Mangy Cat's Reviews > Robopocalypse

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
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's review
Jun 09, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: post-apocalyptic, sci-fi-fantasy
Read in August, 2014

Robopocalypse began as what appeared to be a series of short stories that all took place in the same apocalyptic world--one where the machines turn on the humans. These stories were wrapped in a date accompanied by a brief commentary from the main narrator, Cormick Wallace, who had compiled this information so that the world "can understand what really happened."

These stories, all written in first person present tense, seem only vaguely related for the first good third of the book. This is both frustrating and confusing because it's hard to grasp WHY we should keep reading. We barely get connected to any characters before the story segment ends, and it's time for a new one.

Roundabout halfway through, the stories begin to revisit the same characters. We begin to discover what happened next and how those individuals relate to the overarching plot line, which has finally begun to rear it's head.

My two biggest complaints on Robopocalypse were:
1. The incessant use of first person present tense in many places where it really didn't make sense to have it. Present tense irks me in general, though I DO recognize its purpose (to create urgency) and popularity (thanks, Suzanne Collins). It still did not seem the best choice to blanket EVERY story with the same tense and POV. Some of the narratives would have done better as third person, past tense. It would have been nice to see a variety between them all, but the first person present tense of ALL the characters did get a bit grating after awhile.

2. The often over-the-top use of profanity. Yes, we are in an apocalyptic wartime era and there are military soldiers about, but really. Be a little more creative with your exclamations. There is more to expressing one's anger than dropping f-bombs and other junkola in the dialogue of harrowing scenes.

I love robots plus anything having to do with an apocalypse or post-apocalyptic world, but that's about the only reason I stayed the course. Once the stories began to connect, it became rather more interesting though. The scenarios were unique, and the world was fairly intricately established and nicely woven together. Sadly, I can't give it more than 3 stars due to my two reservations above and the fact that it took half the book to pass before the main story arc was really revealed.

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Reading Progress

08/29/2014 marked as: read

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