild accusations of I Am Number Four love!

I am pretty sure you are the one in a need of reevaluating your comprehensive skills. If the main narrator presents his story in a form of oral history - interviews, first- and second hand witness accounts, etc. - surely, they don't have to sound the same, because they are recordings of other people's speech. No?

message 31: by Kat Kennedy (new) - added it

Kat Kennedy Wow...

message 30: by Sarah (new)

Sarah WebbiegrrlWriter I'm not getting into a public argument with you, Tatiana. You're trolling. Have fun

message 29: by Tatiana (last edited Jul 18, 2011 07:55AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tatiana Sarah R. Yoffa wrote: "I'm not getting into a public argument with you, Tatiana. You're trolling. Have fun"

How ironic... You come here to call me stupid and I am a troll.

message 28: by Kat Kennedy (new) - added it

Kat Kennedy That is just too weird!

message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Oops, I just unliked this and liked this again. I do like this though, and think your comprehensive skills are fantastic.

message 26: by Tatiana (last edited Jul 18, 2011 03:21PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tatiana Thanks, Ceridwen. There is a reason why you are not reading it right comment is the #1 troll argument in Kat's marvelous post on the subject.

message 25: by Kat Kennedy (new) - added it

Kat Kennedy Oh dear, it seems Ms. Yoffa has gone and deleted her posts. There goes my entertainment for the day!

message 24: by AH (new)

AH Kat wrote: "Oh dear, it seems Ms. Yoffa has gone and deleted her posts. There goes my entertainment for the day!"

Too bad!

Tatiana Kat wrote: "Oh dear, it seems Ms. Yoffa has gone and deleted her posts. There goes my entertainment for the day!"

Hate when it happens! Why do they bother to comment in the first place though?

message 22: by Kat Kennedy (new) - added it

Kat Kennedy Your first mistake is expecting them to make sense. I thought you knew better. *Shakes head in disappointment*

message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Kat, that guide to trolls is wonderful.

message 20: by Kat Kennedy (new) - added it

Kat Kennedy Thank you, Ceridwen! I try, I really do.

message 19: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Thanks for the heads-up - think I'll wait for the movie!

James I would have to disagree. I am currently reading the book, and I'm liking it. Sure, the writing style isn't the best, but the individual stories are interesting and compelling.

Esther Uh, I completely disagree. Robopocalpyse is/was awesome!

Esther *Robopocalypse

Michael Butts I like how people say you are wrong about how you feel about a book. I am probably about 35% into the book and I am having a hard time keeping interested. It's like a bad mix of I,robot and Terminator but you only read the side stories. We'll see if i can get through the end

Darnell I agree. I have about 100 pages left and I've switched books for the time being. These characters are poorly drawn and all sound alike in their narrative. It's as if Michael Bay wrote a book. Max Brooks brought different voices, different perspectives. This guy's just setting 'em up, knocking 'em down.

message 13: by Katalili (new)

Katalili What would Ellison say of this novel? that they stole his outer limits stories ;) nice review!

Eddie Great review. I just finished the book and your review described perfectly, how I couldn't, how I felt about this book.

message 11: by AH (new)

AH Grep wrote: "incorrect. Not one star."

This is Tatiana's review space. If you liked the book so much, you are free to write your own gushing review on your space.

message 10: by Rosa (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rosa You beautifully articulated everything I wanted to say about this book, so thank you for sparing me the work! I was hoping having a Ph.D. in Robotics would have provided Wilson greater insight into depicting all the nuances and layers of how a Sentient artificial intelligence might be (as well as how we humans might really live with/around them), but as you said, those chapters didn't read any differently from any of the human-perspective ones; this one had all the subtlety of a Will Smith blockbuster. Disappointing! He clearly directed his specialized knowledge of the subject towards the countless paragraphs about different robot/weapon designs, all of which I largely skimmed anyway...

message 9: by Katalili (new)

Katalili They are making a movie...


Mattster Hmm. I quite enjoyed the book and it was more exciting than watching most Hollywood garbage out there.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

"Robopocalypse: Slightly More Exciting than Crap" doesn't really sell it though.

Jeremy I read the other day that Spielberg has shelved the movie project for the time being.

Cain Thomas Maybe at the time I read this, I was an idiot. I still am, however I throughly enjoyed the novel. Probably just because I disagree with making something vastly more intelligent than a human. A machine has no empathy like a human. I still enjoyed your point of view.

Jake Stelmach Tatiana - did you actually read the whole thing all the way through? The first hand accounts eventually merge into a very coherent and exciting story, revealing various character personalities. I thought it was great.

message 3: by bluspirit92 (new) - added it

bluspirit92 Congratulations Tatiana! You have reviewed part one of Robopocalypse. Come back later when you review the entire awesome book with its other four parts.

Mike Chrusciel This book is pretty damn good. Even though it's basically World War Z with robots, it holds up much better than WWZ. As for Spielberg making a movie of it: it won't happen, it would cost way too much to make.

Scott Kennedy I really wish I'd read your review before starting this book. I'm about 50 pages from the end and what a slog it has been, except for that mining chapter in the arctic. The robots also seem unaware of the use of ... um ... artillery on fortified positions. It's one thing to rip off the structure of World War Z, but it's another to make most of your robots as mindless and unstrategic as zombies.

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