Occasionally, I come across a book that reminds me of a favorite television show. That is the case with Elizabeth Scott’s As I Wake. Throughout the book, I was comparing the events to that masterpiece of weirdness, Fringe (Fridays at 9pm on Fox). Both As I Wake and Fringe deal–to a certain degree–with people crossing between alternate realities and the consequences of those “travels,” and both of them leave me very confused. I don’t like being confused, but when we’re talking about alternate realities, I guess confusion is inevitable.
As I Wake begins with Ava. She just woke up, and she has no idea where she is, how she got here, or even her own name. Nothing–her mom, her friends, school, home–is familiar, and she has the unsettling sensation that she doesn’t belong here. Apparently, Ava has amnesia, but she senses that her memory loss goes much deeper than anyone knows. What’s wrong with her? And how can she fix it?
In dreams, Ava gets glimpses of another life…a life that is very different from the one she’s supposed to remember. A life full of danger, conflict, spies, and loneliness. A life that shows her past, including the boy that would change everything. Are these really just dreams, or are they memories that someone has tried to suppress? How can Ava possibly know what’s real and what’s not?
When Morgan, the boy from Ava’s dreams, appears in her strange new world, Ava knows that her dreams are really memories of her true life, the reality she was born into. Can she get back to her old life with Morgan? Why was she sent away from it to begin with? Does she even want to return to a reality that held so much pain and danger…even if it did contain the love of her life? The answers are not simple, and Ava’s decisions could mean the difference between life and death…and not just for her. Find out what happens when Ava truly wakes up in As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott.
I mentioned that this book reminded me of Fringe, and it did. At the end, I was left thinking “What the crap just happened?” (This happens a lot when I watch Fringe.) Unlike Fringe, though, I wasn’t really invested in the characters in As I Wake. I’m still not sure what led Ava to be in an alternate reality, and I’d really like to know what happened to the Ava she replaced. (I know that sentence was probably confusing. Trust me. I know how you feel.) I want to know more about Ava’s work in her original reality, and why she felt so drawn to Morgan. The author hinted that Ava and Morgan had known each other in other realities, even other time periods, but the idea wasn’t fully fleshed out. I’d also like more information on some of the secondary characters. Some of their stories are pretty complicated, and the book delved into those a little, but I didn’t feel that these characters had the depth that they could have.
All in all, As I Wake was an okay book. I enjoyed that it made me think about physics and alternate realities, but the book could have been so much better had some of the plot lines been further explored. I was not at all happy with the ending, and I think it could have been a lot clearer. I still have no idea exactly what happened (and what it meant for the previous 268 pages).
I’ve read a couple of other books by Elizabeth Scott (The Unwritten Rule and Living Dead Girl), and I think both of them are much better written than As I Wake. (Living Dead Girl still gives me nightmares.)
For more information on As I Wake and author Elizabeth Scott, visit http://www.elizabethwrites.com/.