10 February 2013

When We Wake; Karen Healey

When We WakeWhen We Wake by Karen Healey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When you hear "this isn't your usual dystopia - this is different" there's a part that says "uh huh. prove it". I'll grant that this isn't the usual dystopia, and Healey certainly knows how to sell a story but, well, this isn't amazing.

Tegan (Teeg to her friends) lives in 2027, loves music (especially the Beatles), has just started going out with her brother's friend Dalmar and is into free running (the "non tricky flip" version of parkour). Then she's shot and suddenly it's 2127 and she's completely at sea. The problem isn't just that everything has changed, from slang and fashion to technology and the environment, or that her parents and family are long gone, it's that the army handles her waking up very, very badly. That's one of the problems I had with the book: the way the army treats her, as a suspect to be bullied rather than as someone to be cherished and promoted.

Another problem? There's a strong environmental message here, which makes sense since Healey is from Australia, where the climate has definitely changed over the past decade. It's just that this wouldn't be news in 2027, and we don't need to be hit over the head with it in 2127.

Final problem? The similarity of the Ark Project to Across the Universe (which is even the title of the chapter that talks about the project - someone should have caught that!). I wasn't thrilled with that book, which may have influenced my reaction to the end of this one.

ETA: Apparently, in the future, the internet really is a series of tubes!

ARC provided by publisher.

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