Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
Pages: 240

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: January 1st, 2011
IBSN: 978140224369

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. 

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

The Water Wars is a dystopia set in a futuristic world where water has almost run out. What little clean water there is left is fought over, stolen, and sold. If you can afford clean water, you're stuck with contaminated, desalinated ocean water. What makes The Water Wars so initially compelling is that the future it describes isn't unrealistic at all. It's completely possible with the way we're going. Reading it has made me nervous about how much water I use.

That said, I picked this book up because of its premise, and it was the premise that kept me reading.

I couldn't really connect with the main characters, Vera and Will. I didn't find myself caring for them. I felt like they didn't know Kai all that well to go off and save him because of their friendship. It felt more like they were trying to find him for selfish reasons. Also, their teaming up with Ulysses and Sula struck me as odd - in a world where water is power, why would they want help them and then share that power?

The plot was tense, though, which I liked. On their quest to rescue Kai, Vera and Will are confronted by water pirates and water-hoarding organisations. Their cruelty adds more depth to the premise.

Overall, though, The Water Wars was a fast, thought-provoking read. 
I give it a 3 out of 5.