Author: Mark Stay
Published by: Gollancz
In this novelisation of the upcoming British movie directed by Jon Wright of Grabbers fame, co-writer Mark Stay pays homage to the now little-used movie tie-in novel which, at one point, was the essential reading companion for any blockbuster movie.
Robot Overlords takes place three years after the invasion of Earth by a huge robot force, imprisoning survivors in their homes, with no clue as to their captor’s intentions other than a promise that they will leave after 5 years.
In the middle of this dystopian nightmare, a bunch of bored kids led by teenager Sean Flynn, stumble on a method of escape from their home and fight to stay alive while searching for their father, an RAF pilot missing since the invasion.
Their nemesis is former teacher-turned-collaborator Robin Smythe who up to now has tolerated them due to his designs on their mother, but his patience is wearing thin.
Stay doesn’t pull any punches with his vision of this terrifying scenario; it’s no futuristic Famous Five. The invaders are ruthless and practical and do not hesitate to kill anyone who defies them and, though it paints a bleak picture, the author manages a perfect balance between tension, action and levity throughout.
Dark as the subject matter is, it’s a fun, entertaining read with snappy, realistic dialogue (the teens speak like teens!) and a blockbuster pace that will entertain early teens upwards and sci-fi fans alike and should attract a few extra bums on seats for the forthcoming movie release.