Title: The Water Wars
Author: Cameron Stracher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Source: From Publisher
Hundreds of millions of people have already died, and millions more will soon fall. The rivers have dried up, the polar caps have melted, and drinkable water is now in the hands of the powerful few. There are fines for wasting it and prison sentences for exceeding the quotas.But Kai didn't seem to care about any of this. He stood in the open road drinking water from a plastic cup, then spilled the remaining drops into the dirt. He didn't go to school, and he traveled with armed guards. Kai claimed he knew a secret--something the government was keeping from us...And then he was gone. Vanished in the middle of the night. Was he kidnapped? Did he flee? Is he even still alive? There are no clues, only questions. And no one can guess the lengths to which they will go to keep him silent. We have to find him--and the truth--before it's too late for us all.
When I was offered this book for review, I vaguely remembered hearing people talk out it at the beginning of the year when it first came out, but that was about all I knew about it. At any rate, the premise sounded really interesting and to an extent, like it could easily become a reality in the not too distant future. In the end, it turned out to be quite the interesting read.
All her life, Bera has been told not to waste any drops of water. If she did and got caught, she even risked punishment by the authorities. But then one day she sees Kai emptying a cup of water on a deserted road. Vera quickly becomes obsessed with finding out more about Kai, the mysterious boy who wasted water an has a body guard following him. As the two get to know each other and grow closer, Vera is intrigued by the lost river Kai keeps talking about, even though everyone knows that all the rivers dried up years ago. Just when Vera begins to understand how Kai knows the things he does about water, he and his father disappear. Vera feels it's up to her to rescue Kai. With the help of her brother Will and the friends they meet along the way, Vera sets off on an incredible journey to save the boy she just met, risking her own life in the process.
If you want action, The Water Wars is definitely the book to read. While I found it a little slow to start, once the action began it didn't stop until the very last page. The world without water that Cameron Stracher created here felt incredibly real, mainly because in today's world it could be a reality in the not too distant future. I really enjoyed finding out more about this world and the way the different republics, states and empires worked with and against each other. This re-imagination of the world as we know it was definitely an interesting and new one.
At first, I was frustrated because it took me quite come time to find out information about Vera. But then I realized that I actually knew more about her than I thought, just from the way she told the story. And then I found myself liking her more and more, especially when I saw the lengths she was willing to go to in order to help and protect those she cared about. The rest of the characters were all very interesting, there was definitely somebody for everyone. From pirates to eco-terrorists, there was everyone and then some in between those two. All that to say that the very varied cast of characters definitely played an important part in keeping me interested in the story.
Overall, The Water Wars was a very enjoyable read, one that even hit close to home with everything happening with climate change. I will definitely keep an eye out for more books by Cameron Stracher in the future.