Synopsis: Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us. Headstrong seventeen-year-old Nick has spent his whole life in a community in the wilderness, hiding out from the robots that have enslaved mankind. But when the bots discover the community’s location, he, his tech-geek younger brother, Kevin, and adopted sister, Cass, barely make it out alive—only to discover that their home has been destroyed and everyone they love is missing.
All survivors were captured and taken to one of the robots’ Cities. The siblings have been hearing tales about the Cities all their lives—humans are treated like animals, living in outdoor pens and forced to build new bots until they drop dead from exhaustion. Determined to find out if their parents are among the survivors, Nick, Kevin, and Cass venture into the heart of the City, but it is nothing like they’ve been told. As they live among the bots for the first time, they realize they’re fighting for more than just their family. The robots have ruled for too long, and now it’s time for a revolution.
Review: Like in the Terminator films, the robots fought us, won, and are now in control. Some humans are living in small communities in hiding – but free. Nick, Cass, and Kevin decide to venture into a City where humans are not free in search of their missing parents. Nick is the eldest of his siblings and feels the most responsible, but he’s not always level headed or thinking things through. Cass is adopted, her parents taken from her by the robots when she was just a small child. She’s smart, talented, and the one who acts older than her years. And Kevin is the youngest, but a genius with tech and their best chance at fighting back against the machines.
Science fiction and post-apocalypse fans of all ages will enjoy this fast-paced, thrilling adventure. With intense suspense and danger around every turn, this new series debut is impossible to put down and over too quickly. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement as it reads like you’re watching a film. Revolution 19 is a promising start to a new series with plenty of potential that I will certainly be following.
This is the first stop on Gregg Rosenblum’s blog tour promoting his debut Revolution 19. And SciFiChick.com was granted an exclusive interview with the author.
My review of this exciting YA SciFi novel will post tomorrow, January 8th.
Can you tell us a bit about Revolution 19 in your own words?
Artificial intelligence (bots) that have been used to fight mankind’s wars eventually turn on us, and take over. Most of humanity that has survived the revolution lives in cities tightly controlled by the bots, but small pockets of survivors have remained free in small settlements in the woods. Nick, Cass, and Kevin, siblings, have grown up in one of these “Freeposts.” When their settlement is raided by the bots, and their parents are captured, Nick, Cass and Kevin have to travel to the City with the hope of somehow rescuing their parents. Much action ensues!
It sounds like fans of the Terminator series will appreciate the setting. Were you inspired by any of the scifi classics?
Certainly…it’s impossible to mention killer bots without thinking about the Terminator. A number of movies and books inspired me to think about artificial intelligence growing up…Blade Runner and the I, Robot series (Isaac Asimov, not Will Smith!) come to mind most prominently…Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey…the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica (the cheesy ones, from the original series)…the Borg from Star Trek…even (cringing with embarrassment, but still, gotta be honest) K.I.T.T., the Trans Am from Knight Rider.
What are your robots like?
Most are coming from military design, so they’re efficient and powerful and brutal fighters. The Peteys are the primary ground troops…they’re humanoid, but BIG and STRONG and the Freeposters’ old-school projectile bullets are basically useless against them. There are also small sphere bots, which are mostly scouts…but the ones that I actually think are the scariest, even though they’re the least impressive physically, are the Lecturers. They run the Reeducation centers, where captured humans are taken to be broken down and assimilated into the City culture. They’re quite good at torture. But I actually don’t see the bots as “evil.” They have their reasons, their justifications, for doing what they do. They think they’re saving mankind. Unfortunately, saving us involves killing many of us and carefully controlling the survivors, but oh well…
Since robots took over twenty years ago, Nick, Kevin, and Cass didn’t know the world before. What is their day-to-day life like?
Life in the Freepost is mostly surviving off the land…hunting, fishing, some agriculture…all the while trying to keep a low profile, and avoid the notice of the bots in the cities. They scavenge what they can, so there is some cool tech mixed in…they have solar panels and a lightweight energy grid that runs their lightstrips and cooking panels, and their shelters are an odd mix of low-tech wood and high-tech scavenged plastics. Day-to-day, for Nick and Kevin and Cass, is survival in the forest, filled with chores, and lessons…kind of boring, actually…but that changes early on when their Freepost is attacked.
Is this a standalone novel or first in a series? (How many books are planned for the series?)
Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.
I grew up devouring fantasy and sci fi novels, and I’ve been writing ever since I could read. For years I worked on “serious” “grown up” fiction, then finally realized I needed to get back to my original love, the stuff that blew my mind as a kid and made me fall in love with books in the first place—fantasy and sci fi. And so, robots!
Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?
Oh man, that’s impossible to answer in less than 1000 words. Okay, here are some authors, and my favorite books by them, in no particular order—Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly), Hemingway (any of his short stories), Vonnegut (Cat’s Cradle), Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash), Susan Cooper (The Dark is Rising series), Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series), Tolkein (Lord of the Rings), George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones series)…I just thought of about a hundred more but I’ll stop…
What do you do when you’re not writing? In your spare time?
Let’s see—when I’m not at my day job, or writing, or sleeping, you can find me: listening to music at irresponsibly high volume through my headphones, playing guitar (the same four songs over and over, driving my wife and daughter crazy), obsessively playing games on my phone (especially Words with Friends), feeding my obese cat, playing golf (think cheap public course, not country club), and feeling guilty and nervous about not writing.
Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I can be found on Twitter at @GreggRosenblum, and contacted through Goodreads.
Having read 219 books this year, it was as difficult as ever to narrow down my list of favorites! I’ve kept a running list throughout the year to make it a bit easier this time. So, without further ado, here’s the final list of favorite SciFi/Fantasy titles published in 2012 that I’ve read and reviewed.
Synopsis: Han Solo should be basking in his moment of glory. After all, the cocky smuggler and captain of the Millennium Falcon just played a key role in the daring raid that destroyed the Death Star and landed the first serious blow to the Empire in its war against the Rebel Alliance. But after losing the reward his heroics earned him, Han’s got nothing to celebrate. Especially since he’s deep in debt to the ruthless crime lord Jabba the Hutt. There’s a bounty on Han’s head—and if he can’t cough up the credits, he’ll surely pay with his hide. The only thing that can save him is a king’s ransom. Or maybe a gangster’s fortune? That’s what a mysterious stranger is offering in exchange for Han’s less-than-legal help with a riskier-than-usual caper. The payoff will be more than enough for Han to settle up with Jabba—and ensure he never has to haggle with the Hutts again.
All he has to do is infiltrate the ultra-fortified stronghold of a Black Sun crime syndicate underboss and crack the galaxy’s most notoriously impregnable safe. It sounds like a job for miracle workers . . . or madmen. So Han assembles a gallery of rogues who are a little of both—including his indispensable sidekick Chewbacca and the cunning Lando Calrissian. If anyone can dodge, deceive, and defeat heavily armed thugs, killer droids, and Imperial agents alike—and pull off the heist of the century—it’s Solo’s scoundrels. But will their crime really pay, or will it cost them the ultimate price?
Review: Taking place between the films A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, Han and Chewie decide to take on this risky height in hopes of paying off his debt to Jabba. The two then begin collecting a motley crew of various specialized traits from thieves to con men. Sounds like the premise to the TV show Leverage, especially since they’ll be helping a man get back what was original stolen from him. The characters are all unique and colorful. And the author smartly focused on the new characters and their fascinating traits. I look forward to further stories from Zahn hopefully focusing more on Winter, Michele, and some of his other character creations.
It’s been a while since I read a Star Wars novel, but as this is a standalone story, you only need to have seen the films to jump right in. Once again, Zahn has penned a fantastic, complex story with plenty of suspense, danger, and intrigue. It’s brilliantly unpredictable and impossible to put down. From beginning to end, Scoundrels is a masterful new story filled with excitement and adventure. This science fiction saga returns with a few familiar faces and several new that any Star Wars fan would surely enjoy.