Acquisition: received ARC for review
Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved.
She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood.
So she stays.
But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known? (from Goodreads)
Drought was a disappointing read for me. I never gave up, hoping the next chapter would give me the answers I sought. And while, I have to say, the writing was very well done, I just couldn't connect to the story and the ending was very unsatisfying.
So many questions and zero answers. I'm pretty sure this was by design but it really didn’t work for me. The premise is unbelievable in it's scope. This, was pretty awesome. BUT the actions of the characters? I didn't buy. The Congregation basically lets themselves become slaves, and stay slaves for 200 years. I could not see any reason for this. Darwin West enslaved them but they could have fought him. In they could have killed him and still lived however they wanted. Their actions were a bit infuriating at times.
Also, I really didn't like Ruby. She's 200 years old but lets her mother treat her like a child and worse. By the end of the book, I wasn't really rooting for anyone. Not Ruby, certainly not her mother and as for the rest of the Congregation? I think 200 years worth of chances is more then enough.
There were also some heavy religious overtones that I wasn't able to quite fit into the story. The mysterious Otto gave them all his blood so that they may live forever. But he leaves them and most of them don't know it was really his blood sustaining them. Yet they wait for his return. They pray to him. Some of them even seem oblivious to the fact that before 1812, they most likely were worshipping a different God. It just didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Again, maybe I was suppose to be confused? Or maybe I missed a big piece of the picture?
The romance….very not my style. I usually only run into this when it comes to vampires - the 200 year old vamp failing in love with the 16 year old girl (ew). But in this case we have the 200 year old….whatever it is that Ruby is, falling in love with the 17 year old boy. I know the Congregation ages slowly but I made the assumption that it was in body only. It was one of the reasons I got so mad at Ruby for letting her mother baby her so much. She's 200 years old! So yeah, I wasn't grooving on the Rudy / Ford connection.
And then there was the ending. Not going to give anything away but yeah, it made me throw the book (just a little) and yell (a little more).
Again, have to say, the writing was awesome and although I didn't connect with the characters and I didn't particular like the total lack of information I'm desperately hoping Drought is the first in a series. I usually don't wish for this, seeing as just about every YA book that comes out these days is a series. BUT ! I want answers!
A very frustrating read for me but I'm glad I read it. It's kind of been sticking with me...like I can't stop thinking about it…
Not sure I would leap to recommend this one to all readers out there but I urge you to seek out other reviews before making a decision.
3 / 5 Stars