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Faith Awakened Paperback – October 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.com; 1st edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430311118
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430311119
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,188,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In FAITH AWAKENED, Grace Bridges has painted a frightening and thoughtful vision of the future. Christianity and science fiction meet and mesh in this original tale that had me speed reading...to discover if faith is rewarded. --Jeremy Robinson, bestselling author of THE DIDYMUS CONTINGENCY and ANTARKTOS RISING.

Just how badly would we wreck things if global society is governed as though humans were the highest power? Can technology apprehend the Divine? Bridges is a literary artist, who paints her dystopian future setting with a vibrant narrative-style brush. FAITH AWAKENED is a Biblical Sci-Fi classic, and I look forward to viewing more of Grace Bridges' futuristic works in my mind's eye. --Frank Creed, author of FLASHPOINT

FAITH AWAKENED is unlike any other book I have ever read.... an intricately woven, well-written tale. Almost without realizing it, the reader is helplessly entangled in the undercurrents of the story...An excellent, touching, and spiritually enlightening read. Your own faith will be awakened as you share the experiences of Bridges' well-defined characters, and you will remember their story for years to come. --Delia Latham, author of ALMOST LIKE A SONG and GOLDENEYES

Even a month after having read FAITH AWAKENED, I still find myself pondering the story. Grace has written a wonderful, unique story and I recommend it to any Christian reader who's looking for something out of the ordinary. --Karina Fabian, author of MAGIC, MENSA & MAYHEM, Editor of LEAPS OF FAITH and INFINITE SPACE, INFINITE GOD --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

She's a Kiwi of Irish descent living in beautiful New Zealand, and a chocaholic cat-lovin' Trekkie, Jesus freak, repeat globetrotter, hack web designer, and all-round DIY gal who also takes care of the Lost Genre Guild blog.Twitter @gracebridges!

Reviews:

Even a month after having read FAITH AWAKENED, I still find myself pondering the story. Grace has written a wonderful, unique story and I recommend it to any Christian reader who's looking for something out of the ordinary. ~Karina Fabian, author of MAGIC, MENSA & MAYHEM, Editor of LEAPS OF FAITH and INFINITE SPACE, INFINITE GOD

FAITH AWAKENED is unlike any other book I have ever read.... an intricately woven, well-written tale. Almost without realizing it, the reader is helplessly entangled in the undercurrents of the story...An excellent, touching, and spiritually enlightening read. Your own faith will be awakened as you share the experiences of Bridges' well-defined characters, and you will remember their story for years to come. ~Delia Latham, author of ALMOST LIKE A SONG and GOLDENEYES

In FAITH AWAKENED, Grace Bridges has painted a frightening and thoughtful vision of the future. Christianity and science fiction meet and mesh in this original tale that had me speed reading...to discover if faith is rewarded. ~Jeremy Robinson, bestselling author of THE DIDYMUS CONTINGENCY and ANTARKTOS RISING.

Just how badly would we wreck things if global society is governed as though humans were the highest power? Can technology apprehend the Divine? Bridges is a literary artist, who paints her dystopian future setting with a vibrant narrative-style brush. FAITH AWAKENED is a Biblical Sci-Fi classic, and I look forward to viewing more of Grace Bridges' futuristic works in my mind's eye. ~Frank Creed, author of FLASHPOINT

Excerpt:

Red sky at night, shepherd's delight. I tore my eyes away from the deep vermilion sunset blazing through the high windows.

What does it matter? We won't be here to enjoy the day tomorrow. A thrill of joy coursed through me at the thought, but there was no time to be glad just at present. This is it!

"Get a move on! No dallying!" My voice sounded sharper than I meant.

The factory hall was lit painfully with neon tubes, and there was a rushing of feet as my companions hurried to enter their sanitised cabins. In a haze born of anxiety and haste, I helped one or two into their tactile suits and prepared the narrow but sharp and bone-puncturing connectors. I worked as carefully as I could under the pressure, and as far as I could tell, everything was in order.

Moving from cabin to cabin, I activated each one. Xu was first. She smiled at me nervously from the bench, and I patted her shoulder. I pulled the headgear over her face, positioned the sensor at the hairline, and pulled the piston arm into place above it. "Climb that mountain, girl!" She flinched as the machinery forced the sensor into her skull, then I flicked the switch, shut the door and moved on.

Anna already had her facial sensors on, and couldn't speak. But she could still hear me. I bent down to whisper. "It's in the hands of our Awakener now." She nodded, lay back and waited for the needle-sharp probe. A cry of pain, muffled by the sensors in her mouth, shot daggers to my heart. I activated her cabin. She won't feel any more pain now. Noah had his suit on, but was fumbling with the zip, so I helped him get it all the way up, then adjusted his headgear. I guided him to lie down on the bench, then in one fluid movement I positioned the insert and activated the piston. The probe shot into his brain. I pressed the switch, ignoring his surprised gasp.

"Three down, three to go," I muttered, exiting his cabin. This feels so strange! Like a dream... but no, I must get on top of my feelings to finish this. Do not drown in the strangeness.

Toni sat on the bench in the next cabin, hope and fear fighting across her features. I took her in my arms, pressing my cheek to hers for a moment. A sob escaped her, and she whispered my name. "Mariah!"

I grabbed her shoulders to look her in the face. "Don't be afraid!" I hugged her one last time. "I'll see you on the inside. Now lie down here." I held the sensor at the right position, then the piston's short but violent movement inserted it through the layer of bone. I felt her body go rigid with fright, and she began to moan. Quickly I switched on the system, stepped out, and shut the cabin door with shaking hands.

Passing the empty booth that would be my own place of rest, I came to the last one. My heart hammered even harder as I saw that Peter already lay prepared on the bench, headgear and all. I loved him, but we had already said our goodbyes, and we would surely meet again somewhere in another life. He jerked a little as I inserted the probe, but he made no sound, and I laid my hand on his rubber-encased shoulder before reaching over to the switch on the wall. He gasped as the coolants began to reduce his body temperature. Soon he would be gone, and I knew I had better get a move on as well.

Now came the hardest part: activating my own booth. With a last glance upwards at the glorious redness of the sky outside the window, I entered the cabin and shut the door, making sure it was sealed properly. Pulling off my white dress with a pang of hope deferred, I stepped into the tactile suit, zipped it up, and lay down on the narrow bench.

The wiring and tubing seemed to be in order, so I reached for the headpiece, placing it over eyes, ears, nose and mouth. I breathed once through the tube and took up the brain probe in rubber-clad fingers.

My heart began to beat wildly. This was not going to be easy--inserting the needle by touch, when my hands were inside the thick rubber suit.

But hesitation might kill me.

My fingers found the spot where the wound from my test run had not healed over yet. Guided by the old pain, I held the insert between my head and the piston. I clamped my teeth together and released the trigger.

Pain exploded in my brain and threatened to rob my consciousness, but I reached out my hand and groped until I found the switch on the wall. Soon I would be gone, too--I would escape this dark world to live my life in Paradise. In truth, that is what I believed. I flicked the activator to "on".

The temperature began to drop then, and I remembered the fear that accompanied a departure from real life. Colder--colder--I was about to black out, but something didn't feel right.

The probe! It felt awkward somehow, and my skull throbbed. Is it in straight? Is the scar tissue getting in the way?

But now there was no time left.

Before I could take another breath, gentle birdsong began to come to my ears. The probe functioned after all.

The jabbing pain in my head disappeared as the cold swept over my body, and I floated away contentedly in a sea of blackness to a better world. The world of Faith. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


More About the Author

Grace Bridges is the current president of writers' association SpecFicNZ and runs a small publishing house called Splashdown Books, which includes the Avenir Eclectia shared world project and the Waitemata Books imprint for mainly Kiwi titles. In addition to this, she has multiple short stories in international anthologies and is working on two science fiction novels under contract to Port Yonder Press in the USA, due to release in 2014 and tentatively titled A Guildswoman's Dream and A Guildswoman's Journey. She writes from a hilltop in Auckland, translates German for a living, travels as often as she can, and always wants more pets than she has. Grace is a New Zealander of Irish descent and a multilingual do-it-yourself force to be reckoned with. Often found staring into trees in search of a tui, she is a mystic wordnerd, urbanite hermit, and a writer of futuristic dreams that mess with your mind. Find more at www.splashdownbooks.com.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
Really, she does a masterful job of describing people and ideas as well as scenes.
Catherine Hassan
It is one of the better works of modern fiction I've read in a long time and I believe it should become a great science fiction classic.
Carol V.
The worst of these is a deadly virus which leaves very few survivors in the world.
Kiwi Bru

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By amy575 on June 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mariah lives in a dystopic world where a few overseers
run the planet and supply food, shelter, and weekends
off to the populace. Mariah longs for more, and finds
it when she is invited to a mysterious meeting to
worship the Awakener -- God.

A genetically engineered virus wipes out almost
everyone in her city -- her country -- her world. With
her friend Peter, also a follower of the Awakener, she
finds a few survivors. They eke out a simple yet not
unpleasant existence.

But then the virus reappears, and the survivors are no
longer immune. Mariah comes up with a desperate plan
to put all of them in suspended animation, dreaming in
a simulated world, where they might meet and live a
different life, again ...

Especially Mariah, now Faith, with her love Peter.

Grace Bridges' style is lyrical and graceful, and she
describes disturbing images intermingled with beauty.
Almost a fable, this story will remain with you long
after you read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A.P. Fuchs, author of The Axiom-man Saga on November 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you had the chance to start over, would you take it? If you could program your entire life in a better world, would you do it? These questions are asked (and answered) in Faith Awakened, the new novel by Grace Bridges.

Enter Mariah, trapped in a life--and a world--filled with trouble. And not just any "trouble," but the Trouble, a series of events that has left the world near void of human life save for a small band of survivors. Struggling to put the pieces of a broken life back together is no easy challenge, but thanks to the company of a few close friends and the guidance of an ever-present Awakener, Mariah seems to pull through. That is, until, something even worse happens and she is left with no choice but retreat into a virtual reality program for several decades until it passes. Once inside, and without memory of her previous life, Mariah must discover what it truly means to live, to find purpose in life, and how to truly be awakened.

It's hard to imagine this is Bridge's first book. The way Faith Awakened is written makes you think she's been at this for a long time. The prose is detailed yet smooth, firm in approach yet comforting, well-articulated yet easy to read.

I've always been a fan of end-of-the-world type of stories and while reading this book I was often reminded of Stephen King's The Stand, where a super virus has taken out most of mankind. Bridges captures the loneliness of an empty world, one filled with dead streets and empty houses, with only pockets of life (human or otherwise) scattered here or there. She truly makes you feel for these characters and care about their every move.

Told as a dual narrative (one following Mariah and the other a girl named Faith), Bridges seamlessly blends two storylines with ease, ones where I wish they had gone on once each were finished. There are rumors she might start up a sequel.

This reviewer is hoping for it.

Recommended.

A.P. Fuchs
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Hassan on November 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Chapter 1, the reader is introduced to Faith as a child. It appears that her life is idyllic, Faith Awakened is the tale of two women, both Irish, living in two very different worlds. Both begin their lives in Belfast or nearby Bangor. They both love the beach and the sea, and they are both Believers. Beyond that, their lives take far different turns, as do the circumstances in which they live. The narrative, all told in first person but from two different perspectives, spends a few chapters with Mariah, and then switches to Faith. Any person who has read a few novels knows that there must be a point where the two them intersect in some way, but the question is how and when. The answer comes as a surprise.

The story seems to start in the middle or near the end, as Mariah is obviously in a frantic race with time in a bleak future world. Hurriedly she is rounding up a group of people, putting them into cubicles and hooking them up to something that is painful for a moment. We know their lives are at stake. But why? Are they going into stasis or committing suicide, planning to meet "in Paradise on the other side?" This is the brief introduction.

yet something is constantly nagging at her. The nagging feeling is one of the things that kept me looking for some problem to show up eventually in her life. When the story switches back to Mariah, it goes to a time a while before the introduction, when she is a slave to the One World system that is running everything and every one. Basically, in order to get food, the people of the world had to agree to the terms of the powerful leaders, which virtually meant enslavement. One day, a mysterious stranger invites Mariah to a secret meeting of the followers of the Awakener, and her life changes completely.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Delia Latham on November 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Faith Awakened is unlike any other book I have ever read.

Mariah is an Irish slave, living in a time referred to as the "Trouble." Greed and wickedness in high places has done away with freedom, both religious and natural. Only a few people cling to biblical principles and to God - whom they refer to as the Awakener, and Whom they serve in secret. They call themselves the Awakened. Governmental attempts to control the slaves ultimately destroy much more. Mariah and a handful of other slaves must find a way to survive after this devastation.

Faith enjoys all the privileges of freedom. From an early age, she suffers occasional bouts of temporary memory loss, frightening episodes which she learns to deal with and go on. Always, she seeks a special relationship with God. Not finding it, she fills her life with friends and other interests. Faith bounces from place to place, from interest to interest, eventually finding a few close friends and a satisfying experience with her Creator.

Two women who exist in different worlds. They lead completely adverse lives and, for the most part, have widely diverse interests. Yet they are deeply connected in a way that will shock not only the reader, but the two girls as well.

Faith Awakened is an intricately woven, well-written tale. Almost without realizing it, the reader is helplessly entangled in the undercurrents of the story, compelled to discover the link between Faith and Mariah. Once it is discovered, there remains the anticipation of the girls themselves discovering their connection, and wondering how and when it will happen. The next page? The next chapter? So the pages continue to turn, and the reader continues to be drawn in.

An excellent, touching, and spiritually enlightening read. Your own faith will be awakened as you share the experiences of Bridges' well-defined characters, and you will remember their story for years to come.
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