The premise is fascinating. Robots who stage an uprising to take over the earth? Sign me up! This is definitely a book with high stakes, not just for each individual character, but for the world itself.
I enjoyed the way the author built the robot-controlled city. Each detail felt authentic and fully realized, from the rules, to the chips in peoples' heads, to the way humans had been trained to instantly turn on each other and report any infraction to their robot masters. The re-education center was scary as well. All of the pieces of this world worked well with each other.
I also enjoyed the pacing. The story moves along quickly, and there's always something happening to engage the reader's attention.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The characters just didn't quite do it for me, unfortunately. I can overlook a lot of things in a book if I relate to the characters and if I feel like the plot is authentically driven by choices that make sense according to how each character is written. In this case, I never connected with the characters, and I didn't feel a connection between them either. There were a couple of instances where I believed in a brother-sister bond, but most of the time, I just didn't get a sense of relationship between them. This may have been because the narrative skipped around between all three kids a lot. I'm not sure.
I also struggled with the fact that the kids consistently made really rash and/or stupid choices that they knew risked everything they were working toward. It never felt like that was the thing they HAD to do because their back was against the wall. It felt like "I'm going to ignore the well being of the people trying to help us and the fact that this will almost certainly gain me nothing and do it anyway." and then, of course, it blew up in their faces. I found myself constantly frustrated by this.
There were also places where critical action was summed up with "somehow he got free" or "somehow he managed to avoid the robot's arm" and that left me with a blank slate in my head while reading that part of the scene.
Despite my issues with the characters, I went ahead and recommended this book to my teenage son because he loves high action, fast-paced post-apocalyptic stories, and character development isn't a big issue for him. I think readers like him will enjoy this book.