Book Review: Awake: Finding Dad by James M. McCracken

Awake: Finding Dad by James M. McCracken – 2.5 stars

Due to the depletion of earth’s resources, scientists have come up with a plan. If the earth could be free from human interference for just twenty short years, it would renew itself. In order to accomplish that the entire human race would have to be placed in suspended animation.

Get ready to hit the SAC and have the best rest of your life.

Trusting the government with his life and the lives of his parents doesn’t come easy for Timothy Stone, especially since his father has Alzheimer’s. Waking up and finding his father missing is just the beginning of things that go wrong. Before Tim can figure things out, he must find his father, first.

Although the premise of this short story has a great deal of promise, I found it dry. The story is told from Tim’s point of view, in first person. Despite that, we learn very little of what he thinks or feels, and some parts plod with dull recitation of events. ‘I did this, I did that, I did the other thing.’ Every part of this story screamed out for emotional investment yet had none. The characters are, at best, vague.

It also suffers from some mild editorial problems that another read-through could resolve.

The story itself is an interesting idea, and despite its shortcomings, I’m interested in how it progresses in the next installment of the serial. It’s a post-apocalyptic survival tale, about starting from not-quite-nothing and trying to rebuild some kind of life and meaning. This is also a very quick read, taking me about an hour and a half to breeze through.

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