I grew up with the original Terminator movie, so an apocalyptic book about robots that have risen up and gone to war against their creators had a real appeal. Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum lacked both logic and grit.
In this story some of the humans who survived the Robot war are living in the countryside outside the city in makeshift tents and structures. As the book shows in the first chapter, these aren’t necessarily survivors which escaped, but were let go by the robots. The book never really addresses the question of why. Why were Cass’s birth parents killed, but she and the couple who ends up raising her allowed to flee?
The other thing that bothered me in this book is that the robots were originally created to replace human soldiers in war as they are obviously physically superior and unlike humans with emotions they don’t hesitate to follow orders on the battlefield, etc. So how would humans survive against a superior foe unless they deliberately are allowing these humans in the woods to continue, doesn’t that thought bother those in the countryside? If it were me, I would be trying to figure out the enemies’ end game, particularly when their camp is attacked and its members are either killed outright or taken into the City, why now?
However, maybe it’s the youth of the main characters, Nick, Kevin, and Cass, that don’t allow them to see past the here and now. So when their parents fail to show up at the rendezvous after the raid, the kids decide logically to sneak into a robot controlled city to rescue their parents who there isn’t any evidence survived the attack.
It’s when the kids get near to the City, that the story deviates greatly from what my Terminator trained brain was imagining. In the Terminator movie the remnants of human survivors eke out a hard existence full of hunger, desperation, and violence. Far from being kept like animals in a pen, the humans in the city appear to be living a near normal existence going to school or work, eating at restaurants, living in clean homes, etc. While the kids are surprised, again it doesn’t appear to dawn on them that other than the fact the city dwellers cannot leave the city as they are chipped, they are able to live a decent life if not a free one. No, the characters in the story are not asking these bigger questions as they are too busy rebelling, hooking up, etc. Only Kevin has the bigger picture in mind beyond just rescuing the parents, but trying to figure out how the robots work in order to take them down.
I was just way too frustrated with the immaturity of the main characters to consider reading the next book in the series to see if the big questions get answered. Economists talk about ‘sunk costs’ and after investing time into reading the first story I tend to fall into the trap of feeling that since I have already spent the time, I should continue reading even if I wasn’t too impressed with the first. For once, I am going to cut my losses and walk away.