Faith Awakened by Grace Bridges
Book Website: FaithAwakened.com
Author Website: GraceBridges.com
Buy it at Grace Bridge's Storefront
Review (with minor spoilers):
Faith Awakened was my first exposure to Christian "cyberpunk" and "dystopia" fiction, so I really didn't have anything to compare it to. (I'm currently reading Frank Creed's Flashpoint, another biblical spec fic vision of life in a technological and anti-utopian society, and will review that eventually.) Although some refer to The Matrix for comparison, this is a very different story even though the characters spend half the book living in a "virtual reality" - until their rescue when the planet is once again inhabitable. Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
As just inferred, the plot centers on a group of people who design and then immerse themselves into a virtual existence (while putting their bodies into stasis) in order to survive the vestiges of a plague that wiped out - for all they know - the rest of humanity. They are eventually brought out of this cyber-matrix and revived to real life 50 years later by another group of survivors who happen upon their hibernation units.
What makes this novel intriguing is the intertwining of two storylines that, if you pick up on some early clues, tells the crisis and resolution in alternating chapters - a non-traditional storytelling device. The author, Grace Bridges, has a unique style of writing and makes a bold attempt at telling the story from the perspective of her two protagonists, Mariah & Faith. Their relationship is part of the mystery and makes for fascinating reading.
If you "go with it" (and suspend your disbelief a time or two) then the overall story "works." However, there are a few logical inconsistencies that raise questions left unanswered. Also, this could have been shortened to a novella, in my opinion, as Grace's description of life (in both worlds) was a bit cumbersome in detail (too much "tell" not enough "show"). Still, a vivid picture of a possible frightening future.
Self-published Faith Awakened is a promising start for a first time author. And not a bad introduction to Christian cyberpunk. For other reviews, visit Grace's media room.
Here are the reactions of a few other tour participants:
+ Caprice Hokstad
+ Carole McDonnell
+ Cathi Hassan