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(Gradual) Awakenings

By Chris George, author of Shadow

Aug 18, 2011: Awakenings is a work of post-apocalyptic fiction set in a small Michigan university campus. It deals with survival and the relationships and tensions between the survivors, but with an added supernatural twist – the survivors may have all survived for a reason, one some among them have felt for some time and others are just beginning to become aware of.

It’s primarily a character story – largely focussed on dialogue scenes and internal monolgues and it’s pretty slow to build and dip into its more fantastical elements. This is both a strength and a weakness. Many characters are introduced very early on, but you quickly get to know them thanks to this way of telling the story, however it can be frustrating that you aren’t getting to see some of the concepts that many of them are talking about right from the start. This could have been a technique used to build tension – are these things real, or are they delusional? – but the main characters think and feel their way around these concepts with such confidence that the reader is never left in doubt, even if some of the other leads are.

The characters are generally well-written and likable and if you stick with the story in spite of some occasionally frustrating use of language you’ll grow quite fond of them and be interested in their plight, but be prepared to take it for the long haul – this is not a story for those seeking instant gratification. If you can cope with that then you may find it to be a rewarding read in the long term.

You’ll like it if you like relationship-heavy, soft fantasy.

You won’t if you like ‘perfect’ prose and plenty of action.

Worth a look.

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