Monday, December 5, 2011

The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
Pages:  240
Release Date:  January 1st, 2011
Date Read:  2011, November 15th-16th
Received:  Giving away

Rating:  3/5 stars

Recommended to:  12+
Barnes and Noble

Summary -
Vera lives in a decripit world in the near future, a world so caked and dry that there is almost no fresh water.  What water is left is usually full of dirt and chemicals - which has caused many to become sick and die - and is regulated by the government to make sure everyone gets a fair shair.

But Kai changes things.  He is wealthy and water comes easy in his household.  He and Vera become close, even with Kai's secrets and Vera's doubts.  When Kai goes missing, Vera and her brother, WIll, leave home in search of him, certain he has been kidnapped.  And what about that river Kai always talked about?  Could it have enough water to build back the earth?  The whole world is about to change - and they must face it - no matter the cost.

My thoughts -
When I see a book has an average of 3 stars as a rating, I usually don't waste time reading it.  If virtually everyone thought of it as "just okay", why bother?  There are tons of great books out there, just waiting for me to read them.

But apparently The Water Wars just wouldn't get out of my head.  Every time I saw it, I was in awe of the cover, and what might possibly lay inside.  Soon, the temptation became too much.  I picked it up at B&N a few weeks ago, and found myself totally engrossed by the first few chapters.  I bought it then and there, delving further into the story as soon as I could.

At first I was shocked - how did this get only 3 stars average?!  It deserves at least 4!  The imagery was perfect, the story/writing/characters beautiful...
But sometimes beginnings are the author's strong point, as the case with Stracher.  The middle?  Notsomuch.  Sure, I enjoyed it, but there were flaws, flaws I couldn't ignore.  In the end, I was glad I had read it, but I wished it would have been more.

Character notes -
For the most part, these were great characters.  Kai is the light, the hope of this story.  I loved him instantly (third paragraph down, first page).  He was actually what convinced me to buy the book; I wanted to know more.  He's a character who makes you cock your head and think.  I love that.

Will and Ulysses were less thought-provoking but still developed well.  However, even then, some of the things Ulysses did were out of character and made me go, "Huh?"  Will was completely consistent throughout.

Vera herself was...well, I hate to say it, but very childish.  Her voice reminded me of that of Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird, which is not in itself a very bad thing...  Scout, however, is 8-years-old, and Vera is supposed to be 15.  I liked her but was unable to picture her well or keep a consistent personality image.  In the end she became something more, but by then the story was over.

Story notes -
You know those stories that are good and interesting and intense, but you feel like everything is just a tad bit too easy?  This was one of those.  "Oh, we need to get back onto that island, but we can't swim or fly...we need a boat!"  (Insert arguing.)  "Oh- wait!  There's a boat!"  It seemed...pointless.

So all-in-all the story had a great beginning, a flat middle, and a good end.  And as you see, my problem with The Water Wars is not with the tagline - "Would you be willing to risk everything for someone you just met?"  I feel like that tagline greatly misleads.  Kai and Vera know each other for 2 months before he disappears.  Even better -they see each other  almost every day.  I'd say she has every right to go after him!

Everything else was great, but I, the big-book reader, wanted more meat - description, dialogue, more action, you name it.  But, oh well.  I liked it for what it was; I was thankful it wasn't all grossly "Global warming!  Save the planet!" preachy; I was satisfied in the end.

Summing it up -
A short, thought-provoking  novel.  It had me thinking so much about the water I drink, the air I breathe, the food I eat, and the land I see.  What if it was all gone - like the snapping of fingers, quick and sudden?

For the Parents - A bit of kissing, not described; violence - some blood.  12+

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