Wednesday, August 02, 2006

‘The Waking’ (TM Jenkins)

I’m not a fan of science fiction. I’m sceptical of novels set in the not-too-distant future, and more sceptical of novels set in the distant future. When I saw that The Waking, a medical thriller, was partly set in ‘Arizona, 2070’, it nearly put me off altogether.

But I’m glad I persevered, because this book is riveting – especially for a sceptic. Not only intelligent, challenging and highly original, TM Jenkins’ debut novel is also an utter page-turner.

We’re on the brink of a real fuel crisis, with the threat of global warming beating down stronger every day, and The Waking combines our damaged world with Frankenstein’s old innovation, cryonic preservation, to take us to a place that is terrifying in its plausibility.

This novel has ‘bestseller’ scrawled all over it, because it is paced like The Da Vinci Code, with research that is just as good and controversy that is just as credible. For me, it goes one better: it is extremely well-written and disturbing down to the very last line.

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