The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker is a chilling YA novel set in a world that is slowing down. By mid-book, daylight stretches into 48-hour long periods…as does nightfall. The sun becomes a source of constant and blistering heat, and by hour 72 the Earth’s surface reaches temperatures of 135 degrees. People fall victim to “the syndrome”, which could be the result of radiation, or is it depression? Sixth-grade Julia, a loner by nature, becoems even more lonely as she watches the world around her do the strangest things. Not just the planet, but her peers, her family, and her neighborhood.
What I like about this story is that, while it is very much a doomsday story, it is not written in an utterly desperate and hurried voice. Instead, our protagonist digests things matter-of-factly and truthfully. She doesn’t waste time guessing or crying; she see what is happening, tries her hand at understanding it, then moves on, whether she does or doesn’t. While I don’t think I would have been friends with Julia, I sure was interested in being a part of her life for that year that she covers the slowing of the world.
Eerily enough, Walker makes it all seem so realistic. Like it could happen tomorrow. Nothing about this story is so fantastical that the reader cannot help but think…is today the last 24-hour long day? I will be recommending this book to teens and adults who enjoy end-of-the-world stories and introspective protagonists. Sadly, this book will not be released until June…sorry for the teaser!!