The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
Published: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Paperback, 256 pages
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. --Goodreads
The Water Wars is a powerful story that has you reflecting on your usage of water and how our posterity will have to face the effects of our usage of water. I feel like it wasn't meant to be a story focused on Vera and Will's adventure to save Kai and his father, that instead an allegory to frighten the readers from overusing water. The author's idea was a wonderful one, but I just felt he could've done a better job of executing the story.
Basically, Will and Vera meet Kai. He wastes water, but they all become great friends. Somehow, Vera and Kai become more than friends. When Kai goes missing, Will and Vera try to save and rescue Kai. My problem here is that they have no idea what is going on besides the fact that buff guys with sunglasses invaded Kai's house. Let's just say, I'm still skeptical on how they are able to even able to conceive the idea that they, two teenagers, can save someone kidnapped by a major corporation.
Will, Vera and Kai were characters that lacked in emotion and depth, making them extremely dull to read about. Interestingly enough, the side characters were all vividly described and had fascinating back stories. I enjoyed reading about how everyone came to be against the dystopian system more than Vera's bland view on everything.
The storyline itself was dull to begin with, so I cannot exactly blame the writing for a ridiculous kidnapping turning into a journey for Will and Vera. Basically, Will and Vera are kidnapped multiple times and escape multiple times, then end up finding Kai. For me, the logic behind this weird turnabout is kind of sketchy. It was a little odd, but I went with it.
I found the ending to be a pretty satisfying round of defeat for the evil corporations and controlling government. Underdog stories always bring a cheer to me, and for everyone I bet. Although, the plan used to defeat the big guys were a bit exaggerated, I could live with that. Seeing an end to the vicious control of the water was a big plus. There was also a little voice in the back of my head nagging me about the rest of the world and their water because the ending only tied the knots for Will, Vera and Kai's town, but I was more concerned with the fact that the author was able to end The Water Wars on a solid note.
All in all, The Water Wars was a fascinating dystopian that explores a world where the most important resource in the world plays a more significant role in society. Having some kids and a rescue mission thrown in the mix made it a little funky, but the messages presented in The Water Wars is a powerful one that will force you to never take water for granted again.
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