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Karen Thompson Walker Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Age of Miracles (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dreamers (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Karen Thompson Walker is a science fiction writer born and raised in California. She studied English and creative writing at UCLA where she also wrote for the UCLA daily bruin. Before relocating to New York, Karen served as newspaper reporter, San Diego area. She has also worked as a book editor for The Simon and Schuster, where she wrote the age of miracles during her mornings.

Karen Thompson Walker won the 2011 Siren Land Fellowship and the Bomb Magazine Fiction Prize. She has authored two novels, the age of miracles and the dreamers.

The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles is a luminous and haunting debut novel set in an utterly altered world. Julia and her family wake up on a Saturday to a sudden change on how the earth works with a slowed rotation that has affected gravity and thrown the environment into disarray. As Julia tries to cope with these changes, she is also trying to deal with everyday life challenges.

Days and nights get longer with life being affected especially for the animals as the earth’s gravity is also affected. The government tries to maintain order as panic spreads all around with life slowly fading away especially for birds and the fish. Mysterious illnesses pop up of which no one understands at the same time cults begin to sprint up causing a state of lawlessness. While the government is insistent on maintaining the regular working time, others marked as the rebellious colonies decide to follow the new system created by the unprecedented change in the earth’s rotation.

Julia is leaving a life any other girl her age does but with incidences that are discouraging and also fun filled. She tries to cope with the changes coming up especially with an entry into adolescence. The imperfections of her father and mother are also a great bother to her not forgetting her feelings for Seth Moreno from her neighborhood. The narration bleeds a combination of nostalgia, melancholy and a curious longing to bring out the romance, attraction and ostracization.

A lot is changing throwing people into panic and forcing them to take over characters and functions they never could, was everything learning usually. Friends leave, her first love leaves while her grandfather is busy cataloging his possessions convinced that there is a government conspiracy. All these incidences make Julia’s life hectic as she adjusts to the slowing inexorably.

The book takes a dive into the change of life that comes about for both human beings and the environment such as the balance of animal and plant life in the midst of this unexpected change. Changes in how everything works bring about a change in how people relate plunging the bigger part into chaos, suspicions and even conflict from the lowest level. The story offers a view of how human beings react to such a change and the effect of each decision that they make.
Karen writes directly yet succinctly in an expressive way to deliver her readers a sweet and captivating story. The quick read creates a perfect impression of the essential aspects of ordinary human life. It has a lot to teach on survival would such a catastrophe strike. The author presents a great science fiction story introducing a disaster in a simple and easy to understand way taking the reader through the happenings that unfold.

The Dreamers

The Dreamers is a mesmerizing story of a college town that is transformed by a new illness that puts the patient into slumber and triggers a series of life-changing dreams.

College time is a period that is supposed to shape teenagers into useful persons as they welcome adulthood. However, this abruptly changes for a small college deep in Santa Lora California. It starts with Kara, a freshman at the college.

She comes home from drinking and decides to sleep only that she does so from morning into the night and never wakes up even when paramedics take her away to a hospital. Others at the college begin to succumb to the same condition, and with time a considerable number is under the same situation. At first, it seems like a game, but as the case gets out of hand, it is realized that it is a serious thing that needs medical attention.

Doctors are called in to try and come up with a solution to this mess, and it is at this that they realize that the dreamers, as referred to by now register a high level of brain activity. No explanation is sufficient to explain what is happening making life on this part hard as food is exhausted as armed gangs have already taken control of things in the streets. The streets turn chaotic as quarantine is declared to prevent the spread of this rare condition.
Each person tries to protect themselves and survive this hard time. A couple tries to protect their baby while a father falls into the unexperienced sleep leaving her two daughters to fetch for themselves. The area is quarantined as the disease is considered as airborne cutting them from the outside world sparking a state of unrest. The hospital is filled with patients suffering under this bizarre condition.

Some of the dreamers wake up but moving back into usual life is not easy. A lot seems to have transpired during the period that the patient is under the sleeping condition. The past, present and future seem to collide of which they cannot understand leaving huge gaps in their lives. With the situation worsening, survival is the only thing left as the residents of this town try to stay unaffected. The illness seems to be the biggest problem. A lot is touched on going into the character of people when such a calamity strikes.

The Dreamers is a story that is creatively drawn about a society that is faced with a problem that takes you from the first page to the last one through a twist of unexpected but captivating events. The dreamers explore time, consciousness, memory and youth. Karen takes a terrifying situation and transforms it into a beautiful and profoundly moving story.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Karen Thompson Walker

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