Home > Mitch's Musings > Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Revolution 19

By: Gregg Rosenblum

Release Date: January 8, 2013

Rating: 1 Star

Summary: 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.



Review:

There were actually tears in my eyes after I finished this, and not because Revolution 19 is particularly emotional or poignant. Nope, I couldn’t stop laughing at how awful this train wreck is – it’s exactly what I’d imagine a Michael Bay book would be like, if he ever wrote one – so let’s just say, between this and Dark Eyes, the majority of Writers Guild of America members should stick to their day jobs and leave the book writing to people who know the difference between screenplay and prose.

I’m going to cut Gregg Rosenblum some slack though and not make any unfavorable comparisons to Terminator, because I do get the feeling he’s aiming for something a bit more high concept – I, Robot. So I did some digging and Rosenblum actually cites that as one of his influences (Isaac Asimov’s seminal novel, not the Will Smith movie), except, to avoid copyright issues maybe, Revolution 19 isn’t even anywhere close to the Asimov novel. In fact, it’s not even close to the Will Smith movie either, it’s more like the worst case scenario of the movie except a hundred times shittier. I mean, the entire premise of Revolution 19, the Great Intervention, robots taking over the world to save mankind from ourselves, is clearly based on the evolution of the Three Laws of Robotics as seen in the movie (and explored in Asimov’s book).

For those unfamiliar with Asimov’s work, the Three Laws are:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

So what do the Three Laws have to do with robots taking over the world? Basically, the First Law originally requires robots to protect humans individually, except eventually their artificial intelligences extended the law and interpreted it as a directive to protect humanity from ourselves, leading to the whole enslavement of mankind for the good of peace and to prevent violence thing. Of course, Asimov’s solution is the Zeroth Law of Robotics:

0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

Rosenblum on the other hand doesn’t or possibly can’t explore the intricacies and ethical quandaries of artificial intelligence in any meaningful way, so what we’re left with instead is a lame derivative plot that lacks any sort of theme whatsoever. Just imagine instead of Will Smith’s character defeating evil artificial intelligence V.I.K.I. at the end of I, Robot, we’re now all beholden to our new servant droid overlords, and they’ll rant at us in C-3PO’s annoying voice if we disobey like the characters in the book do. And we’re going to obey, because the psychological torture of being ‘lectured’ to by C-3PO’s soundalike will cause irreparable mental harm and selective amnesia and eventually force us into toeing the line. Ha.

Of course, it doesn’t help either that the writing actually is of Michael Bay screenplay quality:

Four soldier bots were waiting for them at the city limits. The bots towered over the humans—they were at least eight feet tall and as wide as two men. They raised their lase arms and aimed a warning shot at the survivors’ feet. Chunks of street rubble sprayed out, one small piece striking the young boy in the left eye. He screamed and fell, clasping his hand over his face. Blood ran between the boy’s fingers. His father pulled off his own shirt, picked up the still-screaming child, and pressed his shirt against the boy’s face. The boy clawed at his father’s hands, but his father held him tight against his chest.

I’m sure that quote would look great with Bay’s signature explosions and the four giant killer robots showing off all their whirly parts of death in glorious computer rendered 3D graphics, but on paper, stage direction isn’t going to cut it, sorry – although actually, I’m still thinking about the lecture-y torture sessions and the resulting ambiguously inflicted psychological trauma, because that quote is actually the best example of robot on human violence in the entire book, and it’s from the Prologue.

But you know what’s even worse? Even the characters are like Michael Bay caricatures. *shudders*

“You were staring at your stomach like a monkey that had just discovered its belly button,” said Cass.
“Drop it, Cass!”
“Like a monkey saying, ‘Oh my God, what is this hole doing in my belly?’”

Does that remind anyone else of Shia LaBeouf’s random rambling in Revenge of the Fallen?

Or:

“Right, what’s there possibly to worry about?” she said. “Just some surgery in the garage with a drunk doctor.”

Yeah. I think I’ve said enough, so I’ll just close this review with some of the awesome Hollywood logic that pervades this book:

“Our parents are here, because if they’re not here they’re dead, and they can’t be dead. So we’re here to rescue them.”

Maybe I should just stick to watching the trailer?


Go to Mitch’s review on Goodreads.

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Categories: Mitch's Musings Tags: ,
  1. Lis
    February 25, 2013 at 7:24 am

    lol i didnt saw the trailer earlier and just watched it. It does look kinda cool 🙂 I would read the book based on that trailer! (well, obviously now I wont read it anymore of course)

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