Wakely deftly articulates character and feeling through action, and uses tension to keep readers engaged, all while even incorporating some actual hard science, as per the author’s background in astronomy. Some nuance is lacking: Marlowe is written as a moral center and contrasts Dorning’s purely utilitarian worldview, but, while Marlowe is conflicted, he is complicit in the continued hijacking of a child’s body, and this complicity doesn’t get explored in depth. Such potentially rich character material might have given this thoughtful thriller more bite.
Still, this meditation about the value of a life is clear as are the characters that embody it. Dorning believes that achievement makes for a worthy life, while Marlowe recognizes that there’s more to life than just work–and that Miguel is an innocent caught up in all this. Couple this with an easy and readable writing style, and this is a succinct narrative that hits most of the elements of a compelling morality play.
Takeaway: This short, accessible science-fiction morality play compellingly considers the value of a life.
Great for fans of: Charles Soule’s Anyone: A Novel, Robert J. Sawyer’s Mindscan.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-
From the review:
This novel is well-designed, fast paced, and does a great job keeping readers interested but not overwhelmed by the movement throughout the story line. Even more, the plot is layered with twists and riddles that will keep the readers guessing all the way through the end. Wakely does a good job using the characters and situations to study the human condition. As they work their way through the story, readers must face their own self-examinations and internal doubts, staring down the darker parts of human nature. It also provides a great fictional exploration of the moral dilemmas of science and knowledge...One of An Audience for Einstein's strong points is the well-developed and dynamic characters. It is easy to get attached to the professor and the young boy, dragging readers' emotions along with theirs. While this may be a book geared more towards boys with its predominate male characters, it is one that both genders should give a chance.
An Audience for Einstein is a Scholastic.com five-star Reading Counts! Recommendation.
An Audience for Einstein is among the top nine young adult science fiction novels of all time according to The Huffington Post. This article was for the original edition published by Mundania Press. The latest edition was published by Canoe Tree Press, a division of DartFrog Books.