Sunday, January 29, 2017

Winter Reads: House of Robots: Robot Revolution

Jimmy Patterson; 331 pages; $13.99; Amazon

Even if you're a diehard fan of the bestselling author James Patterson, keeping up with his dozens of releases every year can be a bit difficult. Besides from his famous crime thrillers and his new Bookshots novellas, Mr. Patterson also writes (or co-writes) books for middle school readers.

Now available from Jimmy Patterson Books (a division of Little, Brown and Company) is House of Robots: Robot Revolution by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, along with illustrations by Juliana Neufeld.

House of Robots centers on Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez, a young boy who lives in a house full of robots! Yep, I said robots. His mother, Dr. Elizabeth Hayes, is an engineer and she has created many robots and gadgets for their home. His father, Noah Rodriguez, creates graphic novels (comic books). Sammy has a younger sister named Maddie, who has SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency d), which makes it hard for her to be around germs, so she is mostly isolated to her bedroom.

The last member of the Rodriguez family is E, a robotic brother who goes to school with Sammy. Dr. Hayes created E for Maddie, who can attend school without ever leaving her bedroom by using E's sight, hearing, and communication skills to interact with her classmates and teacher.

The Rodriguez's household is turned upside in down in "Robot Revolution" when Dr. Hayes begins working on a top secret new project and neglects all the routine maintenance for her robots. All the robots, including the new electric SUV, start malfunctioning; causing a bit of chaos in Sammy's life.

With an upcoming science fair just around the corner, Sammy teams up with his best friend Trip to come up with the perfect project - a mobile bubble for Maddie, so she can leave her bedroom and venture outside. Sadly, the project runs into several problems, leaving the invention in jeopardy.

To make things even worse, all the Rodriguez's robots are tired of being neglected and are planning a revolution.

Final Thoughts: At first glance, the House of Robots franchise seems to be a bit silly, but the books are actually well-written with great illustrations. The main character, Sammy, is very likeable and should easily appeal to middle grade readers. The "robot revolution" theme isn't the exactly the main focus for the plot. I don't want to give away the ending, so let's just say Maddie is heavily involved. With the way it does end, I'm not for sure how there could be another sequel; though I'm sure the authors will come up with something.

Overall, House of Robots: Robot Revolution is a smartly-written, fast-paced robotic adventure that both kids and adults will enjoy reading.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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