Doubleday, 384 pages, $26.95
If you have not read Daniel H. Wilson’s first book in the series, “Robopocalypse” (I never tire of saying that, by the way), you must read that first.
It’s been a long wait (in my opinion) for “Robogenesis,” the sequel to Wilson’s outstanding “Robopocalypse.” We again meet the main characters: soldier Cormac Wallace, teenage hybrid Mathilda Perez, Native American hybrid Lark Iron Cloud. We also catch up with many other characters Wilson so masterfully created in the first book and meet new ones. It’s a “charactergenesis.”
In “Robopocalypse,” mankind had become overly dependent on (and sometimes abusive to) robots who did menial work, complex thinking, and entertaining. An AI (artificial intelligence) became self-aware and, taking charge of the robots, declared war on humans, most of whom have died by the start of “Robogenesis.”
A hearty, kamikaze few defeated the AI at the end of the first book, so the start of “Robogenesis” deals with the aftermath of the apocalypse. Everyone (and everything) is straggling home, trying to find out what the new world looks like. There is no structure, no central government, no one to pin a medal on a chest made of flesh or metal.
Wilson’s picture of this new world is bleak, especially when it’s obvious an ambitious rogue intelligence is again at play. Is it harmless or harmful? (Well, I guess it wouldn’t be much of a book if the answer were harmless.)
There aren’t many quiet moments in “Genesis.” Instead, there’s running, escaping, booming and bombing, shooting, conniving, and mayhem. The heroes and heroines aren’t all flesh-and-blood. In fact some of the most moving moments belong to the robots. Are you rubbing your hands together in anticipation? You won’t be disappointed.