Joy (joyous reads)'s Reviews > Those That Wake

Those That Wake by Jesse Karp
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Jun 02, 2011

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Read in June, 2011

New York hasn't been the same since the Big Black. An explosion of catastrophic proportion plunged the entire state into disaster and darkness.

"The lights went back on but they never came out of the dark."

People lost their sense of humanity. Emotionless with empty stares, they walk around with their heads down, fiddling with their cell phones as if it held their life lines. And in some ways it did--much like it is now.

"The world was slipping away from them. They were forgetting to care. When they finally bothered to look up, there would be nothing to keep them going."

This story is dark, weird--very pyschological; unapologetic with its profanity and violence that was surprising for this genre. The world that the author created was typical of a dystopian novel except that there was no government that controlled everyone. Instead, you have a corporation which developed a "psychic virus", controlling everyone who was weak in the mind. The four characters weren't affected for one reason. Their will and purpose is stronger than everyone else's.

Mal is to find his lost brother, whose last phone call to him was worrisome. They'd been separated when they were young. Mal to their dead father who taught him everything he needed to know about bare-knuckle fighting but was a father-figure nonetheless. Tommy to their alcoholic, abusive mother. Because of that, Tommy had never forgiven Mal for abandoning him. And Mal felt like he owed it to his brother.

Laura is to her parents, whose memories were erased of everything about their daughter. She wanted them to rememer who they were--loving, caring parents whose world used to revolve around their daughter.

Mike is to his students. No matter how much he hated his life, his teaching career. He was still determined to teach because 'someone has to' and no one would bother with the kids in his God-forsaken neighborhood.

Remak is to find the cure. To rid the world of the virus that thrived on people's hopelessness and desolation.

I guess I understand why this book is not getting some sparkling reviews. At times, the explanation of what's happening to the people's psyche was hard to follow. The concept was mind blowing and maybe with a few more simplification, this story would have garnered more attention. It was like watching INCEPTION over again; in the end, my eyes were glazed over wondering just what the heck just happened. Even still, the book was written beautifully in a foreboding manner.

The ending. What can I say about the ending? Was it necessary? Only the author can answer that.


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