Booklist Reviews 2011 May #2
In the not-too-distant future, the first true artificial intelligence, Archos, "awakens" in a computer research center in northwest Washington State and decides that humanity's dominion over the planet has ended and the time of the machine has begun. Archos, unlike SkyNet in the Terminator movies, prefers more mundane but creepier methods: instead of using cyborg Arnold Schwarzeneggers as instruments of destruction, Archos relies on children's "smart" toys, battlefield "pacification units," domestic service robots, and pleasure dolls to do its dirty work. In one unsettling scene, a little girl's "Baby-Comes-Alive" doll tries to get out of the toy box so it can massacre the entire family. But even in the face of almost certain defeat against the growing hordes of electronic killers in the New War, humanity unites to kick some serious robot butt. The author, who holds a doctorate in robotics, shows great promise as a worthy successor to Michael Crichton as Wilson, like the late Crichton, is skilled in combining cutting-edge technology with gripping action scenes. Expect a big demand for this frenetic thriller, as the publisher plans a major marketing campaign and Steven Spielberg will be directing the film version, due out in 2013. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2011 January #1
Ever thought that technology was out to get you? In Wilson's thriller, it happens 20 years from now, when a powerful artificial intelligence called Archos rises up to kill its creator and then takes control of technology worldwide. In a matter of moments every piece of equipment turns against humanity—which ends up united for the first time ever. With Steven Spielberg set to direct the film version, to be distributed by Disney's Touchstone in 2013, you bet this will be big. Buy multiples.[Page 64]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
LJ Reviews 2011 March #1
This is a fast-moving action story about a war in the near future between human and robot, as documented in a secret robot archive unearthed after the war is over. It starts when an artificial intelligence named Archos discovers that its creator intends to terminate it as he has its 13 predecessors. Archos, grabbing control of the lab and killing its creator, transmits a virus to other machines that turns them into its slaves. The change unfolds slowly: a child's "smart" toys threaten her; a soldier watches a U.S. "pacification unit" in Afghanistan run wild; a robot love object savages its suitor. By the time people realize their danger, the machines are in charge. Some people escape, but the robots reshape to become more efficient at hunting and killing humans. For most of the book, the robots are winning. That this reads like a movie scenario is not surprising; Steven Spielberg has committed to direct it as a feature film to be released in 2013. VERDICT Robotics engineer Wilson's first novel may sound like it's cloned from the Terminator films, but it offers enough on its own to attract a sizable reading audience. [See Prepub Alert, 12/6/10.]—David Keymer, Modesto, CA[Page 72]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2011 March #2
Roboticist Wilson (How to Survive a Robot Uprising) turns to fiction with this bland and derivative series of connected vignettes describing a rebellion by humanity's robot helpers. Looking back on the war, Cormac Wallace, soldier in the human resistance, offers portentous framing commentary for recordings taken by evil computer program Archos. Many of the accounts were obtained under torture or other extreme circumstances, yet the narrators are curiously devoid of feeling ("As I watch my blood smearing behind me on the tile floor, I think, shit, man, I just mopped that") as domestic robots kill, soldier robots go haywire, airplanes attempt to collide, people fight to survive, and a resistance forms. Steven Spielberg has optioned the property; perhaps the melodrama will play better on the screen than it does on the page. (June)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC