From an author who has written a number of books and has won just about every award a science fiction author can, comes one of the most original and fascinating novels to be published in a long time. It’s one of those books that has just as much right to be on a fiction shelf with other literature classics. Wake is the first in a trilogy about a blind girl, Caitlin Decter, who undergoes new and theoretical surgery in Japan to bring back her sight. With an implant in one eye, signals are sent to a small machine via Bluetooth, which Caitlin refers to as her “eyepod.” Patches and downloads for the software for the eyepod are made online, as Caitlin returns to Canada. With a new patch, she begins to see something that is not real life. She soon realizes it’s a view of the Internet through a browser though she has no control over what she’s seeing. Then with another patch update, Caitlin begins to see through the eye with the implant and her life is changed. Yet there is still something on the Internet that is apparently alive, communicating with her at first through her restricted sight and then online with her, and it’s intelligence is growing rapidly. The book ends at this point, along with something very strange going on in a China, and an ape who is somehow able to paint pictures of people.
Wake is a book that will grow on you as you read it. Sawyer has done a fantastic job of researching the science, but also throws in lots of references that any savvy Internet user will recognize, appreciate, and be amused by; as well as putting the readers in the mind of a blind person and how they do the amazing things they do each day. By the end of the book readers will be impatiently wanting the sequel, Watch, due out in 2010.
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Originally written on April 16th, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.