It’s 2020, and there’s an environmental crisis brewing in the depths of the Greenland ice sheet that’s a threat to everyone on the planet. But California girl Camilla Brightly is an expat just trying to make a buck, working for a PR firm that specializes in raising public awareness about their clients’ products, even ones like eco-friendly bouncy castles and almost-vegan honey. Their most recent project? Everyone on staff has to get their “domestic helpmates”—anything from dishwashers to disco balls—networked via a new client’s “smart” home automation system. Camille doesn’t want Big Brother knowing that the only thing in her freezer is the makings for a vodka smoothie, but that’s not the worst of her problems. A hacker intent on taking down one of her firm’s customers stumbles across a secret Camilla didn’t even know she was keeping, and her refrigerator turns out to be so smart it’s figured out how to stalk her. Global warming has reached a tipping point—and so has Camilla. She can’t stop the impending apocalypse but can she save herself? With the help of an adorably nerdy co-worker and his polyamorous cousin, Camilla has to try to untangle herself from her less-than-harmonious home, foil a blackmailer, and face down an ecological disaster that might change life as she knows it forever. “Wake”—the prequel to “An Etiquette Guide to the End Times”—is a novel of climate change, unruly appliances, and finding a place to belong.
I was already a Maia Sepp fan from reading The Migraine Mafia. When I saw that An Etiquette Guide to the End Times was available, I put it on my TBR list, but never followed through. When Wake popped up as available on my NetGalley dashboard, I knew I had to get it and read it right away.
I would classify Wake as a dystopian, but there are some soft sci-fi elements and a very soft whodunit. The eighteen months since she released The Migraine Mafia, Ms. Sepp has improved her writing. Plus, with Wake being a prequel to AEGET, it allows the reader to keep going in the story universe. There was even a link in the eBook to download AEGET, which I promptly did and can’t wait to read it.
The only complaint I really have with Wake, is that the villain seems all Snidely Whiplash clichéd. When the villain was revealed, I was just “Oh, okay,” and I moved on. There was no thundering of the gods while I kicked myself for not figuring it out sooner. In retrospect, I think I suspected who the villain was less than half way through the book.
One thing that frustrated me (but in a good way) was a certain level of ineptness from the protagonist, but like the lovable misfit, Stephanie, from the Plum series by Janet Evanovich, or Mel Parker by Jennifer Gilby Roberts, Camilla just works.
Wake was a fun read, and anyone who likes Evanovich or Gilby-Roberts will definitely like it.
Maia Sepp is an author of quirky contemporary and dystopian fiction. She left the tech sector to write books about sock thievery, migraines, the future, and…the tech sector. Her latest, “Wake,” is the prequel to the End Times Series and is a story about climate change, unruly appliances, and finding somewhere to belong. It will be available spring 2015. “The Sock Wars, an Amazon top-100 digital bestseller, is her first book. Maia’s second novel is “The Migraine Mafia,” a story about a nerdy thirtysomething’s quest to come to terms with a chronic illness. Her third book, “An Etiquette Guide to the End Times,” is a humorous near-future dystopian novella.