Author: Daniel H. Wilson
Release Date: 4/17/2012
MSRP: $15.99 (Paperback), $11.99 (Digital)
Recommended Audience: Adult
I have never read a book that made me feel so scared of our current technology. Computers and AI are getting scary, so Daniel Wilson wakes us up with a man-made computer with hyper-intelligent AI that takes over the world and starts killing us. Before you go rolling your eyes thinking this is some cheesy sci-fi story think again. David takes his story seriously, and this is all in the way he tells the story itself. The book is a journal written by a war hero named Cormac Wallace who sees video and audio on a “black box” from recordings of every robot or “Rob” that was connected to Archos (the evil AI).
Throughout these passages is his retelling of what he is seeing and hearing, but he tells it like he might be interviewing the people in the recording. We follow several war heroes from just before Zero Hour and on throughout the war against the robots. Daniel tells the story in a relentless balls-to-the-wall sort of way that sucks you in just the first couple of pages. Each scenario describes the torture and gruesome death scenes as we get torn apart and destroyed by these robots. The characters are well portrayed and vary greatly. Each person has a completely different personality so you have many people to look forward to reading about.
Each story from each person is heart-wrenching and you really feel what it is like to be afraid of what we rely on on a day-to-day basis. Simple machines like service robots to high-tech military drones are overwritten and start attacking people. Daniel does an excellent job of telling you how innocently each robot acted before Zero Hour then suddenly they become killing machines. Things like Smart Cars start running people over in the streets. The book is far from cheesy and will just take your breath away.
My only complaint really is that I wish there was more. I wanted to hear more stories from these people, but overall what we get is one hell of a ride through robotic hell. Other than that the book is excellent and any fan of technology should read this and be wary of the future.
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Author: Max Brooks
Release Date: 10/16/2007
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
World War Z is a book of short interviews with survivors of the zombie war. The book is depicted as if it actually happened, and this is a nice change for zombie stories. The book is broken down into different major events of the war. The book starts with warnings and signs of a zombie infection. After this, you get to hear about how people of all walks of life survived the war under various conditions. This ranges from businessmen, teenagers, astronauts stranded in space, soldiers, generals, doctors, moms, families, and every other type of person you can think of. They are from all over the world, and each story is completely different from the last.
Of course, there are a few duds that are full of dry politics, or the characters ramble on about one subject and never switch topics. Some of my favorite parts were when the author argues or offends someone during an interview because it makes it seem more real. Some interviews are short while others just drag on too long. These uninteresting stories don’t come up too often, and these usually don’t talk much about an event or tell a specific story. They just talk about politics surrounding the event or philosophize about it.
The zombies themselves are depicted as an unstoppable force that we can’t stop. Max Brooks chose to make you fear these things because just sheer numbers overlook, what they can do to you, and it all started. Battles are fought over millions of zombies coming at you, and this can create a fairly scary image. Towards the end of the book, you start to see how conventional warfare just doesn’t work on these things. Knowing that our army and high-tech equipment are ineffective against the undead is just astounding. This was probably the scariest thing of all. We rely on our military to protect us so much that when a problem comes up they can’t fix it you know everyone is screwed.
While all this is really interesting the book doesn’t exactly have a hard conclusion or overall story. The book feels very loose and almost random because the interviewer jumps around all over the world, and each person’s story takes place in different times and locations so you feel disoriented when reading. Despite all this, this is a wonderful zombie book that even takes storytelling to a different level. Just be patient and stick with the book and you will enjoy it.