Series: The Water Crisis Chronicles #1
Author: Amber Garr
Publication Date: April 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian
From the author—
The water is gone. The wars have begun.
Clean water is a luxury most can no longer afford. Climate change, industrial sabotage, and greed have turned country against country as each one tries to provide for its citizens. Terrorist groups target desalinization plants and frustrated governments hunt those who work against them. Rationing, sequestering, and patrolling have become routine at a time when there are too many people and not enough resources.
While the world around them disintegrates into chaos, Zach and Vivienne hope that their life in a government-run complex will retain some semblance of normalcy. But when attacks on their water supplies bring war to their sheltered community, they must accept their new fate. Stay and fight or flee and endure—it’s a difficult decision with lasting consequences.
Will they choose what’s safe? Or will they choose to survive?
There is much to like about Waterfall and, to my way of thinking, very little that doesn’t work. The actual plot is not quite as strong as it could be but the author makes up for that with well-done characterization and a particularly effective quality of worldbuilding.
Alternating points of view allow the reader to really get to know both Zach and Vivienne and experience along with them the events that are going to fill the next year. They’re likeable teens but realistic; Zach is the high school football star who just happens to be a decent guy and Vee is the girl who’s determined to speak her mind and be more than a little brash and mouthy. Together they make quite the pair because they’ve been best friends for a long time and they truly know and respect each other. They have some very cool parents, too, and it’s noticeable how much they all love and depend on each other.
Vivienne and Zach are no superheroes and that’s another thing I liked about them. Each has vulnerabilities and strengths and they do occasionally butt heads as well as show real weaknesses. Still, they’re suited to work together for survival in this world they had no part in creating.
And that brings me to the imaginary world Ms. Garr has constructed. Worldbuilding is critical to a good dystopian story but it’s not easy to find fresh perspectives, something this author has done in two ways. First is the addition of a terrorist society that targets the little remaining water, a goal that seems nonsensical as terrorists also need water. The other element, the one that really got my attention, is the immediacy of the crisis. From the first pages, it’s clear that we are in a time period that is not at all far in the future, making it impossible not to think about our current ecological issues. I found that to be compelling and the author made her points all while telling a truly entertaining story. Well done, Ms. Garr!
All in all, I found Waterfall to be a story that kept my attention and dragged me in emotionally. I’m planning to read the next book, Waterproof, as soon as I can because I have to know what happens next in preparation for Watermarked, due out soon.
Note: the author has a nifty website just for this series at http://www.thewatercrisischronicles.com/
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2015.
About the Author
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