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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Water Wars by Cameron Starcher

The Water Wars by Cameron Starcher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (240 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Cholla

Would you risk everything for someone you just met?

What if he had a secret worth killing for?

Welcome to a future where water is more precious than oil or gold...

Hundreds of millions of people have already died, and millions more will soon fall—victims of disease, hunger, and dehydration. It is a time of drought and war. 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 is keeping from us...

And then he was gone. Vanished in the middle of the night. Was he kidnapped? Did he flee? Is he alive or dead? 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 is too late for all of us.

Imagine an entire world suffering from widespread drought. Water is strictly rationed and the penalties for misuse are severe. Can you even begin to understand how different your life would be? No? Well, then come with me and visit with Vera and Will, two teenagers who have spent their entire lives in just such a world.

Vera is an average fifteen-year-old girl in a less than average world. Aside from her ailing mother, she and her brother, Will, live an ordinary life for the times they’re in. In the beginning, she didn’t seem like much and I was more interested in her surroundings than her. However, as soon as she meets Kai, you begin to learn that there is more to this little girl than you’d expected. As the story unfolds, you discover that Vera has reserves that not even she realized were there.

Kai is the mysterious new guy Vera and Will happen across one afternoon walking home from the bus stop. He’s the proper makings of any young teen’s first crush – handsome, charming, attentive, and rich. What more could a girl ask for? However, under this mysterious surface, he’s an inquisitive and curious kid who hasn’t ever had a chance to experience the simple things of life.

My only issue with this novel was the lack of back story regarding The Great Panic and how the Earth got into the state that it’s in. However, aside from that, The Water Wars is a thought-provoking story about the way we handle our precious natural resources and is a great way to get teens to start thinking about these things now, before it’s too late. With characters you grow to love, and a world eerily like our own and yet, fundamentally different, you will be pulled in and taken along on the adventure.