Jun 02, 12
Read in February, 2011
The best thing about this book is its cover (just LOOK at it; it's stunning!). Granted, the plot seemed promising, but everything else was a flop. The characters were paper-thin (either on the good side or the bad side), and all their relationships were predictable. The only interesting characters were either absent for the majority of the book or introduced in the last few chapters. When characters died, they just dropped off the pages. I didn't feel any sadness or triumph when they disappeared.
The most irritating thing about this book was the pacing. There wasn't enough time for me to connect with the main characters before the real story began (I didn't realize what the main character/Vera's name was until chapter seven-ish). Also, crucial (and sometimes pointless) explanations weren't given until the last minute. For example, when Vera and Will were running from pirates, the author decided to throw in some dogs. Unfortunately, we hadn't encountered dogs before in the story, so Stracher felt the need to explain how they were too expensive for people to own, unlike cats drank a lot of water and couldn't hunt their own food, were usually killed by coyotes (which by the way were one of the few other animals that still survived in the wild), and were still bred for certain purposes like hunting runaways. All that info was dumped upon the unsuspecting readers in the middle of a very suspenseful chase scene. Random bursts of information like that really threw me out of the story.
Furthermore, the events Will and Vera escaped from were incredibly unbelievable, especially since all the adults died when they didn't. I get the point that it is fiction, but it should still have some realistic elements.
Overall, if you want a book with a pretty cover, get The Water Wars. If you'd like a book with an interesting story to go with it, you might want to look somewhere else.