Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Water Wars by Cameron Starcher

Water Wars Published: Jan, 1st 2011
 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
 Number of Pages: 240  
 Rating: 3/5

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.

"Let us pray that the world which Cameron Stracher has invented in The Water Wars is testament solely to his pure, wild, and brilliant imagination, and not his ability to see the future. I was parched just reading it."-Laurie David, academy award winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth, and author of The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming

Man. I really wanted to like this one. It’s dystopian, first of all, and it’s not too much a stretch of the imagination to picture our future being like this. And for the first few chapters all was still well. The world-building is solidly vivid—I could clearly visualize the parched, struggling land that Vera lives in when I closed my eyes—and the characters, while not standouts, were at least not irritating. Vera’s not a particularly convincing narrator, but I was willing to overlook narratorial blandness in favor of the attention-holding world-building.

But when Vera and Will set off to rescue Kai is when the book completely lost my interest and sympathies. THE WATER WARS seems like an overly ambitious melding of too many genres—dystopian, Western, action. One minute they’re plodding along in a lonely, lonely world where it feels like they’re the only people around; the next, they’ve been captured by water pirates? And the next, a big explosion (quite literally) sweeps them away…but right into the hands of other evil dudes?? I’m sorry, but that’s where I stopped reading. (not really) I like the premise well enough, but it turns out that Stracher never fully convinces me to invest in these characters’ outcomes, which was apparent after they began encountering extravagant deus ex machinas.

Overall it was an okay book but I would check it out from the library before I bought it