City 1: A Revolution 19 Novel
HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins 2015
279 pp. $17.99
“Bots” control the world in the 2040s; people in the cities rely on the protection/safety of non-feeling. Rebel groups attempt to take back humanity, to fight the re-education that makes people “Bot-reliant.” Kevin, Nick, Cass, and Lexie, siblings though they have different birth parents, reunite in a rebel camp. Each charged with different assignments in the fight to regain the cities, they all struggle to rescue their parents amid the dangers of technological warfare and the paralyzing propaganda of the Bots.
Rosenblum skillfully alternates the four teens’ stories in relatively brief chapters, heightening the multiple conflicts they face. City 1 is a gripping tale that demands one to keep reading. In the sterile world of robots and automation, the teens’ quest to save their parents and other family members poignantly emphasizes the importance of humanity/humanness, giving the novel universality that surpasses that of typical science fiction/apocalyptic, technological world war stories.
Reviewed by Mary Warner
San José State University
San Jose, CA