Book Review: Revolution 19

Revolution 19
Revolution 19
By: Gregg Rosenblum 
Published by Harper Teen
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Genre: YA dystopian
272 pages 
Buy it on Amazon, IndieBound
 or Barnes and Noble
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher

Revolution 19 is a pretty fun ride, despite the depressing premise. A bleak future in which robots have taken control of human society in order to keep us from killing each other is a pretty depressing potential future to swallow. Thankfully, Rosenblum gives us some spots of shiny among the gloomy moments to keep hope alive and attention from wandering.

Our main characters are a threesome of siblings: Nick, with his damaged eye from the war, Kevin, the kid who can tear apart any mechanical device and put it back together in better working order, and Cass, who was adopted by the boys' parents after her own were killed by bots. This trio is launched into the great journey of the plotline when their normal routines are disrupted by additional attacks by the bots. 

All three are fun characters to get to know, for different reasons. Nick is fiercely protective- sometimes so much so that he takes unnecessary risks to ensure his siblings' safety. His heroic streak is endearing, and doesn't go unnoticed by one particular female character. Kevin is the classic obnoxious younger brother who is too smart for his own good. Cass is less typical; she is the best of the three at physical challenges, and is a pro at surviving difficult circumstances. 

I loved reading about how the reality that the kids find along their journey doesn't match the version of history that they've been taught. Bots are at the heart of the scary stories they were told as children, yet they find that the bots aren't as all-powerful as the adults make them out to be. 

This book rides the fence between Middle Grades and YA. It has the violence and objectionable language typical of much YA, and yet has the streamlined plot and lack of romantic subplot which are often found in Middle Grades literature. I do believe that both boys and girls will enjoy the book, especially those around 11-13 years old. 

Revolution 19 is a great quick read with a big kid-power message. By no means will the author wrap up the storyline in this volume. In fact, the last few pages might be best saved for right before book 2 comes out, so you won't have months of eager anticipation to contend with. Otherwise, you might end up in the same boat as me: grumping to friends about the anticipation, then pushing them to read it so they can join you in your pain. :)

Summary from GoodReads:

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.