Apatt's Reviews > Robopocalypse

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2457095
's review
Sep 01, 2011

it was ok
Read from September 01 to 23, 2011

Robot uprising, killing people all over the shop, with this kind of premise what could go wrong?

Robopocalypse is often compared to Max Brooks' World War Z and the Terminator movie franchise for different reasons. The former comparison is because the story concerns a global attack on the human race by non-human creatures and is episodic structure. The difference is that the enemy of mankind in Robopocalypse is not a horde of homicidal robots but a single AI entity controlling masses of mindless unaware robots which come in all shapes and sizes including intelligent cars, elevators, photocopying machines etc. Robopocalypse has a limited cast of characters that the narrative repeatedly return to regularly and even a protagonist who frames the individual episodes and also appears in many of them. IMO the closest comparison is to the much maligned Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (the one with the sexy supermodelesque terminator).

On the whole I find the book to be poorly written, even chapters which are supposed to be a first-person narrative by a robot totally fail to convey the robotness of the narrator. For example the robot narrator describes the sound of a bullet's impact on metal as "PING!". Never mind artificial intelligence where is the natural intelligence in this? Characterization is also not a strong point in this book. Characters (including the protagonist) are generally flat and uninteresting (OK, may be except for Matilda the cybernetically modified little girl, and a perverted Japanese roboticist).

The book is mostly action packed and fast paced though I feel somewhat disconnected from it, which is why I took weeks to finish it in audiobook format. The book has already been optioned for a film and I suppose it can be made into a fairly entertaining blockbuster sci-fi movie. At least the audience won't have to read the clunky prose and worse dialog.
21 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Robopocalypse.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

09/01/2011 "Audiobook, great so far!"
show 3 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by apple (new)

apple there's so much hype about this book. I've read some reviewer saying robots are the new zombies (PUR-LeeZZ!!) already got a kindle sample but after I read your review now I'm reconsidering if I should buy the book or not-- "PING!", seriously!? well, there's those action-thriller books with "THUD!" "BAM!" "SWOOSH!" and so on - -"
have you read World War Z ka? it's one of my faves:D (but be prepared for some zombie silliness)


Apatt I can't imagine Ursula Le Guin or even Asimov writing PING! The author is a bit of a hack I think.

I read WWZ, kinda like it but too fragmented for my taste. At least it is well written.

I'm gonna try to read Jonathan Strange and Mrs Whatshername next, I will have to split it and read other books in between, that is how I read 1000+ pages novels now :)


Bloodinmystool At first I thought robopocalypse was the authors first book because of how badly and shallowly it was written, then I looked and saw he had written several other books. It seemed like he was just trying to capitalize off of world war z's fame.


Apatt Do you remember reading that "PING!" part I mentioned? That is so laughable! :D

His other books seem to be non-fiction humorous stuff, I wonder if they are funny, the humor in Robopocalypse is pretty weak.


message 5: by apple (new)

apple Let me know when you're gonna start Jonathan Strange-- I'll start Freedom & Necessity (coming in at 443 pages but the fonts are so freakin' small my eyes will probably bleed by second paragraph T^T)
You're really in a fat book frenzy! Pandora's Star and now Jonathan Strange. when I read something longer than 500 pages I always felt like I should be getting extra points or better yet Goodreads should start giving out monetary incentive :D


Apatt Hmmm... may be I'll try "The Handmaid's Tale" first, it's been in my reading list longer.

That Freedom & Necessity looks interesting.


Apatt JonSnow wrote: "I COMPLETELY agree with the Subpar prose... I'm doing a degree in English (soon to be an honours degree), and there were so many times where I shook my head in frustration at horrible metaphors and..."

Glad you agree with me Jon. I look forward to read your review. The most that can be said about this book is that some of it is fun. It's a pity Hollywood don't pick better sf books than this to make movies from.


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Thanks for helping me avoid this one, Apatt. (Someone should have helped me miss World War Z for lack of characters as well).


Apatt Michael wrote: "Thanks for helping me avoid this one, Apatt. (Someone should have helped me miss World War Z for lack of characters as well)."

Always happy to divert money away from Mr. Daniel H. Wilson's wallet Michael!

Now looking to try some Stephen Baxter, where shall start?


Apatt JonSnow wrote: "I hear Stephen Baxter is good!! You must confirm whether such rumors are indeed true Apatt, haha"

Difficult to manage my TBR pile!


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Apatt wrote: "...Now looking to try some Stephen Baxter, where shall start? ..."
I've only read 3, but I really liked The Time Ships (which I see you have as TBR already). He has a lot of far future novels, but I was very satisfied with Moonseed, a contemporary tale of NASA heroism in the face of an apocalyptic threat to Earth. Not much with character development but lots of fun for a disaster story with lots of tech stuff.


Apatt Michael wrote: "Apatt wrote: "...Now looking to try some Stephen Baxter, where shall start? ..."
I've only read 3, but I really liked The Time Ships (which I see you have as TBR already). He has a lot of far futu..."


Thanks Michael. Would you say that Baxter writes as well as fellow scientist/sf authors like Clarke, Asimov, Brin and Reynolds?


message 13: by Michael (new)

Michael Apatt wrote: "Michael wrote: "Thanks Michael. Would you say that Baxter writes as well as fellow scientist/sf authors like Clarke, Asimov, Brin and Reynolds?"

Those are gods (along with Heinlein, Niven, Stephenson, Varley, LeGuin, Bujold), so Baxter for me is in the next level down-- with writers like Poul Anderson, Banks, Bear, Benford, Gibson, Hamilton, Pohl, Sawyer, Scalzi, Silverberg, etc). Which is great company to be in. Good luck to Daniel Wilson. Maybe Buekes will get there for me. So much good stuff out there.


Apatt Michael wrote: " Good luck to Daniel Wilson. ..."

Poor chap, probably crying all the way to the bank!

Who is Buekes?


message 15: by Michael (new)

Michael Apatt wrote: "Poor chap, probably crying all the way to the bank! Who is Buekes?"

Misspelled Lauren Beukes, a talented young South African sci fi/fantasy author.


Apatt Michael wrote: "Misspelled Lauren Beukes, a talented young South African sci fi/fantasy author."

Ah! Now I remember, I even commented on your review of her Zoo City book!


message 17: by Michael (new)

Michael "Michael wrote: ...Beukes
Apatt wrote: Ah! Now I remember, I even commented on your review of her Zoo City book!"


Just noted how broad your sci fi readings are getting. You are fooling around with Robocalypse when you could have been reading your first Varley (a gap I see).

What time of day is it in Bangkok. I am sorry you find Burdett to render a false portrayal of Thailand. Like his stories and am fascinated with a Buddhist cop.


message 18: by Apatt (last edited Jul 13, 2013 07:57PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Apatt Michael wrote: " "Michael wrote: ...Beukes
Apatt wrote: Ah! Now I remember, I even commented on your review of her Zoo City book!"

Just noted how broad your sci fi readings are getting. You are fooling around wi..."


I read some John Varley decades ago, I seem to remember liking that Gaea Trilogy of his, wish I could remember something about it though. I also read Millennium which was adapted into a bad B-movie in the 80s...

Thailand is GMT +7, about +11 or 12 hours from most US cities. Night and day difference!


back to top