Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Those That Wake, by Jesse Karp

Those That WakeThose That Wake by Jesse Karp
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was a bit confused as I read this book. What is this about? The book description says one thing but, in no way does it actually describe what this book is actually about. The book is a bit more complicated than the description and contains a lot more characters than it needs. The book takes place in the near future, post 9/11 and post an event (The Big Black) that obliterated a part of New York City, leaving behind a great dome to contain the damage. People live glued to their phones, TV, and any screen in their near vicinity. Technology is ever-present. People are constantly bombarded with advertisements and barely notice others or what goes on around them. Security is strict in response to terrorism and people live in a dulled-out life . A group of people find themselves in some sort of convoluted scheme that erase their existence from the memories of their friends and family. They must find who is doing this and why.

The book is ok written, in terms of narration and grammar. The development of the plot and, well, anything else in the book, is lacking though. One issue is that the book spends half of its pages introducing the characters. We are well past half of the book when the plot actually starts developing. The preceding pages (over a 100 of them) are spent introducing the four characters. Too much time is spent telling us about the characters lives, how they grew up, etc, which do nothing to further the story. The life’s story of the character Mal is rather full and complete, a big contrast to any of the other characters. It is obviously the author’s favorite character.

Another issue is the plot itself. It started as something to do with technology conspiracy and the sort and it mutated into the metaphysical within a few pages and one encounter. It’s as if the author didn’t know where he was going with the book and introduced a new character to simply provide him a a twist in the story.

I was ready to like this book. I like the themes the author tried to present but, they did not come together well. Or at all. The book doesn’t know where it is going and neither do their characters. The end was a bit too convenient and sudden. Everything was so readily available: clues, escape, the answers to their questions, theories, etc.

The end was disappointing, as was the rest of the book.


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