Today I Read…Revolution 19

Revolution 19Today I read Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum.

Wars were growing more and more terrible, costing so many human lives, so an easier way was found–robots who could fight humanity’s wars for them. Then the robots reinterpreted their mandate to care for humans–they rebelled and took control, to protect humanity from itself. The humans who fought back or ran away were sub-optimal–they were not good citizens, and so they were eliminated.

Except for a few, like siblings Nick, Cass and Kevin, and the rest of Freepost. They live in the forest, living off the land and with the absolute minimum of technology for fear of being detected by the robots and having their home destroyed again. Until Kevin finds a mysterious piece of tech on the ground in the forest, and they come.

Now they have to cross countless miles to get to the City they were born in, to rescue their captured parents before they are lost to them forever.

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This was an uncorrected proof that I got at the OLA Super Conference. The back blurb claims that it comes from the minds of “award-winning writer-directors Howard Gordon and James Wong” and “debut novelist Gregg Rosenblum,” and you can definitely sense the influence of people who work in a visual medium. It reads like it should be a television mini-series, full of excitement and explosions and grown people playing teenagers. As a novel, it comes off as a little bland. It’s a good idea, especially since YA dystopia is so hot right now, but reading it I feel like I’ve seen it all before. There’s nothing new or original here, and it’s not so well written that I’ll forgive the tired ideas and characters. The ending isn’t very satisfactory, because it’s so clearly setting up for a second novel, or rather  second movie. This is Terminator-lite. It has a checklist of things include: orphan from the revolution, robot-caused injury that the robots heal, teenage romance, techie-kid, artist-kid, leader-kid, missing parents, a quest, a spunky ally with her own agenda, anti-social tech genius kid attracted to artist-girl, uncaring despotic robot overlords, casual human deaths, mind control, extreme contrast between the technological luxury of the City and the scavenging poverty of the Freeholds, illegal government and angry rebels…There are two more books in the series, and I bet I can predict exactly what happens in them without even reading the summaries. It’s not a bad book, but it’s not good either. It’s a script, not a novel.

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