Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker *****

Julia is entering middle school and the earth's rotation is slowing down. This is the tension in The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Is Julia's coming of age and maturing sexuality more important than the slowing of the earth and the ecological disasters that ensue? How will Julia balance her crush on Seth Moreno with the deterioration of the Van Allen Belt.

And for the reader ... is this a Science Fiction book about the possibilities of natural disasters and the limits of scientific knowledge, or a YA coming-of-age story of a girl's first bra and first kiss. Is this a book with something for everyone, or a allegorical mess.

The first answer is yes! This is a delightful novel that brilliantly balances yin and yang, right brain and left brain, emotions and logic. But in the end, Walker does not deliver on the promise of science or age. The book ultimately succumbs to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: everything just runs down.

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