Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

It's the future....the United States is now divided into eight territories.  The population is dependent on the most influential political group in the nation, protecting its most precious commodity - water.  While China is taking clouds from the sky, other corporations or desalinating and polluting the oceans, or damming up the precious liquid, only available to those wealthy enough to afford it.  Things taken for granted in the past - bottled water, swimming pools, blue oceans, polar ice caps - are now stuff of legend and history.  Now, most of the planet is covered with dust and endless hot days and nights. 

Vera and her brother Will live in the Republic of Illinowa, where dust prevails and water doesn't exist.  Their rations go quickly, and what there is of it is filled with chemicals, making people sick.  Nothing happens in their small town...nothing, that is, until Kai shows up.  He's different from everyone else.  He drinks crystal clear water, takes showers regularly, is escorted in a limo while others use their electric cars.  And he knows a secret that he only mentions to his new friends, Vera and Will. 

But suddenly, Kai disappears and Vera and Will find themselves being pulled into the intrigue of who wants Kai and where he is.  From gypsies to mobs to the most powerful people on the planet, the brother and sister set up against all odds to find Kai and in the process, finds out the truth about their world they live in. 

Stracher creates a dystopic world that depends on the one resource no animal, plant or human can live without, and he paints a picture of a parched earth struggling to survive.  The characters will reach readers, but it's the plot and action that will hold their attention as well as the descriptive writing that brings this bleak future world into the minds of those that pick up this book.  Another good addition to those who love dystopian novels.

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