Review – Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson

robogenesisYeah, well…that was disappointing.  I read and reviewed Robopocalypse in 2012 and really liked it (4/5 stars).  So, when I saw Robogenesis on Netgalley, I hit the request button as quickly as possible.

From Goodreads: “”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.”

One of the things that worked for Robopocalypse was that there was one primary narrator (even though it did jump stories with each chapter change).  Cormac was the thread that tied everything together.  The narrator for Robogenesis, Arayt Shah, isn’t nearly as effective.  Once again, each chapter would focus on a different character and then come back to them several chapters later.  I found myself becoming confused with the timeline and keeping track of who was who and their relationship.  The action was uneven and the story just didn’t flow very well.

I think the biggest frustration I had as a reader was that this story seemed manufactured.  Robopocalypse worked as a stand alone novel.  I don’t have a problem with writers deciding there is more story to tell and then adding to the series.  BUT…this time it seemed that the second book only came into being because the first was successful.  It was forced and didn’t really offer anything new.

There were sparks of hope.  Houdini was my favorite character this time around and probably added a full star to my rating with his story.  I wanted more of that storyline.

2.5/5 stars.  (And, yes, I will probably read the 3rd in the series when it comes out.)

Thank you to the publisher for providing an e-copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


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