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A Reader of Fictions: Awakening - Switchfoot

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Awakening - Switchfoot

Those That Wake

Author: Jesse Karp
Pages: 329
ARC Acquired from: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
In a future where people use their cell phones for everything and New Yorkers live in fear of terrorist attack, five people discover something they were not supposed to. They are then kidnapped and realize the depth and danger of their current situation. They will only have each other to rely on, since no one else remembers that they exist, except, of course, for the enemy.

Review:
This was one weird book. I mean, seriously odd. I was all disposed to like it, what with it being a dystopia and one of the main characters being named Mal (yay for Firefly and Nathan Fillion). Within a few chapters, things started getting strange.

To start with, there is all this stuff about technology, somewhat reminiscent of Awaken, in how dependent people are on television screens and cell phones. Okay, got it. There are also terrorists, apparently, who did something terrible to NYC during the big black. There is the overly strenuous security, always there to hassle you when you're not doing anything wrong, but not there to protect you when you're in trouble. There's the mysterious building that most people can't see that has lots of hallways with doors and a scary button for the top floor. There is also some sort of hyper advertising evil that's endangering the world.

As you can tell, there's a lot happening here, and it really does not come together well. Individually, I like some of what's happening in this novel, but, thrown together, it's just one confusing hodge podge of fighting interspersed with some speeches on one evil or another. Oh yeah, the fighting. There is so much of it in this book. Mal is always punching someone and the descriptions are not always pleasant.

I really just don't know what this book wanted to be. The characterization and plotting both fell completely flat. The writing wasn't awful, but definitely wasn't stellar. This definitely does not rank high for me. People who enjoy violent and frustratingly confusing dystopias (ala James Dashner's trilogy) might enjoy Those That Wake, but it's definitely not for me.

"I want to wake up kicking and screaming
I want to live like I know what I'm leaving
I want to know that my heart's still beating
It's beating... it's beating...
I'm bleeding"

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