Thursday, August 19, 2010

Book Review: The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

Vera lives with her family in the Republic of Illinowa – what’s left of the Midwestern US in a future where the politics of water determine whether you have enough water to thrive…or not. Vera’s family is just getting by. And then she meets Kai, a boy who seems to have a limitless supply of water. When Kai is kidnapped, Vera convinces her brother Will that they need to rescue him, and the two set off on the adventure of their lives.

This one really works because of the atmosphere and world building. I really believed in this dried out land and in these dried out people, with their thick tongues, flaky skin and willingness to do anything just to get a drink. And I am a fan of anything that frames the complexities of geo-politics in an exciting way. Stracher is able to weave a convincing portrait of how people would adapt to a world where water is the most precious resource around.

I’ll admit, though, it’s not my favorite type of plot. Vera and Will’s path is more often determined for them than not, like they are being swept away by a raging river and can only hang for dear life. The teens are bounced from one dangerous situation to the next with little breathing room or time for reflection.

Ultimately, I really liked it though. Vera is sympathetic and smart and there are a host of colorful supporting characters, like the water pirate Ulysses and the harpoon wielding vigilante Sula, who are really fun to spend time with. I also liked that it ended on a high note after quite a cool final showdown.

My rating? 3 Zombie Chickens – Well-worth reading, especially for adventure fans.

This one doesn't come out until January 1, 2011 but come back later today for an interview with the author and a giveaway.

See index of all dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore


Ladytink_534 said...

There was a movie like this back in the 80's I think. It's still a really interesting premise though and I love that cover!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Ladytink - Tank Girl right? I'm thinking it hadn't rained in over 10 years or something like that. It's from 1995.

bermudaonion said...

I got this book at BEA and look forward to reading it. I think this dystopia would work for me because the premise seems so plausible.

Zibilee said...

I love good world building and that plus the premise of this book make me think I'd like to read it. I also love the cover, but it's too bad I will have to wait until January!!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Kathy - I think you'd like it too!

Heather - You don't have to wait if you enter the giveaway!

Alex Bennett from Electrifying Reviews said...

This one looks great!

Unknown said...

I think I'll give it a go. I'm not all that keen on books where the characters are sort of travelling from one place to another but I like the concept of the world overall. Great review.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I'm not sure what I think of the political undercurrents but the story sounds good and I love the cover. Excellent review!

And of course, I too (like Ladytink) thought of Water World :)

Tammy said...

Love the cover of this one-absolutely eye catching. I think I'll borrow it from Inter Library Loan at my library rather than buy it though for 3 chicken rating. I was wondering if movie ladytink was thinking of was Waterworld with Kevin Costner?