Revolution 19 Gregg Rosenblum Book Review

Confession: I’ve never seen The Terminator. You guys, I was raised in a household where we weren’t allowed to watch PG-13 movies until we were like 12 nor was I allowed to watch movies that were rated R. Like I did not see an R-rated movie until I was in 8th grade. I KNOW. So, while all the comparisons to The Terminator were floating around for Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum, I was like hmmm sounds interesting based on my pop culture second hand knowledge of the film. But to be frank with you, I will read anything with revolution in the title aimed at young adults — especially if it is short and has robots. Unfortunately, Revolution 19 kind of failed to meet my expectations.

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum | Good Books & Good Wine

Revolution 19 opens with a prologue where robots kill everyone. So basically, it starts off on a cool note. We come to a group of refugees and a dog, and the robots are like only this many people can come into our camp, and so they kill these two parents leaving a baby, and the baby is adopted into the refugee group. THEN the book flashes forward a few years. The refugee group has assimilated with other survivors to form a community called a Freepost, which is hidden from the bots. Nick, Kevin, and Cass were the three children in the group of refugees mentioned at the beginning — they are basically a family even though Cass’s parents died. ANYWAYS. So, Kevin is 13 and really into technology and super annoying. So, he picks this piece of technology off the ground and ends up bringing the bots down on everyone. Nick, Kevin and Cass run away and discover they must go to the mysterious City to save those they love.

I’m clearly having brain block right now, so I’m sorry that my review isn’t the most well written, but hey at least you’re getting information about the book and my opinions, hurrah! Okay, so Nick is the leader of the trio because he is the oldest. He’s old enough to sit in on adult councils. OH and he is rational. AND it turns out he is the City’s Most Wanted and apparently good looking? Then there’s Kevin who loves taking machines apart to see how they work and doesn’t give a crap about plants or surviving or anything. Kevin is pretty stubborn and always has to be right and usually puts the group at risk instead of following the plan. He is incredibly irritating, as I mentioned above. As the only girl, Cass is very coordinated — like she’s athletic and she’s also artistic. And that’s honestly the most I got out of the characters – they had one defining trait and we didn’t get to go very much below the surface.

Robots rising against their human overlords is SUCH a cool concept, however, I need a reason why. And I want to know why near the beginning, not 50 pages from the end. Unfortunately, Revolution 19 is a poor execution of that idea. Legit, these kids run away from their Freepost after all hell breaks loose and they make a journey of three days to the City. You guys, those three days are barely given any attention. I wish the book would have expanded more on the teens survival, maybe even put some stakes in where I could feel invested in and worried about them as they are making the trek to the city. It was over in a flash, thus missing out on an opportunity to add excitement.

Typically I like short books, because I know there won’t be a lot of BS to cut through. However, I kind of thought that Revolution 19 should have been longer to allow for some character development. I thought with three main characters, we barely got to scratch the surface with them. The writing is very basic, I mean that’s not awful. Like, we don’t have purple prose or anything. But it also wasn’t the sort of writing where I am picking out my favorite quotes or dog earring the pages. It’s pretty much straight forward – you know this happened, character X though this, then they went here. That kind of thing, and for some readers that style works, but for me, I want something more.

So, I basically read Revolution 19 to cleanse my palate after the emotional roller coaster that is Boundless by Cynthia Hand because it was so different. I’ll admit, it served it’s purpose. It was entertaining and I thought the concepts involved were interesting. However, the execution was totally lacking and I just was kind of bored by the characters. I wish there had been higher stakes and more excitement — also more bad stuff, you know so I could feel something besides let’s get on with the story. Ah well, there’s an audience out there for Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum, but I am not among that number.

Disclosure: Received for Review

Other reviews of Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum:

WTF Are You Reading – “another case of a great premise lost in translation

Once Upon A Twilight – “it just didn’t blow my mind like I had thought it would

Panda Reads – “I thought it was a great post-apocalyptic robot read.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Oh, rats. This one *sounds* so good, what with the cray-cray robots rising up and all but I’m going to side with you. I want to know more about the survival and about the why of it all much earlier than the last 50 pages. *sigh* Palate cleansed and time to move on, huh?

    • Yeah, I wanted so much more with Cray-Cray robots but instead it was kind of a waste of a concept. This really did help me to be in a fresh mindset for a new book, which is good.

  2. Yeah, I struck this from my to-read list after the first couple reviews. The odds of me enjoying it just seemed really low. I was all “how can attacking robots not be awesome?” Then reviewers were like “this is how.” Sad day.

    I heard this might have been better as a middle grade with improvements, obvi, because mg deserves character development and such too.

    I’m glad the book at least served you well as a palate cleanser!

    • YES. Like, it takes a lot of work to make something like this total not awesome. Yeah, I think this could be good middle grade if the author had chosen to focus on one character and maybe expanded the book to be longer with more development and worldbuilding instead of it being all over the place.

  3. Agreed. This one had loads of potential (robots taking over the world, woo hoo!) but very little pay off in the end. It was disappointing.

  4. April, you’d probably really like Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson if you haven’t read it already. It has the why, which will be further explained in the sequel Robogenesis (out next year), according to Wilson. Here’s my review of the audiobook if you’re interested:

  5. I’m actually really glad to hear this wasn’t a hit for you, because I’ve been hearing that a lot, and it would take SO little encouragement for me to read this, but I’m sure I would be disappointed, and it would be a complete waste of my time. I am addicted to robopocalypse type books (Robopocalypse, Partials) and TV/movies (Terminator, Battlestar Galactica), but I can’t abide poorly executed robo-uprisings. On the plus side, it helped you move on from Boundless, which is damn near impossible. 🙂

  6. Oh, I hate when he concept is good but the execution leaves you hanging 🙁
    So so sad!
    But at least your palate is clean and you can pick up a new book on a good place 😀

  7. It would have been really cool to read about the robots and humans fighting it out! I mean, how creepy is it that technology WE created could possibly backfire on us? I feel like this could have been a solid backbone for this story. Too bad the characters seem a bit cut and paste.