Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Age of Miracles ~ Karen Walker Thompson

The Age of Miracles
Random House
June 26, 2012
289 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Julia is like most other 11-year-old's, just trying to make it through sixth grade. She's crushing on a boy but hasn't worked up the nerve to tell even her best friend about it.

Then one Saturday morning everything changes for this California pre-teen and the rest of the world.

The earth's rotation has begun to slow. Days are longer, nights are longer and gravity is affected. With time no longer something to rely on, society is thrown into confusion.

Even with world powers, leading institutions and, of course, the schools working to decide on a new schedule, day to day life doesn't completely disappear. Nor do the problems and trials that existed before the slowing - they've only been compounded. Something Julia's becoming all too aware of.

Thomspon's debut is an interesting blend: a coming-of-age story with a (possibly) apocalyptic tale, a middle grade aged main character in an adult book, that can cross over into young adult fiction, as well.

The slowing of the earth, the increasing length of the days and nights seemed incredibly well thought out and planned by the author. It wasn't just a one shot event to get the book started, to kick start the characters into action. The main event started things, yes, but everything really splintered off from there and continued to not only make sense, but effect the characters and the story, and flow well.

Scientifically, no, it might not have all made sense and if you try to get all deep into all of how everything would have happened or been effected, it might not but for the characters and my reading, it did.

While Julia did, at times, seem a bit older than eleven to me, I appreciated her not being older. It was a great age for all that she experienced at that point in her life - and as a voice for readers to learn of the slowing. Julia doesn't only have to deal with society falling apart - the order we built our days around now gone - but losing friends, her parents' marriage possibly in trouble, crushes on boys, growing up (physically).

It would have all come across far differently if told from a narrator who was even a few years older, an adult narrator certainly would have had a different take. I appreciated Julia's.

The Age of Miracles while a dystopian of sorts, focuses more on Julia, her life and the society as it effects her. It's much more a coming-of-age story that happens to be set in a apocalyptic/dystopian world than it is a dystopian with a coming-of-age. Sort of a Life as We Knew It with less cataclysmic events and much more outside life.

Rating: 8/10

(I was approved for this on Edelweiss after it expired, so I read it from the library . . . . not sure what the FTC wants to know there  ;-)) 



  1. I've been hearing about The Age of Miracles, but I never stopped to see what exactly it was about. I thought it was an adult contemporary novel... boy was I off base lol! Personally, this sounds much better :D

    Ana @ BookSpark

    1. It sort of like an adult contemporary . . . where the world might be ending and the main character is in sixth grade. It's a bit of a blend of the coming-of-age, contemporary and maybe-apocalyptic fiction.


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