The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
Released: January 1, 2011
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.
The Water Wars is a fictitious approach to the possibility of what could happen with the world's fresh water supply in the future. I want to clarify, first of all, that this is no Hunger Games and I do not feel that it tries to be so I don't think the comparison is a fair one to make. This book is altogether different and enjoyable on its own. Also, I think the cover is incredible, especially once you've read the book and have a better understanding of what it all means!
I really enjoyed how Stracher took a real, current issue right now and applied it to a YA novel. It never felt preachy or unrealistic, because this is a concern of international politics right now and will continue to become more of an issue in the future.
I particularly enjoyed how Stracher framed the plot as a journey, both physically and emotionally for Vera and Will, as time for them to become more aware of the world they're living in. Stracher readily brings up topics that need to be discussed in the contemporary world as much as they need to be discussed in the world of his novel.
I would have appreciated seeing more background to some of the events of the story, and further explanation of the more mysterious events (particularly the Diviners) and Vera's meeting with Kai for the first time. The story really jumps right in very quickly, which is good because it keeps you interested the entire time but also doesn't drag on for too long with meaningless details. There's just enough action and mystery to keep you guessing. But this was also its shortfall since there were some political circumstances that were just too confusing. Perhaps some sort of a prequel or sequel would provide further insight to these questions.
Overall, it's an enjoyable little book particularly for those readers interested in environmentalism and politics who enjoy reading fiction. This copy was provided to me by the publisher upon receiving request for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which is greatly appreciated! No other compensation was received.