07 January 2013

Review: Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Expected Publication: 8 January 2013 by HarperTeen

Pages: 272 (hardcover)

Genre/s: YA, Sci-Fi

Source: Publisher

Synopsis


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.

My Thoughts

The idea of a robot apocalypse is what originally drew me to this book - an unusual twist on a genre that I love - what more could I ask for? Unfortunately, Revolution 19 just didn't live up to it's massive potential for me, for several reasons.

The three main characters are siblings Kevin, Nick and Cass, which is a relationship matrix that's a little bit unusual to begin with - and fabulously removes any insta-love / triangle moments and really had me intrigued.  But I had issues with all of them, such as not being able to actually see the seperate personalities of Nick and Kevin until more than halfway through, and some odd inconsistencies with Cass - at one part of the book she is portrayed as dreamy yet brave, and later parts comes across as petrified of getting caught and just wants to hide in (figurative) basement.  The romance that is mentioned in the blurb is a brief spark between Nick and Lexi, whom meet in the city, and I also had issues with her character - at one stage she decides to abandon her parents without a second thought because it would be 'missing out on the fun' if she didn't join the siblings on a potential deadly mission into the heart of the robot command post.

The world building is average, but so many things are skipped over, or so briefly touched on they may as well have been - I wanted to know the history of the robot apocalypse, if there was a underground rebellion brewing, how people survived in the wilderness for years without any detection....and the list goes on and on.

What I really missed though was the tension.  Perhaps in aiming for the teen audience it was decided to keep things as 'nicey' as possible - the robots are interesting, but not particularly menacing and seem more intent on controlling the humans with (ineffectual) mind-manipulation rather than lording over them with lasers and high-tech blow-you-sky-high weapons.  But as a reader with a fondness for heart-thumping, nail-biting 'dude, you are so screwed' moments, it mad eme wonder what all the fuss was about - the robots aren't exactly scary.

The only saving grace for Revolution 19 is the writing, which certainly isn't bad, and the action is non-stop, however it's too much - I actually felt like a harried grocery shopper on a Saturday afternoon for much of the book, and important points and actions sped by so fast I was in danger of reading whiplash.  

However, in Revolution 19's defence, I think this book was marketed at the wrong age bracket (says the 30 year-old woman reading YA!) - it would have much more appeal as an MG series, particularly for budding sci-fi readers.

16 comments:

  1. I totally feel you. I was dying to read this one because, HELLO, robots! But I was disappointed. I still enjoyed it, but it was all very average. Great review :)

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    1. I just kept waiting for the robots to get really intense....oh well, there were some good points, just not for me!

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  2. Everybody seems to have the same problems. I haven't seen a single positive review so far. But, stubborn as I am, I still want to read it. I was so excited for this book, so I want to see for myself how bad it is - I will get my copy from the library.

    Great, honest review :)
    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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    1. The ideas are really good, it's just the execution that didn't work for me.

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  3. BLAH! Dude I expected bad-ass killer robots not, well, whatever these are. I haven't even read the book and i know all about the rolling robots! Bahah. Sch a shame this could have been a real winner!

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    1. With a bit more tension and killer robots, it could have been really good!

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  4. Thank goodness there aren't any love triangles! That would be powerful gross.

    Wow, what lame robots!

    " I think this book was marketed at the wrong age bracket (says the 30 year-old woman reading YA!)" Bahahaha

    HarperTeen seems to be doing this a lot, although I'm not entirely convinced that all the bad (simplistic style) YA books should be shunted into middle grade. They should probably just not be published. Though the family cast thing does happen much more in middle grade.

    I'd already removed this from my tbr, but I'm sure you'll save others. Good work!

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    1. Hahahaha! Yeah, that'd make it a YA-issue-SciFi-postapoc - waaaaaaaay too many genres.

      I debated for hours over saying that it would make a good MG book, but I do think it would be a great pre-teen boy (or girl!) read.

      My work here is done *twirls wand*

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  5. I have seen a few reviews of this one that say it would be better suited for a Middle Grade audience, I wonder why they didn't go that route. After reading this review I have zero interest in reading this one, it so doesn't sound like it's for me. I don't like when we don't get a strong sense of a character and their actions/thoughts/dialogue feel out of place for who they were portrayed to be earlier in the novel. Great honest review, Kat, thanks for that!

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    1. I think that's why I confused the two male characters, because they just weren't consistent. Ah well, next book please!

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  6. I haven't read this but based on your review, it sounds like iRobot... and I love Will Smith but I didn't really like that movie.

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    1. The movie of iRobot was better - not a good sign LOL!

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  7. I've heard similar sentiments about the book floating around the blog world. I might hust have to skip this one but great review as always Kat.
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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    1. Thanks Kimberly! Disappointing - must find another robot book instead!

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  8. Blast! I was hoping this would be a good one. I love me some robot take overs.

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    1. Could have been really intense and scary...but it was more like toy robots *sigh*

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