The Altered Wake by Megan Morgan

The Altered Wake is the first book in a series of four. It follows Cameron Kardell as she discovers more about the herself and those around her.

This is very different to any of the books I have read recently, being a fantasy/sci-fi book.

Megan Morgan is an Indie author living in Baltimore and the book is published by an indie publisher in Baltimore called Clickworks Press. Because it is an indie book by an author in America, it is only available as an ebook, so on Kindle and iBook etc for those of us in the UK, but at (currently) £2.99 (on Kindle) I think it’s a bargain for such a good book.

Cameron Kardell is a woman in her early twenties, she’s strong, determined and The Altered Wake book coverfocused. Working for the Sentinels (the organisation responsible for protecting the political leader and ensuring order across society) she is on a patrol of the outlying villages and towns with her Captain when she notices a lot of posters for missing children. Deciding to stop in this town to investigate Kardell comes across something out of the ordinary and almost unbelievable. Upon returning home she is introduced to the possibility of people having powers and her world changes.

To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, I read it to review on the suggestion of someone on Twitter and I was a bit nervous that I would be disappointed. I have to say though, I wasn’t. This book is really well written and I was completely captivated by the story from start to finish.

It’s nothing like The Hunger Games trilogy (other than the strong woman being the lead), but left me with the same sense of being invested in the characters and wanting more.

If you enjoy fantasy/sci-fi and strong women then I would recommend this book. I’m eager for the second book of the series to be released and may have already pestered the author to find out when this will be.

The Humans by Matt Haig

Professor Andrew Martin is gone, and his body has been taken over by an alien.  This alien has been sent to earth by his planet because Professor Martin made an incredible mathematical discovery that could change the world and the alien race don’t believe humans can cope with the advances this will result in. After all, we are a selfish, greedy, violent species.

The Humans was published in 2013 and written by Matt Haig. Matt Haig is a British novelist who has written for both children and adult books, fiction and non-fiction (Reasons to Stay Alive is in my ‘to read’ pile). 

I’m really struggling to express how this book made me feel and what I thought of it. Not great for a book review really. When I started reading this book I expected a standard sci-fi book. Alien comes to earth and strange things happen. The end. This book is so much more. It’s been a week and I keep finding myself thinking about it. The Humans is an incredible novel exploring what it is to be human. It points out our failings, but also the good in us. With everything that is currently going on in the world, this is a beautiful novel that gave me hope in humanity and reminded me that there is good out there. 

It was strange reading a book where the narrator didn’t have his own identity or name, but it worked. I struggled to put it down and constantly wanted to read more. Exploring the different relationships Martin had, and other people’s perception of him made me reflect on my relationships and how I could be perceived. 

Of all the books out there asking what it is to be human and the meaning of life, I never expected a sci-fi book about an alien to be the one that came closest to answering those questions. 

This was beautifully written and I genuinely felt moved by it. I honestly think that this is a book that is going to stay with me for a long time and I’m sure it will be one that is re-read.