Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson

18490786The stunningly creative, epic sequel to Wilson’s blockbuster thriller and New York Times bestseller Robopocalypse

“The machine is still out there. Still alive.”

Humankind had triumphed over the machines. At the end of Robopocalypse, the modern world was largely devastated, humankind was pressed to the point of annihilation, and the earth was left in tatters . . . but the master artificial intelligence presence known as Archos had been killed.

In Robogenesis, we see that Archos has survived. Spread across the far reaches of the world, the machine code has fragmented into millions of pieces, hiding and regrouping. In a series of riveting narratives, Robogenesis explores the fates of characters new and old, robotic and human, as they fight to build a new world in the wake of a devastating war. Readers will bear witness as survivors find one another, form into groups, and react to a drastically different (and deadly) technological landscape. All the while, the remnants of Archos’s shattered intelligence are seeping deeper into new breeds of machines, mounting a war that will not allow for humans to win again.

Daniel H. Wilson makes a triumphant return to the apocalyptic world he created, for an action-filled, raucous, very smart thrill ride about humanity and technology pushed to the tipping point. – Goodreads.com

Three years ago, I read Robopocalypse, the first book in this series, was completely enthralled, and excited when I learned Steven Spielberg had purchased the film rights.  Flash forward three years, and I was ecstatic when I saw Robogenesis on NetGalley.

Initially, I had a hard time remembering these characters, but they came back to me as I read and recalled how much I liked Mathilda and Cormac, among others.  Although the first book was primarily humans vs. robots, what’s left after the devastating war is even more chilling – humans vs. humans, robots vs. robots and, again, humans vs. robots.  The author has extensive knowledge of robotics, which is very evident in the book, but I didn’t find it difficult to follow.  There were times, especially the nail-biting, action-packed last few chapters, where I’d lost hope and wondered how anyone would survive, but I won’t give away any spoilers.

Something I really enjoyed was how the author ‘humanized’ some of the robots – Houdini and Arbiter Nine Oh Two – and allowed them to display human emotions, which was especially difficult with Houdini, who didn’t talk.  On the other hand, I felt like too much time was spent in Mikiko’s head, with an excessive amount of description that could have been skipped.

Equally character and action driven, this book was darker, but offered more in-depth characterization than the first and I would highly recommend it to sci-fi/post-apocalypse fans; however, reading the first book is a must to understand this followup.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

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