When We Wake by Karen Healey is a smartly-executed, science fiction cautionary tale that’s loaded with action, charming characters, and a thought-provoking twist.
Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027–she’s happiest when playing the guitar, she’s falling in love for the first time, and she’s joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.
But on what should have been the best day of Tegan’s life, she dies–and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.
Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity–even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn’t all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?
Award-winning author Karen Healey has created a haunting, cautionary tale of an inspiring protagonist living in a not-so-distant future that could easily be our own.
Healey’s latest novel is a youthful twist on the classic science fiction concept of cryogenics, and reawakening in the future.
The strength of the book really lies in its characters, who are refreshingly down to earth and charming. They may live in the year 2128, but they’re still human — and it’s nice to see the characteristics of friendship and love carried through to Healey’s version of the future. They balance nicely with the imagined technological advances and global issues that are also present in this world.
However, When We Wake also read very much like a cautionary tale. The lessons felt a bit heavy-handed — and while this approach can be a good thing for conveying a message (especially to teen readers), I prefer my reading to be more about entertainment and less about being preached at. The political-environmental message of the book was a bit too strong for my liking.
When We Wake is in stores today.