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When We Wake - Karen Healey At first sight When We Wake will call out for you, its bright, sharp, and almost white cover standing out on the shelf amongst the other covers, too dark in comparison. What the cover of When We Wake achieves is a sense of questioning already in the reader, and once the words ‘cryogenically frozen’ in the synopsis are read and connected to the cover, there would be no going back, no putting Karen Healey’s new science fiction offering back on the bookshop shelf. When We Wake provides a quite different future from today’s world, from today’s Australia, packed with political, global, and humanitarian themes involving activism, social justice, distribution of propaganda, corruption, and deceit. Whatever it is that you enjoy, either the science fiction or speculative fiction elements, When We Wake will fascinate you to no end.It was the year 2027 when sixteen-year-old Tegan Oglietti joined a rally about climate change on the steps of Melbourne’s parliament house with her boyfriend Dalmar and was killed by a sniper. Thanks to her humanitarian beliefs of signing up to be an organ donor, Tegan wakes up 100 years later, the first to wake up after being cryogenically frozen. Tegan had become a major part of a government program to bring soldiers and casualties of war back to life due to the progress of science, but Tegan seeks out the truth in this changed world, much different to the one she knew. Because of the cryogenic freezing Tegan has become the newest celebrity, bringing fame but then also hate from religious and extremist groups who want to see her dead. Among all this, staying true to herself becomes her greatest test.Tegan is quite a likeable and relatable character. Dealing with change, almost instantly in her case, isn’t easy, but Tegan deals with it with maturity and modesty, thankful that she gets to live a second life, but dejected it won’t be with her parents, brother, her friend Alex, and boyfriend Dalmar. Her predicament proves her fighting to strength to adapt and make change with her longing for the past and the desolation that resides inside her. She never stops questioning, never forgets who she was before she was shot, always determined to protect the memories of her old life and the friends she makes in her new life.How the future in 2127 is described will make you tremble at the terror of how our very own future may look like (e.g., Australia’s no-migrant policy and denigration of third-world countries) or cry in delight at things like marriage equality, diversity, and if you are vegetarian or vegan, the way the future may lean to your advantage. The setting on a global scale was well detailed. I’m looking forward to exploring Karen Healey’s futuristic world in the next books. As a bonus, if there is a possible space setting in them, then Healey will hit the nail on the head in terms of setting execution.There was much to enjoy about When We Wake. I found there to be a sort of The Hunger Games in there with Tegan attracting fame and attention and therefore must act like a token figure the government wants her to be. She’d get dressed up, outfit, make up and all, and have to participate in media interviews. Very The Hunger Games-esque, but Healey adds her own ingredients to make it distinctly different. I also loved that it was set in Melbourne, and since this is my home city, it instilled some pessimism in me, a trait which I never want to possess. If someone can do that then you’ve got a winner on your hands. When We Wake did have its moments where I lost interest, but that’s nothing in comparison to all the positives.Karen Healey has written a strikingly fresh new future through the eyes of Tegan Oglietti. While We Run: come at me!