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Judy C. (Brooksville, FL)
The Age of Miracles
This book is well-written, and would be appealing to adolescent readers. The protagonist is a young teenage girl who grapples with teen issues (like fitting in, first love, and family conflict) amid a cataclysmic earthly event. The plot held my attention, and there were sufficient surprises to keep my interest. The writing is conversational, and the plot is complex enough to invite thought. The writing style is consistent with young adult novelists like William Sleator.
Dee H. (Greenfield, CA)
Age of Miracles or Age of Impending Disaster...
The is the story of a young girl on the edge of adolescence whose world is changed by an unprecedented global event. The rotation of the earth has begun to slow and no one knows why it began nor how to stop it. Julia is a sensitive girl whose loneliness suffuses this book with a gentle sadness. It is neither science fiction nor post-apocalyptic fiction, though it borders on both. One feels that the apocalypse has begun, but the end is not yet in sight. I really liked this book, but wanted more answers to the scientific questions it raised. I realize it is more about the sense of loss and confusion of people who can no longer take day and night for granted, but it left me hanging somehow, with no sense of conclusion. I would recommend this book to others for both enjoyment and discussion.
Gail G. (Northbrook, Illinois)
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
This is a plausible story with frightening premises. I could not put down the book. All of the horrible possibilities described in the story could come true and in fact we already experience some frightening environmental occurrences now. Global warming and atmospheric destruction due to what we put in the air is a reality for us today. The horrors of what was happening to the earth kept me glued to the books' fatal attractions. The major characters are believable for the time in their life. Their reactions were honest and right for their age. Julia, the 12 year old major character looked at life through 12 year old eyes :she was not sophisticated but acted her age in responding to her life's experiences, both with her friends and adults.
Becky H. (Chicago, IL)
A YA book for adults?
There was an interesting response given to those who lived in the story. I call it a displacement behavior towards time. I found the story line to be believable and extremely functional.
As a former 4 - 12 school librarian I was intrigued by this novel that follows a middle schooler - Julia - and how the changes, both internal (she is growing up) and external (the world's rotation is slowing down), affect her actions and reactions to her life, her friends and her family. I could not decide if this was a YA (young adult) novel that would appeal to adults or an adult novel that would appeal to teens. Many of the topics covered - illness, adultery, death, loss of friendships, ecological disaster - are adult topics conveyed in a very adult manner and yet the narrator is a 6th grader dealing with these topics over the course of perhaps two years. There is a certain hopelessness and inevitability to the novel that may be very disturbing to the reader. This novel might be appropriate for a parent/child book group.
Elizabeth L. (Salem, Oregon)
I appreciated the work on the part of the author to give reality to the science fiction part of the novel. The response of the world and its inhabitants to the rotational slowing felt logical and "real."
This wonderful novel is a great addition to similarly themed books ("Children of Men"), movies ("Last Night" of 1998), and TV (Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "The Inner Light"). Told (freshly) from the perspective of a child, it tells of a difficult coming of age during a time when it isn't clear if there will be much of a tomorrow. But the story is touching not maudlin, aided in large part by excellent writing.
Maggie R. (Canoga Park, CA)
yet another way the world ends . . .
The best of my First Impression books so far!
The combination of preadolescent turmoil and global turmoil work well together. Yes, there will be overlaps in postapoc novels, just as there are in love stories, mysteries. But if the characters are fresh and the story compelling, I'll keep reading and enjoying.
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.