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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book Review: The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

***2011 Debut Author***

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 2011
Pages: 240
Series: no
Acquisition: received  a copy for review

Summary:
Welcome to a future where water is more precious than gold or oil-and worth killing for
Vera and her brother, Will, live in the shadow of the Great Panic, in a country that has collapsed from environmental catastrophe. Water is hoarded by governments, rivers are dammed, and clouds are sucked from the sky. But then Vera befriends Kai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water. When Kai suddenly disappears, Vera and Will set off on a dangerous journey in search of him-pursued by pirates, a paramilitary group, and greedy corporations. Timely and eerily familiar, acclaimed author Cameron Stracher makes a stunning YA debut that's impossible to forget. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Not really sure how I feel  about this one. I can't say that I really liked it but I didn't think it was a horrible book. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be 'unrealistic'. Well, duh, you might be saying. It's a dystopian novel, isn't there suppose to be some level of implausibility? Maybe, but with Water Wars, it wasn't the dystopian aspects that I took issue with.

Take away the fact that humans have abused the planet to such an extent that there is almost no fresh drinking water left. There were wars and there are new countries and territories and everything just plain sucks for just about everyone. But then we have Vera. She starts telling us a story - a story of how things were before. But her story? Doesn't make any sense at all to me. Her and her brother Will meet a kid and then he disappears and they figure out where he is - only they don't - they just go wondering around and then they just happen to be kidnapped, only they weren't because their kidnappers are nice and without really spending any time together, they form some type of bond with their leader. And then, they just happen to find themselves in the middle of an attack, and they are kidnapped again but these guys really are bad guys.

It continues this way for the entire book. They get hurt, they find people, they lose people, they just happen to run into the only people who could possibly help them at exactly the right moments. They travel  1000 of miles in a few days, following nothing, finding everything and make it back home for dinner - and oh yeah - they save the world too.

I didn't buy it. I wanted to. I wanted to believe Vera and Will's story but it just didn't add up to much of anything. They were too lucky, and they really didn’t do anything but in the end all is well. I was confused.

Final verdict:
I liked the premise. I liked the dystopian feel . I liked the fact that the people where dying for water. It's plausible. We are abusing the earth. We are wasting what we should be preserving. But, if we were ever to actually find our selves in the situations Vera and Will did? Our story should not play out as theirs did. I know I keep saying this but it just didn’t make sense to me. Maybe I just didn't get it.

I urge you to give it a go for yourselves. The flaws I found are really just my opinions. Where I see unrealistic situations, you might see exciting adventures. Where I struggling to make a connection to Vera, Will or any of the other characters I felt were just throw into the mix without real cohesion, you might see a spirited group of strong individuals, fighting together for what they believe in.

If you do, I would love to hear about it.

I'm filing Water Wars in the, not for me but I can see how others might love it, file. (What, you don't have one of those? :)

Overall Rating:
2.5 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Sourcebooks
Goodreads

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!!! Based on the reviews I've read, some were shaky and others quite enjoyed it. I will read this one since everyone's all over the place, just so I can form my own opinions about it. Maybe I can find the characters' story more believable than you did? We'll see.

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  2. I agree, almost completely. A poor execution of a great idea. I actually thought that a future where we've destroyed all the fresh water was the most believable part of the book. Not awful, but not great either. I think the author is writing a sequel though. Not sure how I feel about that. :/

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