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.
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Review Copy: Hardcover, 240 pages
When I seen the cover of this book I was pulled to it and once I read the premise I was positive that this would satisfy my need for a book of this nature. There is also the fact that The Hunger Games was mention on the front, though I haven't read it yet I know that many of the bloggers I admire have enjoyed it. Thing is what I have heard of The Hunger Games and from watching the movie, this wasn't even comparative. Not that I didn't enjoy it but I didn't understand the comparison. The Water Wars was its own brand of terrifying and despite the fact I couldn't find any similarities, they are both worlds I would prefer not to live in.
There is no doubt Stracher created a world that can almost make you feel parched reading it, all while you grab a glass of what has be one so precious. The world isn't dry but the polar caps have melted away and whatever fresh water there is, is under strict regulation. Can you imagine living every day of your life mostly on synthetic foods and water that tasted like chemical because it was water from the ocean that the government had filtered. The water from your tap and shower can make you sick and your rations are barely enough for you and the ones you love. Each page is basically a fight for survival and how do you survive when the land is barren and every step you take just depletes you more. This read painted a clear picture of what could be and the horror we would have to endure.
My biggest problem lay with my inability to connect with the characters. They were decently written(Will more than Vera) but I just couldn't connect with them. Maybe there was a lack of depth with them? Vera was the main character and even with her determination and leave no man behind attitude, there was a piece of me that believes she was only strong when someone else was there to support her. I couldn't really understand the devotion that these two had for Kai, not saying I wouldn't want to help someone I knew but this was a person they barely knew. Maybe that makes me less of a person than Vera but leaving everyone I knew and loved without a reason or explain. Will was better and seemed to think things through a bit more but there wasn't really enough of him to save the day.
The character I really loved was Ulysses. He is what is called a Pirate, a Water Pirate. There's kind of two different visions of the Pirate: what everyone is taught in school and what they really are. They aren't Robin Hood's taking from the rich and giving to the poor but they are against the way the government handles the water and the people. Ulysses is like a leader/king but he doesn't look at it that way, he sees it as people are free to come or go but they choose to follow him. He is an all around good guy that just does what he has to do to survive. I wish that he had been a larger part of this book.
Though really well written I just couldn't love this one. There was so much potential with this world and because of the characters it just all fell flat for me. I still had no problem reading it because there was constantly something happening but that doesn't mean that it was developed to get there. Sometimes I felt there was no build and that it just jumped from one point to the next. If you want something that is written well and aren't worried about the flow this is your book.
Long ago it had been one of the least expensive places to live, but after the transportation system broke down, it was one of the few places where food and water were still available. As the other suburbs collapsed, the Rails survived and even thrived.
There were five hardware stores but no drugstore; three gun stores but no bank. The signs of older times could still be on the facades of sealed buildings; Gap, Starbucks, Abercrombie & Fitch--merchants that sold things people didn't necessarily need but always wanted.
Our father believed in Heaven, but I thought it was a place that shakers pretended existed--without it there would be too many other questions. Ulysses, however, seemed confident he would see his wife and daughter again. And maybe, I thought, the belief was all that mattered.
On the ground I had never thought much about the earth, but from the sky it was all I could see. We could have been on Mercury or the moon, some barren place that creatures had once inhabited but now were long gone.