Lisa G. (Riverwoods, IL)
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
I would characterize this book as a Twilight Zone episode meeting a contemporary coming of age story. Life as we know it unravels just as a house of cards collapses, as real timers clash with clock timers as the earth slows on its axis. There is an optimism that breaks through the hours of darkness which I found reassuring. I could not put this book down.
Beverly D. (Palm Harbor, FL)
the miracle is life goes on...
The slowing of the earth's rotation does nothing to slow the growing pains of 11 yr old narrator Julia. A coming of age story in an eerily altered world, Age of Miracles is a well written, easily read novel about how life goes on. In spite of the cataclysmic slowing of the earth, Julia worries about getting her first bra, kissing a boy, not fitting in. I would recommend this book to Young adult and up readers. It would be good for book clubs as a starting point for lots of discussions.
Lauren C. (Los Angeles, CA)
An Easy Read but Wish It Had More Depth
3.5 stars would be more accurate for me. I enjoy these types of dystopian novels, perhaps too much, since I read a nearly identical book about six months ago, "Life As We Knew It." in "The Age of Miracles" the earth's rotation slows down and causes all sorts of problems with animals, crops, and humans' living and work cycles. We see things unravel from the perspective of a young teen girl. In the other book, the earth's weather patterns are messed up when the moon moves too close to the earth after an asteroid hits it, and the main character is a high school age girl. So "Age of Miracles" does not get points fom me for originality.
That being said, I read it in an afternoon. It was well written and I thought that the main character was believable and real. I'm not sure if the book is characterized as young adult (the other one was) but it should be. The story didn't drag, and kept me engaged.
My main complaints were that not all that much happened-- it was a short book and I think the author could have kept it going for longer-- and that instead of trying to come up with a scientific cause for the slowdown, the author just decided that "we don't know why it happened." I think the book would have worked better for me if it were a bit more complex.
I'm giving it four stars instead of three because it kept my interest, even though ultimately it could have been more satisfying with a few more plot points added.
Michele W. (Kiawah Island, SC)
I was immediately captured by this book and its main character, a sixth grader with a crush on the mysterious boy on the skate board, who while grappling with puberty, must also come to terms with the end of life on Earth. I loved the idea of the sudden and inexplicable lengthening of days and nights, and the way that small alterations in the way the Earth spun on its axis quite gradually changed everything about our complicated ecosystem. But in the end, neither the plot nor the science could live up to its early promise. I would not hesitate to recommend The Age of Miracles for YA readers, but not for adult fans of dystopian novels.
Catherine H. (Nashua, NH)
Slowing down, still going on....
I finished this book only few hours ago but I am still under its spell. I can only but strongly recommend it. This is the story of 11 year old Julia and her family discovering that one day, earth rotation has started slowing down with unimaginable consequences. The story is told by a grown up Julia. This is not a flashy, Hollywood type of book, but a story of how profondly such an event could affect people and their everyday lives and futures. Yet, life goes on....
I will certainly be looking forward to Mrs. Karen Th ompson Walker's next book.
Katherine Y. (Albuquerque, NM)
A gripping ode to our world
I received this book in the mail last night and finished it over my lunch break today, so it is definitely gripping. The author writes beautifully about the world of young adolescent girl as the world slowly dies. Some reviews have characterized the book as depressing, but I thought it had a hopeful tone as all the characters slowly adapted to the changing world. Hard to read this book and not come away thinking about doing more to preserve the world we have. My only complaint is that I wished this book were longer.