by Gregg Rosenblum
January 8, 2013
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.
Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.
Revolution 19 is a cinematic thriller unlike anything else. With a dynamic cast of characters, this surefire blockbuster has everything teen readers want—action, drama, mystery, and romance. Written by debut novelist Gregg Rosenblum, this gripping story shouldn’t be missed. (Goodreads Summary.)
My Take On It
Robots taking over the world!!!! That's what my brain was screaming when I first heard about Revolution 19. Who doesn't like books with robots? I love them! So I had high hopes when starting Revolution 19. And while I thought the storyline and premise was an interesting one, poor characterization and world building left me feeling very "meh" about the book in the end.
To be fair, the start of the story is pretty strong. It's the period immediately following the robot uprising, a period when most of humankind is killed off or sequestered into robot run Cities. We meet Nick and Cass's parents trying to escape the robots. A scene unfolds and not all of the adults survive. It was definitely a striking scene, and seemed to set a very sinister stage for the book to come. The next chapter begins some 13 or so years later. Nick and Cass are teens and their little brother Kevin has since been born. They are living in one of the country's few remaining Freeposts, clusters of communities trying to live under the bots radar. We are reintroduced to their parents as well as a few of their friends and other community members.
Of the three kids, Kevin, the youngest at 13, and his fascination will all things technical, stood out the most to me. He is clearly a tech genius and I liked that he is curious about everything. In fact Kevin's curiosity is one of the major differences between the second generation of survivors of the robot takeover and the older, first generation. The first generation seems to just want to avoid the robots and find a way to survive. The second generation, like Kevin, are more interested in finding out the why's and the how's. Including how to possibly beat the robots at their own game.
Again, I liked this premise and storyline. I saw lots of potential in it. But other then what I just said about Kevin, I can't tell you much more about him. And I can tell you even less about Cass and Nick. Cass is an artist and good at most everything she tries, sports and games included. Nick is the oldest, and he feels most responsible for his siblings. He has lost the use of one eye which makes him handicapped and less able bodied than his sister. But I don't know much about their hopes or their dreams. I wanted to learn more about how their lives are at this Freepost. I wanted to learn more about the Freepost itself as well, and the other communities that are supposedly out there. But before that can happen, the robots locate the sibling's camp and attack. Nick, Cass and Kevin make a run for it and are separated from their parents. The trio soon decide to travel to The City to try and find them.
Once in the city they meet meet a few unexpected allies, Lexi, a teen girl who likes the idea of being rebellious, and Farryn, another tech-head who is a bit mysterious and seems to be involved in some shady dealings. We also meet a doctor friend of Farryn's who agrees to help the kids when the find themselves in a bind. Of the three, Farryn and the doctor interested me the most because I actually felt like I had better sense of who they were than the three main characters. I am all for strong secondary characters, but here it only served to frustrate me because I felt I knew so little about the other central players. I can handle some dodgy, vague world building, but I am the kind of reader who really needs to know more about the characters she is reading about in order to get fully invested in the story being told. And even though the story was an interesting one, I just couldn't get past the disconnect I felt in regards to Nick, Cass and even Kevin.
The robots themselves were interesting, and some of them were pretty creepy. I did find it interesting that they chose not to fully eliminate human kind, and a comment is even made that the bots recognize that humans created them, and they have no desire to kill their creators. There are more revelations about the nature of the bots and what they may really want, especially in the Epilogue of the book, but I can't say much more without spoiling.
But I am torn as to whether I will stick around to see how this plays out in the next book. And this is part of a planned series. In fact, I have heard that the book has already been optioned for a film. News like this, before a book has even released, always kind of amazes me, but maybe it shouldn't. I was talking to a couple of my bloggy friends about it and I could totally see this being made into a huge summer blockbuster film, though I wouldn't be surprised if the character's ages aren't raised, the action scenes more developed and more romance (there was very little in the book) written in to appeal to an older audience. Kind of like the Percy Jackson Series was revamped (unfortunately). I however, will probably hang out in the "wait and see" camp before deciding whether to continue on.
Revolution 19 releases on January 8th, and though it wasn't a hit for me, I encourage you to go give it a try and see what you think:)
Find author Gregg Rosenblum here: goodreads/ twitter
Check out more reviews of Revolution 19
Into the Hall of Books
Birth of a New Witch
Kristina's World of Books