All Things Urban Fantasy's Reviews > When We Wake

When We Wake by Karen Healey
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's review
Jan 30, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: reviewed-by-abigail
Read in March, 2013

Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

WHEN WE WAKE is a very political book, and, to a lesser degree, a very religious book. Those aren’t necessarily bad things. But when the politics and religion are preachy, it becomes much harder to enjoy the story hiding underneath.

And the story underneath is intriguing, or at least the premise is. A girl who is brought back to life a hundred years after she dies must learn to adapt to a hostile and unfamiliar world. Everything from technology to language has changed to the point that it’s almost unrecognizable. Initially, Teegan was likeable enough with her Beatles obsession and free running hobby, but she ended up making a few too many temper driven choices that just struck me as stupid–though not as stupid as almost every adult in this book.

The problem arises when WHEN WE WAKE attempts to tackle almost every single potentially polarizing issue dividing people today: hyper environmentalism, vegetarianism, racism, homosexuality, sex change operations, Islam, Christianity, Roman Catholicism, cults, drugs, immigration, totalitarianism, and so many more. The author’s position on all this issues comes across loud and clear. The characters who hold opposing viewpoints are complete villains. The problem isn’t always the issues themselves, which I think most of us would agree the way they are portrayed, it’s just so heavy handed and relentless. The story, such as it was, felt like it was just a series of events strung together in order for the author to get on her soapbox.

I had a hard time finishing this one. Instead of raising issues and letting readers think for themselves, only one position is presented as acceptable in WHEN WE WAKE, not because it is morally or intellectually more tenable (even when it is) but because the opposing view is a caricature/straw man version of itself. Regardless of your political and religious ideologies, it struck me as deeply disrespectful to lampoon and deride opposing viewpoints as thoroughly and overwhelmingly as this book does. There is clearly a sequel planned based on the unresolved ending, WHEN WE RUN, but I won’t be reading it.

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message 1: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica This was the make or break review for me. I was hanging on the edge of reading it, even after some of the more unflattering reviews. But, after reading this one, I know that this book would be thoroughly unenjoyable to me. I am very opinionated, and I feel that that's everyone's right to think what and how they want to about certain things. I HATE having someone's world and religious views crammed down my throat, it matters not that I'm a Christian. I guess it's lucky that the book isn't better, or she might have had a captive audience for her agenda.

message 2: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica P.s. Thank you for your review :)

All Things Urban Fantasy Jessica- thanks for commenting! Glad we could help you make a decision. :)

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