So my goal for this year was to try to get as close to bookshelf zero (Not owning any books I haven't read) as possible. Although that probably won't happen, I want to read at LEAST 52 books - or one a week. More if I can manage it. I just finished number 7 - The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher.
I was initially attracted by the stunning cover art and unique concept -- The world has begun to run low on fresh water, and now the majority of it is controlled by stealing mercenaries or greedy corporations. With the way the world is heading, I thought that this would be a great book to have on the shelves right now.
Unfortunately, those are the two best things I can say about the book.
As far as books go now, this one comes in a bit short at 240 pgs., and the majority of the plot takes over the course of (from what I can tell) less than a week.
There is so much packed in to this book that characters should realistically be dead from hunger, dehydration, and injury. But one improbable rescue and lucky mishap after another saves the brother-sister pair from death again and again. Frankly it happens so much it's fairly ridiculous.
One of the more fantastic rescue elements occurred when the Water Pirate King--who had captured the pair earlier in the story, and spent about 24-48 hours with them--shows up just in time to save them from slavery and almost certain death. Miraculously he becomes their substitiue father after knowing them for such a short time.
I had trouble following the story at times due to major non-sequiturs in the writing. Events jumped so quickly and with so little warning, that I couldn't get a handle on what was happening, or the characters emotional reaction to it.
Furthermore, this book seemed more like an environmentalist manifesto than a novel. It is very clearly designed to make readers aware of water and environmental waste through repeitive sections about how the world was squandering resources. (Since the book is set in the future it's talking about where we are now) I'm not saying it's a good thing to be wasteful and destroy the earth, but I don't like being neaten over the head with it either.
Those of you who follow me know that I'm a pretty laid back reader, and I don't give negative reviews often. Also, I'm sure that many people would enjoy this book. But it definitely didn't work for me. But again, the cover art is STUNNING.