In Asleep at the Wheel of Time author Michael Gray uses the vehicle of a Science Fiction action story to raise questions about our treatment of Earth and the fellow beings with whom we share it. The cast of characters includes humans, whales, dolphins, and aliens, who are attempting to contact humanity because a comet is threatening their long-time friends, the cetaceans. Michael lives with his family in Albuquerque, where he works with individuals afflicted with ALS and MS through Friends In Time, a non-profit he co-founded 20 years ago. He also works with Pathways Academy, a school that serves kids with Autism and learning issues, as Board President. He has published stories, poetry and essays, and Asleep now joins his memoir The Flying Caterpillar (also ABQ Press 2012) as his second published book.
"Asleep at the Wheel of Time" which I won through Goodreads Giveaways is a blend of science fiction and the paranormal that begins when Patrick Murphy, haunted by vivid images of whales in his dreams is drawn to a beach in Anchor Beach, Maine. Obsessed with finding a secret pattern in the language of the whales, Patrick becomes lost in his thoughts while walking across a sandbar and suddenly finds himself floundering in the ocean only to be saved by a dolphin. When the owner of a nearby General Store finds his frozen body on the beach Patrick's rushed to hospital where he begins a journey of discovery he never could have imagined.
At the same time, but hours away Patrick's estranged brother John, a well-respected professor of astronomy has detected a strong signal coming from Titan. After he starts an investigation into the mystery his life takes a dramatic turn when he's interrogated by the FBI because of a government cover up to keep information about a comet speeding towards earth quiet. When he begins to have visions John sets his skepticism about alien first contact aside, recognizing a link between whales, dolphins and the Titanians as well as with his youngest son and brother.
Cleverly the author uses whales, dolphins, aliens and a comet to explore questions about mankind's treatment of not only Earth's environment, its creatures but each other. The plot is exciting, the suspense and intensity mounting as nuclear weapons are unleashed to destroy the comet and a disturbed scientist plagued by fear jeopardizes the safety of the world. The story combines family estrangement, past pain amid the storms of life with reunions, forgiveness, self-sacrifice and hope for the future. Riveting from the first chapter to the last, this well-written plot is not only unique and imaginative but climaxes in an ending that's as emotionally -charged as it is surprising.
The characters like the plot are well-developed, unforgettable and complex with all their strengths and flaws. Patrick Murphy plagued by resentment and dissatisfaction feels worthless; emotionally and psychologically frail. Clairvoyant after a three day coma, he begins to change becoming more confident and certain, not only reaching out to Hank and Emily who have taken him under their wing, but also to his brother. John Murphy is the well-educated, self-assured professor who's unapologetic for the sacrifices he's made for his career including distancing himself from family members. As he becomes entangled in a Titan project that includes a comet and alien first contact John becomes more sensitive, caring and protective of those he loves. Ted Sallo the skeptical and valued FBI agent is determined, observant and shrewd; Hal Nagen calm, reserved and intense; and George Ball hot-tempered, aggressive and arrogant. All these personalities add to the power, drama and passion of an intoxicating story that I couldn't put down.
"Asleep at the Wheel of Time" has all the ingredients of a novel that's well-worth reading and I recommend it highly.
I got this book in GoodReads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.
I don't know what to think of this book. I had fun reading it. It's well written. But I felt that it'd be better for children or young adults, because there is too much happening all at once: a telepathic guy, sea mammals communicating with us, extraterrestrial trying to help us (or them: the mammals)...
Green Peace wouldn't deny this book's value, because its subject is not really science fiction but environment and the survival of our planet and its inhabitants (us, plants, animals).
I've been a science fiction reader for a long time and I'm even a science fiction writer now. I know that most of us write about what's important for us. And environment is important. As I said in the beginning of my review, I had fun reading it and the book is well done. So I give it 4 stars.
I mixed up a review for the maze runner and one for this book. Nothing here to do with war, but a fantastic tale of nature helping human beings when a huge comet threatens the earth. It is attractive as an idea, but maybe a little hard to believe in. Even though we know the sea mammals are intelligent, to get the idea they would have come from space and be ready to sacrifice themselves to save the earth is... a bit strange. Add to that the importance of brothers, even if they do not know they are related and telepathy. I'm probably too rational for that. Sadly, I've never had any ESP. But it's a pleasant book to read, and a fable which makes you think about the ecologic disasters we are building.
This book, by Michael Gray grabbed me on the first page & easily held my attention throughout. It is a science fiction, ostensibly about a large (very large) comet headed toward earth & a concerned alien race trying to warn the our own race, but there's so much more. I found myself wrapped up in this story, staying up too late each night, but this book is hard to put down! From the believable characters interacting with each other, the clock ticking down, & the surprising clairvoyance of the main characters (And dolphins! And Whales!) this novel has a little bit of everything, a good, solid work of science fiction that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, not just sci-fi fans.
As the author, I won't write a review. But "As;eep at the Wheel of Time" still holds my interest when I crack it open. I would definitely like to know what others think. My hidden--now not so hidden-- agenda, in placing my own novel (about Gaia and how our species is not doing well by our home or the other beings with whom we share it) I was trying to develop a foothold in "Goodreads" from which to create an "Author Dashboard". Now that I've done that, and rated a bunch of great books, I'm ready to check out Goodreads as a service for both readers and writers. -- Michael Gray
Thoroughly engaging. At first I wondered how I was going to like it due to the use of dolphins and whales in the tale, but suprisingly it captivated me. The characters are fairly well fleshed out and I took particular interest in their backstories when provided. For those looking for a good book, you can't go wrong with this one.
This story kept me coming back for the next chapter! The characters were brought to life as the story progressed. The underlying message of earth's stewardship is only part of the tale. Overall a very good read.
Won this book on goodreads. Really wanted to like it. Tough getting into, Author chose to flip charachters by chapter - you just start getting into a charachter and you are flipped to another. At about page 154 the charachters combined and it started to get a better flow, once the story really got moving I was really enjoying the book---However, the ending left much to be desired. One entire group was somewhat dismissed and you never get to know what happened to them. It, for me, was not a satisfying read. To many open answers and had a hard time believing the premise and I'm a big thriller/sci-fi fan.
Sorry Michael as I said I really wanted to like your book, but felt it was just OK.
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
The book started out pretty good, but about halfway through, the story moved from the characters experiencing the events to the events being reported to the reader. The characters motivations and choices were also a little vague and a few of the plot points did not make sense to me.