Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum
Publication: January 8, 2013 (Harper Teen)
Source: ARC from the publisher
___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.
And when the bombs rained down, and then legions of bot foot soldiers marched into the ruins, killing any humans who resisted, and dragging away the rest of us, we finally called it what it was: revolution. - Prologue
When I first read the synopsis for Revolution 19, I knew I wanted to read this book; it reminded me of Battlestar Galactica, which I loved, but for some reason, don't talk about a great deal. I'm continually drawn to science fiction, and Gregg Rosenblum's novel is a good mix of dystopian and sci-fi. I think it's an example of a lower level YA, better for readers transitioning out of MG and into YA, because although it does explore some serious themes, and introduces a great group of characters, it didn't blow me away or make me think as much as I expected.
One of the plot devices I have a love/hate relationship with is dual point of view perspectives. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn't. To me, it's one of those devices that authors over-use. Not EVERY story needs a million voices narrating, and I don't think it was necessary in Revolution 19. I enjoyed getting to know the main characters: Nick, Kevin, and Cass, but it was a bit disorientating for this particular story trying to follow them all, and I think that held things back in some ways, for me at least. I also liked several of the secondary characters, like Lexi, and definitely want to get to know them better!
That said, a lot happens in a short amount of time in Revolution 19, and there is a good foundation laid for the sequels, as this is the first in a trilogy. One thing that I want to applaud is, although Rosenblum leaves us wanting more, enough is resolved in Revolution 19 that I wouldn't call the ending a cliffhanger - finally! I also really liked the importance of family in this, and the world-building was well done. In fact, I can't wait to find out more about the bots, their masters, etc.
Revolution 19 is not a perfect novel, but it is a novel with a lot of potential, and I look forward to seeing how the author and characters grow in the sequels!
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Partials by Dan Wells
Gregg Rosenblum works at Harvard, where he wages epic battles against technology as an editor/webmaster/communications/quasi-IT guy. He graduated from UC San Diego and has an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. He lives in Boston with his wife and daughter.
Visit Gregg at: his Twitter