Karthy's Reviews > Those That Wake

Those That Wake by Jesse Karp
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Jun 12, 11

liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi
Read in June, 2011

I don't understand why there aren't that many favourable reviews of this book out there especially considering that it's a debut novel and the writing is really solid.

The cover grabbed me from the shelf and I was expecting a dystopian novel, but I feel like it's more aligned with the sci-fi genre than the dystopian genre. I decided this based on the absence of the conflict being centered on rising against oppression. The tone of the novel reminds me of film noir meets the Matrix.

The premise of the story is really fascinating. When Laura and Mal finally cross paths, the conspiracy is already starting to unfold, and already presents really interesting questions. What happens to your identity when nobody that knows who you are recognizes you? I think Karp did a good job trying to explore that issue by examining the relationships that the two protagonists have prior to being forgotten. I also love a good conspiracy, and I rather enjoyed the conspiracy behind this book.

The technology that exists in the novel is also quite interesting. Cell phones have more or less dominated society, and act as wallets, and can contain your whole life story. I think it's disturbing that cell phones are actually headed on this trajectory.

The first two parts of the novel in my opinion were great but the ending definitely lowered the rating that I wanted to give. I found that the concepts presented in the novel were laid out too easily in the end. I don't like it when an author blatantly states the conflict in the book and discusses the themes openly.

I thought that Mal and Laura were well-written characters, though both of them were rather cliched in a way, but I felt that they expanded to be more than what they were initially.

Overall, I thought it was a good debut novel. I think if you're interested in sci-fi or you're interested in themes of identity and loss, you should read this.
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