In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned.
Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
I must admit that when the students of a college town began to one by one fall asleep and not waken up I didn’t really connect to them or the story but as more and more followed suit it was the ones that were left behind that I became interested in. It soon became clear that what ever was happening was quite isolated to this town so it was quarantined with only a specialised team having access to recover the bodies of the sleepers. What they discovered was high levels of brain activity while the sleepers slept and the other thing was no matter how they tried they couldn’t waken these people.
Soon only key players in the story were left but it was like a game of roulette as to who would be the next victim. It really kicked in the further into the book I got. I don’t want to say too much about the story and its outcome. Once the core characters were left I enjoyed the story much more. It is though a story that shows how resilient people are, even children, there is a sort of survival mode that kicks in when it is needed. Kids aren’t as helpless as we think they are.
Once I had my key players in the story their individual characters shone through, be it for personal survival or at the opposite end of the scale to help others and abandoned pets! The character that affected me the most was Rebecca, I can’t even imagine the loss that she felt. A super story that left me with a real unsettling feeling, a credit to the author.
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have honestly reviewed.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Thompson Walker was born and raised in San Diego, California, where The Age of Miracles is set. She studied English and creative writing at UCLA, where she wrote for the UCLA Daily Bruin. After college, she worked as a newspaper reporter in the San Diego area before moving to New York City to attend the Columbia University MFA program.
A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she wrote The Age of Miracles in the mornings before work—sometimes while riding the subway.
She is the recipient of the 2011 Sirenland Fellowship as well as a Bomb Magazine fiction prize. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.