❴Reading❵ ➿ The Age of Miracles Author Karen Thompson Walker – Dailytradenews.co.uk

The Age of Miracles chapter 1 The Age of Miracles, meaning The Age of Miracles, genre The Age of Miracles, book cover The Age of Miracles, flies The Age of Miracles, The Age of Miracles b2873de51e86c From A Stunning New Literary Voice Comes A Brilliant Debut Novel That Created An International Auction Frenzy, With Sales In Twenty Seven Countries To Date, About A Young Girl Growing Up In Extraordinary Times On A Seemingly Ordinary Saturday Morning, Julia And Her Family Wake To Discover, Along With The Rest Of The World, That The Rotation Of The Earth Has Suddenly Begun To Slow Set Against This Threat To Normal Life, The Age Of Miraclesmaps The Effects Of Catastrophes Big And Small On The Lives Of Ordinary People, And In Particular, One Young Girl Extraordinary For Its Original Concept, Unforgettable Characters, And The Grace, Elegance And Beauty Of Karen Thompson Walker S Prose, The Age Of Miraclesis A Mesmerizing Story Of Family Turmoil, Young Love, And Coming Of Age Set Against An Upending Of Life As We Know It


10 thoughts on “The Age of Miracles

  1. says:

    I loved this book I read it in one 24 hour period Great example of soft sci fi fabulist fiction It s like a cross between Alice Sebold s book The Lovely Bones and Lars Van Trier s film Melancholia In some ways, I also thought about Diary of Anne Frank A young girl faces a possible apocalypse in MIRACLES It s YA dystopia but charming and whimsical than, say, The Hunger Games Ultimately it is a book that celebrates life with one hand, as it erases life with the other.The language of the book is poetic and intoxicating The consequences of the slowing earth are imagined in rich and provocative detail.SPOILER ALERT I did think the author cheated just a bit here and there It s a brilliant cheat There are times the hero Julia says things like That was the last time I EVER ate strawberries Or I NEVER saw so and so again That kind of language hints that she might die at the end, or that the world ends in the last chapter In fact, the character and the world still go on by the novel s end, albeit precariously I think the honest phrasing would have been That was the last time I ate strawberries this spring Because as long as the earth spins and she is alive, she can t truly know that she will NEVER eat strawberries again Even if strawberries become extinct, technically she can not know that by some twist of fate she won t eat them again It s a small thing and I think the author was very clever to use this sleight of hand It made me think that the girl or the world were going away It s a book I will think of for some time As a writer myself of speculative, trippy fiction I am in the process of analyzing the many things this book did right NOTE I also did a review here of her new book THE DREAMERS I love speculative fiction like this If you do too, you might check out my new novel THE HOPE STORE It s about the first store in the world to sell hope over the counter, and the controversies that ensue It s gotten 30 reviews on with a 4.9 star rating Glad to see my second novel is ranking even higher than the first which was a Top 3 finalist in s Breakthrough Novel Awards, cosponored by Penguin Publishers Weekly The Hope Store is a deceptively simple, engrossing read Okita s research to create a believable therapeutic process is quite commendable and thought provoking Windy City Times Finally, the characters themselves spring to life in the very exciting story Jada, Luke, Kazu, and even Blair Mathers the journalist are living, breathing people They take you by the hand and pull you into their world Girl Who Reads blogwww.DwightOkita.com


  2. says:

    2.5This is yet another rating I really struggled with because, though I can t say I really enjoyed it, the novel is beautifully written in a very evocative way that makes you want to write down a quote every few pages But it comes back to that whole writing vs story matter that has stopped me from giving many prettily worded books a high rating.The dystopian aspect of The Age of Miracles creeps in slowly and in a mostly subtle and non threatening manner Basically, the normal 24 hour day begins to slowly lengthen, first by minutes, then later by hours Scientists from around the world appear on TV discussing this strange occurrence how could this have happened Why did no one see it coming Eventually, subtle and weird changes begin to happen to do with the Earth s gravity birds dropping to the ground, unable to fly cars colliding in accidents that would have easily been avoided before.This is one of those slow moving stories, the major plot line is that these changes take place but the subplots that should be what happens when it does, how this affects people s lives they are small and seem rather undramatic, particularly for this genre that needs a little oppression, some serious danger, a very real threat I read this novel feeling like no one was in any real peril and that the most tragic event was that Julia the eleven year old narrator grew apart from her best friend.I guess that the intention of the author was to show the subtle effects to lives when people experience fear and uncertainty Walker wanted to show how relationships break down and people change, and she did do that But there s no real sense of catastrophe here, no panic, the fear they feel is a touch of nerves over what might happen than it is a spine chilling terror It s too gentle, too subdued, too focused on what I didn t care about The description would have you think that this is a science fiction kind of tale where the Earth s rotation starts going crazy hardly, it s the day to day problems of a suburban Californian family and how badly they deal with their routine being disturbed Also, the ending is highly unsatisfying and read like the bullshitting of someone who doesn t have the answers to the questions they ve opened up Unless your idea of a good reading experience depends totally on the language writing, I recommend giving this one a miss and maybe just reading the pretty quotes on the book page.


  3. says:

    Starts off well but quickly fizzles into a pretty benign coming of age story Also, while I m not necessarily a stickler for hard science in my sci fi, it seemed like the author was too lazy to research the actual effects of the Earth slowing and just ignores the basic laws of the physical sciences So much so that it really did take away from the story The whole apocalypse angle was incidental and unnecessary to the plot A bland story all dressed up with nowhere to go.


  4. says:

    Growing from pre to teen is tough enough, but when the entire planet slows down, it makes the transition a whole lot tougher Julia is a charming every girl living an average life in southern California Her coming of age joins with a slow apocalypse vision in a merging of genres The ARE volume I read includes no explanation for why the earth s rotation suddenly begins slowing Unless of course, I am an older, blinder coot that I realized, and just missed it I have read that the cause was supposed to have been a large earthquake, but it is possible that that was edited out.In any case we have parallel story lines here One is Julia coming of age and other is the earth maybe coming to its end The two interact as we would expect they might In any coming of age, particular of an American middle class girl, there are a host of items one would expect, a checklist, of concerns that might be in any bildungsroman Social anxiety, feeling like an outsider, attraction to a boy, problems with friends, having to cope with obnoxious peers, concern about physical development, concern about physical appearance, including exposure, beginning to see flaws in parents, beginning to appreciate complexities of the world Check, check, check, check, and so on There is not much in the arc of Julia s experience of growing that stands out here It is clearly the external events that make this than yet another tale of growing up The event is called the slowing Unfortunately it requires a large act of faith to accept the premise, but let s make the assumption, just for now If the earth were to begin slowing how might this manifest It is here that the strength of the story lies The details Walker offers are fascinating, and include many symptoms that might not feel all that newsworthy I would not be surprised if Walker had scoured the news for oddities to include here Changes in the earth s electromagnetic field are significant, exposure to prolonged periods of both light and dark have catastrophic effects on plant life Birds plunge from the sky for no obvious reason, gravity itself increases I liked how she projected a likely separation of people into two camps, those who stayed with life based on a 24 hour clock, regardless of light and dark, clock timers, and another group that attempted to adjust themselves to the light and dark cycles that the slowing earth offered, real timers It was clear that a lot of thought went into the cascading reactions of earth s biomes and its people to the change Most of it made sense Some did not.Even were the earth to slow down, one would expect the rate of slowing to be fairly constant In Walker s vision the rate of change varies from day to day, and even the direction of the change fluctuates I wonder if this is actually possible for an earth sized planet I would be interested to know what her source was for this possibility I came across one particular item that was bothersome beyond that I wanted to think that somewhere on the other end of time, a hundred light years from then, someone else, some distant future creature might be looking back at a preserved image of me and my father at that very moment in my bedroom.Really, did the author never hear of Star Wars, in which Han Solo incorrectly uses the word parsecs as a measure of time when it is really a measure of distance Ditto here It is conceivable that Julia might mistake light years for a measure of time, but one must wonder if it is the author who got this one wrong This would be surprising as it is clear Walker did a lot of research for this book Another was when everyone was terrified by an eclipse Even in a slowed down earth, one would expect that science would still be able to predict such events and offer public notice This sort of thing is jarring and challenges one s ability to suspend disbelief.The book reads very fast Julia is an attractive narrator, someone who readers can root for Walker keeps the plot moving forward and gives us plenty of information about what is happening in the world without seeming to force anything She offers plenty of imagery to enhance the characters experience and tweak our concerns about this world We really do expect that the changes in the larger world will reflect, or at least enhance, the changes in our narrator Walker does not disappoint here An example Maybe it had begun to happen before the slowing, but it was only afterward that I realized it my friendships were disintegrating Everything was coming apart It was a rough crossing, the one from childhood to the next life As with any other harsh journey, not everything survived.And another Some things that happen during youth, you carry with you into later life, and certain experts were already predicting an approaching tidal wave of cancersSo why did I not love this book First of all, even with all the apocalyptic material it contains, and despite the wishes of Random House, and other publishers who have forked out millions, yes millions for this book this is a YA book It is actively annoying to be reading a book that clearly is meant for a YA reader and have the publisher s marketing department pretending it is intended for readers who are way post adolescence, praying for that crossover hit It would not shock me at all if RH convinces the author to have her name printed as K.T Walker in hopes of giving her work a subliminal boost in growing Potter like legs Really, label it properly Secondly, the growing up aspect of this novel seemed garden variety to me Been there, read that I enjoyed reading The Age of Miracles with the world falling apart, one presumes that the miracles here have to do with the characters and not the things happening in the world, or they would have had to call the book The Age of Horrors and would happily recommend this book to kids from 10 to 17 But older than that, not so much.


  5. says:

    Really enjoyed this book The characters were believable and yes the slowing of the earth was believable too One can only imagine the horrors of this happening for real, but the thing is, you CAN see the possibility of this scenario You really get to feel how scary it would be Well written, would definitely recommend.


  6. says:

    I loved The Dreamers so decided to read the author s backlist book While the apocalyptic theme is similar, the execution is very different The earth s rotation has slowed, and the lengthening days and nights affects everything from gravity, crops, tides, and animals, to human behavior Julia, a 12 year old, is the narrator and she must deal with a very altered, uncertain world and future while also navigating the challenges of life as a tween I don t typically enjoy child narrators but Julia stole my heart and I was very taken with her The author writes beautifully with a quiet thoughtful prose that appeals to me It probably won t satisfy a fan who reads only apocalyptic and sci fi, but I d recommend it for those who enjoy literary fiction coming of age novels that offers something just a little different.


  7. says:

    Really disappointed and glad I read her sopho novel first While I was intrigued with the premise and kept reading to see where it was going. it never really went anywhere A very melancholy story that failed to ever capture my full attention Just waiting, waiting, waiting, and for what Not much of an ending IMO.Something has happened to make the Earth slow Just like the pace of this book and it never picked up In the end, this was a huge miss.


  8. says:

    I think I am exactly the wrong audience for this book I read a lot of science fiction, see, and this book is very much trying to do science fiction without the science fiction And so my inclination is to want the book to explore at least some of the science behind what s going on, and the steadfast half refusal to do so is irritating.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook


  9. says:

    Most books I read a book serve as a form of escapism, a little welcome holiday from life But some books get inside your head, altering how you see your own life, even as you are reading them Changing your perspective on the real world.The Age of Miracles is one of those books The Da Vinci COde had a little of the same effect I never looked at his paintings in the same way again But the Age of Miracles did it better Without spoiling anything, I can say that the book begins with the mass realisation that the earth s spin is slowing down The phenomenon is termed The Slowing I read the book in half a week, and found myself nervously watching the skies than once over those few days Was it me, or was the sunsetting very late Did the moon look particularly orange and large, or did it always look like that at this time of year Hmmmm.The premise behind the book is fantastic A quarter of the way through, I was sure this would be a 5 star rating only my second for a novel on Goodreads The writing is great The main character, being an 11 year old girl, is the perfect heroine, insofar as the writer can never get TOO scientific, which suits the reader There is enough science here to deal with, but it never gets annoyingly complicated.But I had one major gripe with the book A third of the way through, I was waiting for the main plot to start Two thirds of the way through, I was still waiting And at the end, it became apparent that there was to be no main story line, apart from The Slowing, and how it effected everyone and everything over the course of a year More of a memoir, than a novel.Now, perhaps this was what the author intended Maybe she thought that The Slowing was story enough in itself And maybe she was right I still was excited to get back to the book every night, and I enjoyed almost every part of it But there was the odd time where I felt a little patronised for example, the effect on the tides was repeatedly explained, as if the reader mightn t have grasped it the first time and most chapters began with a discription of some new effect The Slowing was having, all of which was interesting, but became a little repetitive Had there been another narrative, a main storyline running through the book, I think The Miracle of Ages would have been a 5 star rating.But even as it is, I would highly recommend it, especially to anyone with an interest in science or the environment A great read.


  10. says:

    This is the story of how we begin to remember Well, no, not really But that particular Paul Simon lyric has been swirling in my head this morning and I was just itching to use it This is actually the story of the day the earth stood still, uhh, slowed down And the days after that, and the days after that Nobody knows why the earth s rotation has slowed, but Julia is eleven the day this discovery is announced on the news, with varying degrees of panic.At first the effect is subtle, resulting in a few extra minutes each day, but before long there is a worldwide dilemma on how to handle the growing length of days and there is much debate whether to follow the 24 hour clock time of old, or to establish real time that coincides with each new solar day Clock timers declare dominion over the real timers and marginalize them in society in much the same way all minority groups have been marginalized through the ages.The first indication that the world might be headed for end times is the demise of the birds The new gravity from the slowed rotation has crippled their ability to fly and navigate Next, the magnetic field changes and weather becomes unpredictable Crops wither under 24 straight hours of sun followed by an equal period of darkness Newly erected greenhouses powered by sunlamps deplete the energy grids Clearly it s only a matter of time before all food sources will disappear.In the meantime, Julia is just trying to make sense of what is happening in her personal life amidst these larger world turmoils Her best friend s family moves away to join a desert Mormon collective in Utah Her unrequited crush finally approaches her Her mother succumbs to gravitational sickness Her father may or may not be having an affair with a real timer In other words, a typical adolescence In other, other words, this is a coming of age, pre apocalyptic novel.I think I just coined the word pre apocalyptic If I didn t, please don t disabuse me of the notion just yet.The book is, overallpretty good I liked it I didn t rock my world there were no profound insights into the human experience and at no point was the prose so spectacular that I wanted to read something a second time in order to savor it It s simply a quick and easy read with a moderately interesting premise, but I m a little perplexed about the pre publicity buzz surrounding this book The manuscript created a bidding war in the publishing world and word on the street is that the author walked away with a cool million from her US publisher and another 500k each from her Canadian and UK ones Since this is a debut novel and not a particularly brilliant one I that, I just have to wonder if the publishing world s head is up its collective arse You can t read a major newspaper these days without coming across an article touting the demise of the book world as we know it And it s moves likes this, which are questionable at best and asinine at worse, that makes me doubt both publishing s business acumen and sense of value.Which of course means that this book will probably be a raging bestseller and a major motion picture and I am just the lone voice in the wilderness who questions it all.


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