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. Written by debut novelist Gregg Rosenblum, this gripping story shouldn’t be missed.
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.
Nick, Cass and Kevin are all strong characters willing to risk their lives to rescue their parents and keep each other safe in the process. Their journey takes them from a peaceful life in the woods into a city run by robots where resistance means "re-education" or worse.
It was refreshing to see that these teens don't back down when they realize the situation is larger than what concerns only them. They work together with their new friends in an effort to do the most good even if it costs them personally.
The mystery surrounding the creator of the bots and the re-education process was interesting and creepy, especially with all the technology we have at our fingertips.
What left me wanting more: Nothing, other than having to wait until Book 2 comes out. I can't wait to find out what happens next!
"Piece of cake," said Kevin. "Nick was the muscle, I was the brains, and Cass played dodgeball."
Final verdict: This is well written, fast paced, action packed and even has mystery and a little romance - something for every reader, including non sci-fi people like me. *smiles*
Revolution 19... The robots call it Revolution 19. Revolution 18 and Revolution 19 are the two revolutions that happen in the book along with an unknown revolution. Every "rebellion" of the humans/freeman are given a name. Revolution 19 is Kevin, Nick, and Cass along with several other important characters from the robot City.
I was a little unpleased that the rebellion didn't really start until halfway through the book. Good authors should have good sense to start the hot stuff before the halfway line of the book. Unfortunately, many authors are not like that.
The plot was rather interesting. There was enough twist and turns to interest readers. It's easy to get bored though. Mr. Rosenblum's writing was clear, but if he had describe the robots in more details, Revolution 19 would have been a bit better.
The Ending: It has to end like this! Don't read this book until the second book comes out!
Nick... Out of the three major characters, Nick is the smartest one. He was smart enough and brave enough to venture into the Lion's Den to find his parents and friends, but mostly his parents. His reactions were quite understandable. Nick was slightly reckless, but he know his limits quite well unlike a certain other character, who is also his younger brother. Nick is blind on his left side. His eye was later healed by the robots when they gave him a new eye to replace the old one. (So that is most likely Nick on the cover. Either that or some robot, which I highly doubt). Nick is a character who is easily understandable.
Cass... The second smartest of the trio and Nick's adoptive sister. She's fourteen and was only a baby in the prologue and when her parents sadly died because of robots. She's adopted by Nick's parents and rarely mentions her birth parents. Cass is very athletic and intelligent. She, in my opinion, is a better character than Nick.
Kevin...The dumbest of the three and Nick's younger brother. Kevin is quite foolish and young. So he has a good excuse to be dumb and foolish. Every time he does something outrageous, I shake my head and click my tongue.
Lexi... Seriously!?! Are really that bored!?! Someone needs to talk some sense into this girl! You did all this because you are bored!
This book's rating is a three out of five.
Let's start with the good.
The idea of machines taking over the world has never really been one that held any particular interest for me, but there's certainly something about creepy about human-like robots. Most of the robots didn't do much for me. I mean, floating sphere robots are cool, but they don't particularly scare me. There were a few, however, that made me want to keep reading. If it weren't for the epilogue and the creepy I-want-to-understand-taste-so-I'll-chew-up-this-steak-and-spit-it-out robot I probably wouldn't have any intention of reading the sequel.
I always love learning about how the world works and Revolution 19 certainly isn't short on interesting details.
Revolution 19 is somewhere around 260 pages, so it's a quick read. A lot of stuff happens and it even manages to not feel rushed most of the time.
Things I didn't like:
I always feel a little heartless for criticizing characters thrust into crazy/new/scary situations, but I had some serious issues with Cass and Nick. They've both mastered the art of jumping to conclusions. “Guys, a bot just turned the corner five blocks away! We've been caught! They're gonna burn us alive! Make a break for it!” That's not a direct quote, if you're wondering, but it sure felt like that. About every other page they thought they were going to get caught and killed and I just wanted to slap them. I mean, I get being scared, but seriously, we have to draw the line somewhere.
And then there's just Nick. “I must sacrifice myself for the good of the cause!” Okay, buddy. Wanting to take care of your brother and sister and rescue your parents is admirable. Being an idiot about it, however, is not. Maybe it's just me, but I don't really see how throwing yourself in front of every robot that passes is helpful.
Yes, I did say that it was generally good, but not completely. When they're traveling in the woods it pretty much goes “they traveled for the day” and then “two days later” and I couldn't help thinking a little info on those lost days would have been nice.
The twist I saw coming a mile away.
Seriously, I suspected from the moment it happened which just happened to be in the first chapter. The twist itself isn't bad, just the fact that it wasn't a surprise to me AT ALL.
The Nutshell: I didn't hate Revolution 19, but it did leave much to be desired. I'm hoping for character growth, a twistier plotline, and more creepy robots in book two.
I heard so many bad things about Revolution 19 before I even read it, so I put the book into my to-avoid pile even though the cover of the book is completely gorgeous. However, I watched the book trailer and was sucked right in, so I decided to give the book a try. I knew what I was getting myself into after seeing all the bad reviews, but still, I'm disappointed with Revolution 19.
First a warning: the book itself and the book trailer are two very different things. The book trailer made it sound like Revolution 19 is taking place during the 19th attempt at a revolution from under the bots' control. However, in the actual book, Revolution 19 stood for Nick, Kevin, and Cass's Freepost, or small settlement out in the wilds.
My first complaint about Revolution 19 is the writing and the way it was written. First of all, there was absolutely no world-building. It was just said that the bots stopped fighting at 2:15 PM Greenwich time, then started killing their human commanders. That was it. Now starts all the questions I have. What wars did we fight? Stopped fighting what? What happened to the rest of the world? Where are my answers?
The robots are also never described in full detail. "He studied the Peteys. They had to be eight feet tall and five feet wide. Their dull gray metal...they smelled...of oil. Their faces were the same dull metal as the rest of their bodies, flat and featureless except for two rectangular openings where eyes would be...and inside the eye slits he could just make out black lenses, flickering back and forth, up and down." (page 127) Okay, that's great. Now, what's the design of their bodies? Do they have like cannons installed in their bodies to burn the people or does it come out of their arms or eyes? Are their arms just dull gray metal poles or installed with machine guns? And why are there different types of robots like "the large warbird; the smaller bird...the boxlike rolling soldier...the darting, floating scouts in the woods"? (page 43) Were each type of bot made for a certain purpose when their creators made them? Again with the lack of world-building.
And oh my goodness, the stupidity of the characters. Let's start with Kevin. He's thirteen, almost fourteen he says, and his actions just makes me shake my head so hard at him. First, he's basically the reason why his Freepost was killed and captured. Next, he gives away an important weapon he gained that will help his and his siblings' survival. Then he blames the wrong person for things that aren't her fault. Not to mention, Kevin steals something from a man that just saved his life along with his siblings. Are you serious Kevin?
And seventeen-year-old Nick. Oh man. Since he's the oldest, he's supposed to be the bravest and most fearless, but they forgot to add, one of the most stupidest too. So a robot is heading toward his siblings and his friend and Nick decides to be so noble and leads the robot away. Oh wait. Did I mention that when he stepped behind the robot, the robot was heading the other direction away from his sibling and friend? That Nick basically gave himself away for no reason whatsoever? And the others dare to call him a brave, noble idiot? Um, excuse me, but he's more of a brave, DUMB, STUPID idiot.
Every single character in Revolution 19 is given a role and sticks to it without any character growth. Nick is the fearless brave leader who takes care of his siblings, Cass is the sporty girl, and Kevin is the technology freak. Whenever his siblings are in danger, Nick will handle it. Whenever anything sporty pops up, no problem, Cass will ace it. Whenever anything dealing with technology pops up, Kevin will sure be there to ask questions.
Overall, Revolution 19 would be the perfect script for a film, but not an actual book. Films don't care about the small details books does; you can see them and they just happen. However, books don't work that way. Add stupidity and a huge annoyance factor to the characters and you have a not-so-good book. So you guys, avoid reading Revolution 19 at all costs. Don't be fooled by the book trailer and give it a chance like I did. You'll save some brain cells and keep your blood pressure down.