They tell me the country looked different back then.
They talk of open borders and flowing rivers.
They say the world was green.
But drought swept across the globe and the United States of the past disappeared under a burning sky.
Enora Byrnes lives in the aftermath, a barren world where water has become the global currency. In a life dominated by duty to family and community, Enora is offered a role within an entity that controls everything from water credits to borders. But it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. From the wasted confines of her small town to the bowels of a hidden city, Enora will uncover buried secrets that hide an unthinkable reality.
As truth reveals the brutal face of what she has become, she must ask herself: how far will she go to retain her humanity?
First of all, many thanks to Dave from @The_WriteReads for organising this massive blog tour and of course a huge thank-you to Kristin Ward for providing the eBook. Note that this blog tour will last for 10 days, with approximately 10 stops each day!
After The Green Withered made me think of Black Mirror, especially the season 3 finale Hated in the Nation, a.k.a. the one where the bees have gone extinct: it takes the present-day situation, and builds on that, showing us what we’re doing to the world and what might happen if we don’t change our ways. But let’s be clear: it doesn’t come across as pedantic at all. It’s just excellent world-building and it hits very close to home. The notion of the world running out of water and having to ration what little water remains, well, it’s not that far-fetched, is it.
So we have Enora, a girl realising that the company that basically rules the world, is not quite as benign as it pretends to be and that its practices are not quite above board. A simple girl, a pleb, thrust in a role she never saw coming and not fully understanding why; not wanting to fulfill this role, but also not wanting to disappoint her parents, who have been given a better life because of her. A girl wondering if she can keep on doing what the company expects her to do even though it goes against everything she believes is right. A girl pondering rebellion. Now, where have I read that before…. So yes, let’s not beat about the bush, this is similar to many other YA dystopian stories out there and frankly, I couldn’t care less! I see no particular need to reinvent this particular wheel. Odds are (and for the record: may they be ever in your favour ?) if you liked stories like The Hunger Games and Divergent, you’ll like this. Possibly even a little more, because it stems from a current real-life global issue and the execution is pretty much flawless. It has sci-fi elements, some scenes have more of a horror-esque feel to them, it’s a quick, entertaining read. Kristin Ward has won the 2018 Best Indie Book Award in Young Adult Fiction and you know what, I’m not surprised.
Being the first book in a series, you know to expect an open ending, and that is exactly what you get. However, I do feel that this is a fully fledged, well fleshed out novel; there are lots of things happening, it’s not just world-building, it’s not just setting up the board and the players for book no. 2.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I’ll happily recommend it to any and all lovers of YA dystopian novels.