Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker


review by Maryom

One of things we all take for granted is that every day, at a predictable time, the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening. Imagine that one day - for some inexplicable reason - the sun was late getting up, even later going to bed and kept this up indefinitely. This is the terrifying scenario that 11  year old Julia finds herself - and the rest of mankind - facing in The Age of Miracles.

I'd hoped that The Age of Miracles would be one of those great doomsday novels such as When Worlds Collide or The Day of The Triffids but was rather disappointed. Although the writing had me hooked and reading as quickly as I could, in an overall analysis something was lacking. A bit of pseudo-scientific explanation for events might have helped but a lot of the time I found the book raised concepts and questions that it didn't answer - my reading was disrupted time and again by a little voice in my head nit-picking.

The two plot lines of doomsday scenario and coming-of-age tale didn't mesh well together. Both had the possibility of being really good stories - just not together. I think the doomsday aspect would have been better with a different narrator - or maybe several. Other books and films have used scientists and/or reporters as focus points to bring in reports and statistics from all over the world whereas the point of view of  one 11 yr old girl in California was too limiting. I would have liked to see more of what happened elsewhere in the world as events would have panned out quite differently in different latitudes (one of the niggles from the voice in my head).

Although there is a lot of unexplored potential it is a good compelling read, just perhaps more suited to a teen readership than an adult one.

Maryom's review - 3 stars
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Genre - Science Fiction

Buy The Age of Miracles from Amazon

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