I’m just going to get it out of the way up front. I’m not a big fan of The Wake by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy. It’s not terrible by any means, but I just struggled with the storyline and the art didn’t excite me that much. I’m sure it’s just a failing on my part as a reader, and you should check it out for yourself.
The Wake fits neatly into the cli-fi category (climate fiction). A shady government character brings together a team consisting of an expert on whale songs, an expert in mythology and folklore, and an expert hunter of all things of the ocean, whether legal or illegal, to investigate something that has been making mysterious noises in the ocean and has peaked the attention of U.S. Homeland Security. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but the plot moves quickly.
The team ends up trapped in a deep-sea base trying to escape the thing. Growing up with Alien and other movies where the protagonist is running from a monster in some weird industrial setting just made this section of the series seem stale to me. The good news is the second part of the series is better, in my opinion.
Fast forward to after the apocalyptic climate event. We have a new protagonist, a descendant of the expert on whale songs. She’s investigating mysterious messages being broadcast from somewhere far away. She’s convinced they hold the key to saving the world, but the government in the new waterland-ish world doesn’t necessarily want anyone to figure it out. This part of the series seemed fresher to me; however, there’s a lot fanciful semi-evolutionary, semi-spiritual hypothesizing about human origins and why events have happened. Some of it just seemed half-baked to me. Several times I wasn’t quite sure what was going on or what it meant to the story as a whole. I’m a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, so I enjoyed that aspect of the book, but as a whole I was disappointed. Check it out and see what you think.