Gregg Rosenblum’s debut novel Revolution 19 is a contains both dystopian and science fiction elements. Set in a future world where machines have taken over, and first kill most humans before taking over human society. Sounds familiar? I guess Terminator was big inspiration for this book.
This book was on my wish-list since months and I was excited to finally get to read it. Unfortunately it didn’t meet my expectations. The beginning is quite intriguing. We get to know the siblings Nick, Kevin and Cass who grew up in the post-machine-war era. The description of their isolated village and its inhabitants is well done and I got really into the story which is told alternating from one of the siblings. Soon disaster strikes and the three kids are the only remaining survivors of an attack by the machines. Everybody else is either dead or was taken away. They decide to go to the big cities, which are dominated by the machines, to find and free their parents.
That’s the point when the story started to go downhill.They find a city, make friends and start on their mission. No big obstacles, everything kind of runs it way. Like in one of this big movie action blockbusters, where the hero survives even a nuclear attack unscratched and becomes MacGyver.
The characters and the story just weren’t very believable. And I know that I’m talking about a post-apocalyptic science fiction setting. I think my main issue are the characters. They fell flat to me. The way they were described, they seemed incredible immature for growing up in a hostile environment and haven been responsible for essential chores. As they are jumping into one dangerous and ridiculous situation after another, they have no consideration for the consequences of their actions, for them or others . Here an example in my words: The kids go off on a mission and ask their new friends help them with their suicidal task. And, of course, everybody is in immediately without a second thought. Sure, everybody is willing to sacrifice their lives for people they know for 24 hours. Sorry, I got a bit sarcastic here. But honestly? Anyway, that’s my issue with this book.
It’s a pity that the characters didn’t live up to my expectations as the world building was done well. All the settings were described detailed and the machine-dominated city became alive in my mind. The story is also fast-paced and ends with the possibility of a sequel but at the same time offers enough closure. However, due to my detestation of all the characters I won’t pick up any more books of this author.