(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Orson Scott Card http://hatrack.com is the author of 70 novels. Wakers was published in 2022 and is the first book in his Side Step trilogy.
I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. I categorize this book/novel as G. The primary character is teen Lazarus ‘Laz’ Hayerian.
Hayerian wakes up in the Vivipartum cloning facility on Earth. At first, he is alone with just a few dogs for company. The only other humans he encounters have been long dead. There are many other humans in the cloning facility, but they are all dead. At least he thought so at first. That is when he found the girl. She was the only other living human he had encountered. But she was still asleep in her container.
Hayerian can remember his life before, or at least the life of his original. He hadn’t had the easiest life, but he did have an advantage. He can switch or side-step to a parallel universe. If he finds himself in danger or confronted with a problem, he just side-steps to another universe. He chooses one where the Hayerian’s circumstances there are different.
He survives with just the dogs for a while. Then he encounters another human and discovers why the town is deserted. At that point (about 30% into the novel) he attempts to wake the girl.
After that, they are both swept up in humanity’s attempt to save themselves. A rogue planet is on a collision course with Earth, and finding a friendly alternate dimension is their only hope.
I enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 397-page science fiction young adult novel. I have read several novels by Mr. Card, and I have consistently enjoyed them. The others are Ender’s Game, Speaker of the Dead, Xenocide, The Worthing Chronicle, and Lost and Found. The cover art is plain but does relate to the story. I give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.
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