Review + Giveaway: The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

The Water Wars
by Cameron Stracher

ISBN-13: 9-781402-267598
Published: January 2011 from Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 3 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I liked it

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.

The Water Wars is one of those books that takes an event that could actually happen in the future and predicts what it may be like should it ever occur. Vera and Will are a brother and sister trying to survive in a world that is ravaged from lack of water. Everyday is a struggle and the future is bleak. When Kai arrives their world is turned upside down through kidnappings, pirates, armies and mysterious meetings between government leaders and the company Bluewater – a company that controls the majority of the water output for the Empire of Canada and what’s left of the United States of America. Suddenly, nothing is the same and Vera finds herself struggling to save not only Kai, but herself, her brother and everyone she holds dear.

The descriptions and world-building in this book are amazing. There are no problems in imagining the desolate landscapes and desire for water. It is easy to picture the lack of green and the heavy air – the dust that covers everything. I also rather enjoy the fact that Canada is an Empire and at war with what’s left of the USA, like the Republics of Minnesota and Illinowa. The plot has huge potential, but unfortunately, I just wasn’t feeling it as much as I could have been. I was definitely intrigued enough to keep reading, enjoyed the characters personality wise and was enraptured with the idea of a world with very little drinkable water but left feeling kind of indifferent about the major plot points.

First, I wasn’t really feeling the interactions between Kai and Vera. Between the time that Vera meets Kai, and Vera and Will discover Kai missing, two months have passed. But we see very little of those two months and I didn’t feel connected to Kai at all, really. And then Vera and Will go off to try and find Kai and get kidnapped. From there, a whole lot of bad luck befalls them, and yet…they get to where they need to be in order to find Kai. It’s all very full of coincidences. Although possibly not, since everyone they encounter seems to be searching for Kai as well, or ready and willing to help them out when asked. I felt the ending was a little rushed after Kai is back in the picture. The confrontation between Bluewater, Vera, Will, Kai and the rest is short and to the point, and I was a little disbelieving of their parents lack of reactions when Vera and Will returned home. Yes, they already knew some of what happened while Vera and Will were missing, but still. If my kids and been kidnapped and returned back home with infected cuts and broken bones, I’d been a little more dramatic about everything.

The action is wonderful in The Water Wars, and everything is interesting enough to keep you reading. But I only just liked this book, and it’s bordering at the very bottom of that three rating. The plot pacing was too rushed for me, and everything seemed too convenient. Although I connected enough with Vera and Will to be invested in their survival, it took a while for that to kick in. I would have liked to see more regarding the government’s and Bluewater’s roles in water distribution, hoarding and the occuring wars. Despite the lack of this and previously mentioned concerns, The Water Wars is definitely an entertaining book. Maybe it’s just the book you’ve been looking for! If you’d like to find out, I’m giving away my copy!

Just fill out the form to be entered, US/Canada only. Contest ends December 24th, 11:59pm EST. Must be thirteen years or older to enter.

Paperback copy provided by Sourcebooks in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!