Wakers (The Side-Step Trilogy #1) by Orson Scott Card #bookreview #YA #fantasy #scifi

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Title: Wakers

Author: Orson Scott Card

Publisher:   Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publication Date: February 22, 2022

Page Count: 397

My rating: 4 stars

About the book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Enders Game comes a brand-new series following a teen who wakes up on an abandoned Earth to discover that he’s a clone!

Laz is a side-stepper: a teen with the incredible power to jump his consciousness to alternate versions of himself in parallel worlds. All his life, there was no mistake that a little side-stepping couldn’t fix.

Until Laz wakes up one day in a cloning facility on a seemingly abandoned Earth.

Laz finds himself surrounded by hundreds of other clones, all dead, and quickly realizes that he too must be a clone of his original self. Laz has no idea what happened to the world he remembers as vibrant and bustling only yesterday, and he struggles to survive in the barren wasteland he’s now trapped in. But the question that haunts him isn’t why was he created, but instead, who woke him up…and why?

There’s only a single bright spot in Laz’s new life: one other clone appears to still be alive, although she remains asleep. Deep down, Laz believes that this girl holds the key to the mysteries plaguing him, but if he wakes her up, she’ll be trapped in this hellscape with him.

This is one problem that Laz can’t just side-step his way out of.

Wakers by Orson Scott Card is a young adult science fiction fantasy novel. Wakers is listed as the first book in the The Side-Step Trilogy although this first book read as if it could of been a standalone story.

When he was younger Laz discovered that he had the ability to side-step. Laz could jump his own consciousness to alternate versions of himself in parallel worlds. This ability came in quite handy to Laz fixing mistakes he made in his life by finding a reality with the outcome that he wanted to happen instead of the choices that could have bad consequences in his life.

One day Laz wakes up in a strange box not knowing what or how he got there. Laz discovers that while he feels like himself he is in a cloning facility so Laz is actually a clone of his former self. To make matters even worse Laz finds that the town he woke up in is abandoned and has no idea what happened to the world around him.

First, I will admit I was a little leary picking up Wakers by Orson Scott Card due to reading quite a few books with alternate realities and finding them usually confusing. Finding one by such a well known and loved author though I couldn’t resist checking out Wakers and I’m glad I did. The beginning is a tad slow but I still found myself engaged and wondering more and more what would happen and by the time the story takes off I was hooked. Definitely a fun read and I would certainly return to the series.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online:

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender’s Game, Ender’s Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools. His most recent series, the young adult Pathfinder series (Pathfinder, Ruins, Visitors) and the fantasy Mithermages series (Lost Gate, Gate Thief, Gatefather) are taking readers in new directions.

Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series The Tales of Alvin Maker (beginning with Seventh Son), poetry (An Open Book), and many plays and scripts, including his “freshened” Shakespeare scripts for Romeo & Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Merchant of Venice.

Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, he teaches occasional classes and workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.

Card currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, where his primary activities are writing a review column for the local Rhinoceros Times and feeding birds, squirrels, chipmunks, possums, and raccoons on the patio.

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