The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Finished reading July 15, 2013
Suddenly the Earth starts to rotate a lot slower…. Hmph… Just apparently because it wants to 🙂
I found the main premise interesting: indeed what would happen if the Earth were to rotate slower? Unfortunately the physical changes were just a backdrop to a family drama / coming-of age story. The book was quite enjoyable if you dismiss all the science that’s missing or just plain wrong or impossible.
For me one of the biggest failures in this book was that there was no cause mentioned for the slowing of the Earth’s rotation and another one was that for some mystical reason gravitational force on Earth increases. Whaat? As for the slowing of the Earth’s rotation, it is happening because of the existence of the Moon and the tidal forces between them, but very slowly. What could make the Earth rotate slower? An impact with a rather large object, but that would probably not carry on for months, unless there are several impacts. However that wouldn’t be possible here, because these objects would be problematically large for this books plot. Though that might explain the increase in gravity, otherwise it’s just fairy-tales and pigs flying etc.
So gravity and the slowing itself were some of the problems for me in this otherwise lovely story.
The main character is a likable eleven-year old girl Julia, who has to deal with a changing world, losing friends etc.
I can’t finish this post without mentioning two other little thought that kept bugging me – one was that it is described that by the end of the book the days are up to 80 hours long. Fine by me…. However that’s just for where Julia lives (I think it was somewhere in California?), near the poles there would be more problems still, and although there are news mentioned throughout the book, then the biggest problem there is the slowing, radiation and what time to use.
The idea was good, the story itself was nice, the science fell out of the sky like a dead bird…