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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

There's Just Not a Lot to New Robot Revolution Novel

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

It's been 20 years since the robots humans designed to protect them turned on their creators, enslaving their makers in fortified Cities.  Bullheaded Nick knows all about the robots' fury and cruelty—in his 17 years, he's heard every horror story there is to tell.  Not that he needs to worry.  He hasn't actually seen a 'bot since he was a toddler. Hiding in the wilderness with his family and a handful of others, Nick's only known safety.  It's a relative kind of thing, but still ...

When Kevin, Nick's tech-obsessed younger brother, unknowingly leads the robots right to the family's hideout, everything changes in an instant.  The only home Nick and Kevin have ever known is destroyed, the people they love scattered.  Or captured.  Or, more probably, dead.  Still, the boys and their adopted sister, Cass, can't just let their parents rot in some robot prison.  If there's even the slimmest chance that their mother and father are still alive, the kids have to find them.  They must go to the nearest City, no matter how dangerous the journey.  They have to free their parents, no matter how terrifying the task.

Arriving at the City, the teenagers get another shock.  The robot-controlled metropolis isn't what they thought.  But if the rumors they've heard all their lives aren't true, what is?  What do they do now:  revolt or assimilate?  As the kids figure out their next move, they will have to decide what freedom really means and how much it's truly worth.

As you can probably gather, there's not a lot to Revolution 19, a new YA sci-fi novel by Gregg Rosenblum.  Not a lot of originality, not a lot of complex plotting, not a lot of character development ... I could go on, but I won't.  The fact is, I found this one pretty disappointing.  It's a quick read, yes, but the story revolves around a tired premise.  Add to that a predictable plot, characters who never feel real, gaping plot holes, and ho-hum writing and, yeah, I just wasn't impressed.  Oh well.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a lot of Partials by Dan Wells)

Grade:  C-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG-13 for language (no F-bombs) and violence

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Revolution 19 from the generous folks at HarperTeen.  Thank you!


  1. It's got a great cover, though! My dystopian reading hasn't led me to books with bots yet. I'll probably skip this one then.

    1. It does have a nice cover. If you want bots, I would suggest PARTIALS by Dan Wells. There's CINDER, too, although it's more of a "rebooted" fairy tale than anything else.

  2. The Partials aren't robots though, right? I understood them to be genetically engineered sentient beings that are almost exactly like humans, except with enhanced abilities and an inability to interpret or display social and emotional cues. ("Partially human" I think is how they're described in Fragments.) Sorry, that was a really technical description! But Fragments is still on my mind since I just read it last week. :) Despite the attention grabbing cover, Revolution 19 doesn't sound like the book for me. Thanks for the review!

    1. Um, yeah, you're probably right. I guess I just THOUGHT of them as robots ... they're robot-ish, right? Right??

    2. They're for sure robot ish! More so in Partials than Fragments. I can completely see a reader thinking of them as robots, especially if you haven't read the gigantic tome that is Fragments! But I can't think of them as robots at all now because I'm kind of developing a book-crush on Samm...weirdly spelled name and all. ;)


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