STARRED REVIEW
July 2014

Robots on the rise

By Daniel H. Wilson
Review by
Robotics engineer Daniel H. Wilson’s 2011 debut, Robopocalypse, blurred the line between man and machine in a world on the brink of human extermination. In the second act, the line threatens to disappear altogether.
Share this Article:

Robotics engineer Daniel H. Wilson’s 2011 debut, Robopocalypse, blurred the line between man and machine in a world on the brink of human extermination. In the second act, the line threatens to disappear altogether.

With the help of freeborn robot Nine Oh Two, an extraordinary girl with prosthetic robot eyes and an army from the Osage Nation, the New War was won. The powerful artificial intelligence Archos R-14 was decimated, and his legions were left orphaned. But in the months following the New War’s end, a new battle takes its place—the True War. This time, the remnants of Archos may be humanity’s best hope.

Like Robopocalypse, Robogenesis is pieced together in postwar vignettes. A narrator named Arayt Shah shares stories pulled from the minds of Robopocalypse survivors to recount how he won the True War. But there’s something off about our storyteller, and as in so many post-apocalyptic thrillers, humankind has a tendency to become its own worst enemy.

As the stage resets for even bigger problems, Wilson’s imagination gains new heights. His new creations recall the biomechanical designs that might be found in H.R. Giger’s garden of twisted delights, and an army of zombie human-robot hybrids rivals the ice zombies of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. In the wreckage of our former society, beauty hides among the growing horrors—a necessary foil to our gleeful fascination with the grotesque.

While lacking some of the intensity of Wilson’s blockbuster debut, Robogenesis is rife with promises we can’t wait for Wilson to keep.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

Robogenesis

Robogenesis

By Daniel H. Wilson
Doubleday
ISBN 9780385537094

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!