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June 20, 2012 / Leslie

Review & Giveaway: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson WalkerThe Age of Miracles
by Karen Walker Thompson

Genre: Science Fiction, YA
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: June 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover | 288 pages
Rating: 4 of 5

We take for granted that the sun will rise each morning heralding the beginning of a new day. But what if it didn’t? What if the rotation of the earth began to slow? Days and nights would grow longer and longer. Our innate sense of time, cued by the sun, the moon, and the stars would no longer correspond to the 24 hour clock. The circadian rhythm of the planet would be thrown into disarray causing chaos. Could the planet and the life inhabiting it survive such conditions?

In The Age of Miracles, Julia and her family awake one morning to an announcement that just such an event has occurred. There had been a change, a slowing of the earth’s rotation, and it would continue slow down. Soon the governments of the world declared that all business would be run on 24-hour clock time regardless of whether it was day or night; but their decree of order could not stop the pending environmental disasters that were to come.

Julia narrates the story in the past tense and we experience the changes unfolding from her point of view as she looks back at that first year. While I consider this a science fiction novel because of the premise, it is not, as the description might imply, a dystopian novel. It is really more of coming of age story. There is not a lot of action, adventure, or heavy scientific or techie explanations. No one knows why the rotation is slowing so the technical aspects of how or why are not discussed. Instead, a large part of the book focuses on the angst of adolescence, boyfriends, girlfriends, parties, school, and so on, with the added difficulty of surviving in a changing and ever more hostile environment.

Through Julia’s eyes we watch the earth grow hotter and learn the ramifications of a suddenly warmer planet. Vegetation and wildlife begin to die off, power consumption surges and radiation levels in the atmosphere increase as the magnetic field deteriorates. Not everyone could cope with the changes. Some got sick. Some chose to go off of Clock Time and instead live with Real Time, attempting to adapt to the ever lengthening days.

I rarely say that a book could have been a little longer, but in The Age of Miracles there were a lot of interesting, relevant, topics that were touched upon but never fully explored. Perhaps that was the author’s intent. To make us think and discuss.

Overall this was a thought-provoking, enjoyable book that, while I felt was aimed at young adults, could be enjoyed by all ages.

About the Author

KAREN THOMPSON WALKER holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University and is an editor of fiction and non-fiction at Simon & Schuster. The Age of Miracles is her first book.

For more information about Karen and The Age of Miracles, please visit the book’s website and Facebook page.

Click HERE for the tour schedule.

A Giveaway

The publisher has generously offered a copy of The Age of Miracles to give away to one of my readers. If you would like to be entered in the drawing, fill out the form below by June 30th. I will choose one winner using who will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond with a mailing address, US/Canada only.

[Contest has ended]

Source: Review copy.
© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. sagustocox / Jun 20 2012 4:09 am

    I’ve heard mixed reviews for this one, but you make it sound wonderful


    • Leslie / Jun 20 2012 8:02 am

      After I wrote my review I read some of the others and noticed that too. I enjoy science fiction so no surprise it appealed to me.


      • sagustocox / Jun 20 2012 3:07 pm

        I like Science Fiction, so this might be good for me.


  2. The Book and Movie Dimension blogger / Jun 20 2012 5:14 am

    Sounds like a good one. The fact it makes you think.


    • Leslie / Jun 20 2012 8:09 am

      The story was left a bit open at the end too. We learn a little more about what happens to Julia, but what about earth, and the human race? Maybe a sequel?


  3. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Jun 20 2012 6:03 am

    i’m not sure this would be for me, but glad u enjoyed it. I do have the eGalley.


    • Leslie / Jun 20 2012 8:11 am

      It’s not the type of books I usually see you review. But it’s a fast read if you do decide to give it a try.


  4. Leeswammes / Jun 20 2012 6:18 am

    This book has been on my radar, and I almost took it with me to the check out at my book shop… but not yet! Anyway, good to hear you enjoyed this book. It sounds like there are a lot of interesting ideas in it, which I love in a book.


    • Leslie / Jun 20 2012 8:13 am

      I’m pretty sure you will enjoy this one. I’m curious to know what you think of it.


  5. BermudaOnion / Jun 20 2012 8:07 am

    The reviews for this one do seem to be mixed but I’m intrigued enough that I’d be willing to give it a try.


    • Leslie / Jun 20 2012 12:35 pm

      Do give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.


  6. Lainy SMBSLT / Jun 20 2012 9:20 am

    Sounds different, thank for the review and giveaway



  7. WordsAndPeace / Jun 20 2012 12:34 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway, sounds very interesting!


  8. Heather J. @ TLC / Jun 21 2012 8:41 pm

    I wonder if this would be a good book club pick – it sounds like there are some great topics to discuss.

    Thanks for being on the tour.


  9. Hira Hasnain (Enamored Soul) / Jun 25 2012 4:00 am

    I have NO DOUBT that I’ll love this book – it seems like just the kind of book I’d read and fall in love with. Plus, after your review, I’m looking forward to reading it THAT much more. Keeping my fingers crossed…lol 😛

    Thank you SO much for offering this wonderful book, for your generosity, and this giveaway! 😀

    Name: Hira Hasnain
    Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com



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  2. Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles, on tour June and July 2012 | TLC Book Tours
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