Shaman’s Cannonball Read #CBR5 review #18: Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

I had such high hopes for Robopocalypse. The story sounded pretty good: Robots get smart. They try to take over the world by annihilating humans. Humans resist. If it sounds familiar it’s because it’s been done before. Unfortunately, it’s been done much, much better.

What a silly book this was. Right from the first pages of the book I understood that this was going to be the literary equivalent of a Michael Bay movie. Action, explosions, soldiers, tough talk. Characters who are shallower and more wooden than their robot enemies. While that might work on the big screen (at least if you’re looking for some mindless entertainment), 350 pages of it get boring real fast.

The book is divided into chapters, each of which retells events as witnessed by one of the many characters. These accounts are based on CCTV footage, webcams and the like. The central character provides an introduction to each story, as well as a final note at the end of the chapter. This was a major fault of the book for me. It took me out of the story (not that I was lost in it, but still). He also kept hinting at the importance of these events for the future, which didn’t leave any room for suspense or surprise.

I’m only giving this book two stars instead of one because Daniel H. Wilson obviously knows his subject matter: robot technology. Too bad he couldn’t work in some more humanity.

I hear this is currently being made into a movie by Steven Spielberg. Will this be one of the few times the movie is better than the book?

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