Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of MiraclesThe Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel has gotten a lot of buzz recently and the premise sounded like something up my alley so I was eager to read it. All in all, I really enjoyed it.

The writing is lovely - there were so many passages that struck me as beautiful and even, on occasion, profound. I found myself highlighting several on my Nook to come back to later.

Although this is very effective dystopic/speculative fiction, its also rather charming and magical which I think is a result of the way Karen Thompson Walker puts words together. Although the book seems to have a depressing premise, the author does a fantastic job of keeping the story whimsical and light while also highlighting the darkness underneath.

The concept of the Earth's rotation slowing down and its consequences on the human race was very compelling but this novel is really more about a girl and her family than about the human race. Both are covered but because of the focus on this family, it feels less a story about the world and more of a story about a family in the midst of something affecting the world. Perhaps its not a huge difference but I think it makes the book have a different slant, one that I think is ultimately more effective. Most of the 'world is ending' type books that you'll find on bookshelves are nothing like this little book. This book is more poetic, more lyrical and more focused than many of those others.

It's not a perfect novel which is why I'm giving just 4 stars but its a really good book worth a read. I think some of what wasn't perfect is the result of this being a debut novel so I cannot wait to see what the future brings for Karen Thompson Walker!

Although I wholeheartedly recommend it, I don't know that it will be interesting to everyone. It's not as fast paced or action oriented as a lot of the 'world is ending' type books you'll find these days - it's more subtle and soft. If you're ok with that, this is definitely a book you should pick up!

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