Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

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. 
Dystopian novels are becoming more and more popular in teen and children’s fiction–so now it’s time to get picky. I haven’t read a lot books from the genre (yet) but I already can say The Water Wars is a good dystopian novel to start with. Fast-paced, suspenseful and nicely developed, The Water Wars is the tale of a group of teens who are at odds with a waterless world and a controlling monopoly who possess a carefully guarded secret...and a terrifying plan.
Though the idea of a drought-ridden planet is not entirely “new”, I felt as if Stracher composed it as a fresh idea by slowly introducing the environment, characters and their way of life. I also liked how he introduced our main character’s voice, which reminded me a lot of Guy Montag in Fahrenheit 451; Vera constantly struggled (and often denied) the fact that perhaps the powerful authorities who promised to keep the people of the broken up territories safe, had entirely different agenda. Throughout the book there is a very strong sense of political views (much like Fahrenheit 451 or 1985, etc.) which plays a major role in the entire plot. I can see how some readers will be in a sense “turned-off” by this or will enjoy it all the better–as for myself, I think it made the book all the more worthwhile. What good is a dystopian novel if there’s isn’t some kind of friction with naturalistic changes and/or humanity?

The semi-objective first person narrative made the story even more intriguing–the details were epic, Vera’s world made me thirstier with every page. Stracher managed to keep me guessing through most the book and kept the turn of events rolling quite nicely. Towards the end it got a little predictable but it was a great finish. I would definitely read more by Stracher and perhaps more books from the dystopian genre too.

Recommendation: Teens and tweens who enjoy dystopian or who want to try something new–ages 12+
Content: Some sensuality (PG)

Buy or Borrow? Hard to say really, as much as liked reading The Water Wars, dystopian is not for everybody...perhaps try before you buy?

Cover Talk: The cover is awesome! Loved the way it came out. When I first saw it on Sourcebook's Teen Fire site I knew I had to vote on it for the final cover.

|Pages: 240|Release Date: January 2011|Publisher: Scourcebooks Fire|
|Genre: Dystopian, adventure, suspense/thriller|
|Content Rating: 5/5|Cover: 5/5|Overall: 4/5|

Review is copyright© by Books and Literature for Teens.


Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

I have not read this yet, but I do enjoy a good dystopian

Maya said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this book, thanks for the great review!!

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