Review: Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Revolution 19
Gregg Rosenblum
Series: Untitled Trilogy, #1
Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 272
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 1.5 stars 

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Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

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.

Now that you have that concept in your head, let me ask you which of the below pictures best matches the image you have in your head upon thinking of scary, menacing robots in a robot apocalypse:

Picture A:

Or Picture B:Photobucket

If the image to appear in your head at my mention of a robot apocalypse even slightly resembled Picture A, then run away from Revolution 19. (But don't run too fast, because these robots roll, and you want to give them a slight chance, right?) Now, if, when I mentioned robot apocalypse, the image in your head resembled the horrifying Picture B, then enjoy Revolution 19! Try not to scare yourself too much, though. I understand that the concept of rolling robots with lasers (or, as they are referred to in this book, 'lases', so you know they mean business), is truly horrifying.

Needless to say, however, when I came across Revolution 19, pitching itself to be, *ahem* "[...] 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.", I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, all that excitement got the better of me, as I soon found out that every little thing in that pitch was a cruel, cruel lie. Let's break down those lies, shall we?

[Semi]-Lie #1: A cinematic thriller unlike anything else.

Was Revolution 19 cinematic? Yes. However, it was cinematic to the point where the entire novel felt like one long, poorly written screenplay. Which I guess makes sense, considering Revolution 19 is "created by Alloy and award-winning writers/directors Howard Gordon (Showtime's Homeland and NBC's Awake) and James Wong (Final Destination films)." If I had known before starting this book that Revolution 19 had come from a packaged company, I most likely would have avoided it at all costs. But, what makes the above statement a lie is the "unlike anything else" part. For starters, if you want to say that your book is unlike anything else, it's probably not the best idea to compare it to other works such as Terminator. It kind of defeats the whole purpose of saying that it's unlike anything else when you're comparing it to something else. Secondly, the only reason Revolution 19 is unlike anything else is because it's worse than anything else. While most robot apocalypse novels and movies are action packed and fun to read/watch, Revolution 19 was anything but that.

Lie #2: With a dynamic cast of characters [...]

NO. Oh, God no. No no no no no. To say that Revolution 19 had a dynamic cast of characters is just about as truthful as saying Fifty Shades of Grey is worthy of a literary prize. For me, a dynamic character means that the character is strong, smart, self-reliant,   likable

, and is met with a certain amount of character development from the beginning of the novel to the end. The characters in Revolution 19 met absolutely none of those quotas. Each and every character in Revolution 19 is unlikable to the point of sheer frustration, stupid beyond belief, and are met with little to no character development whatsoever. With each and every page turned, I was hoping that the horrifying rolling robots would just shoot all the characters dead and then roll over the bodies a countless amount of times.

That never happened.
Looks like it's time to take matters into my own hands.
I don't know who said that Revolution 19 had a dynamic cast of characters, but to say that it does is a travesty, and quite honestly, an insult to books that actually do have a dynamic cast of characters.

Lie #3: [...] this surefire blockbuster has everything teen readers want - action, drama, mystery, and romance.

This book has what? Action? NO. Revolution 19 has shoddy attempt after shoddy attempt of action, but each scene is just about as thrilling as watching a popsicle stick for eight hours waiting to see if it will do tricks. Drama? What the hell are you talking about? Mystery?  WHAT MYSTERY? Romance? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? STOP LYING TO ALL OF US!

That's it for the lies told to us by the synopsis, but I'm still not done with this book. Before going into Revolution 19, I had a sinking feeling that there would be poor world-building, but the world-building in Revolution 19 was practically non-existent! The most amount of world-building we're provided with is a short, little paragraph before the prologue barely explaining how the world came to be. Hell, you get more world-building just by reading the tagline on the book's cover than actually reading the book!

As well as that, the writing is poor at best, filled with horrible descriptions of the world, and more importantly, the robots, which are laughable at best, and the overuse of "he said, she said" drove me up the wall. You know, there are other ways to express dialogue than 'said', and 'whispered', right?

In the end, if my endless ranting weren't enough of an indication, I definitely would not recommend Revolution 19 to anyone looking for a fun, action packed, and thrilling read about a robot apocalypse. In fact, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, really. The only reason I'm not giving this book only one star is because when I look at the other books I've given one star to this year, this just not as bad, but clearly that is in no way praise. I have literally no positive things to say about Revolution 19.  I'm sure there are some good young adult books about a robot apocalypse, but Revolution 19, unfortunately, is not one of them.


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