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3.56  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Savage and apocalyptic, this is the new world.

Devoid of rain, the earth has shrunk to dust and salt, hemmed by a swollen sea. Survivors gather to re-establish order but it's nothing like before.
It is Jeremiah's world.

Commanded by the cruel Garrick, Jem is a Watchman and hunter of Disses: rebels who dare to challenge the Tower and its ruling Council. Loner by design and ki
Paperback, 440 pages
Published May 30th 2016 by Vintage Australia
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Whenever we’re faced with something new, we can only measure it by what we already know.’

Imagine. A world where rising sea levels have sunk low-lying countries. A world where rain over the remaining land mass is non-existent. Imagine. In the post-apocalyptic world depicted in ‘Watershed’, water is the only currency. The Last Rains fell over land many years ago, and while ships are sent far out to sea to try to reclaim water from the rainfall, people recycle their urine in order to survive.

Cass Moriarty
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love discovering a new Australian author and reading genres that are a bit outside my comfort zone. Watershed, the debut novel by Jane Abbott, was absolutely unputdownable. I was hooked from the first pages because of Jane's sympathetic and realistic portraits of her characters, along with a racing narrative that keeps a tight tension for the entire book. Watershed is set in a post-apocalyptic world where there is no longer any argument about climate change. Rising sea levels have decimated lo ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5. A bit of a mess. Seems pretty clearly to be setting up for at least a sequel, but there's *so* much build and not enough reward in this book. Its suspense plot is needlessly complicated, and by 440 pages even characters are scratching their heads about what anything means. It's also unnecessarily (and kind of impossibly) violent. There is *so* much sexual violence against women and macho hypermasculinity, and some pretty b-level gore besides. It really reaches for levels of intrigue and pro ...more
Sam Hawke
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: the author is a personal friend. I have tried to be objective.

I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of Watershed. And what a beautiful, gut-wrenching read it was - fast paced and intriguing, alternately depressing and hopeful.

The novel tells twin stories: one following Sarah as a (nearish) future Australia turns into a harsh, desperate dystopia and she and her family adapt and survive; the other years later, following her grandson Jem as an adult forced into a brutal livelihood
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
To be honest, I'm abandoning this about 100 pages out from the end. Mainly because I just don't care. The future imagined is fascinating, but the story doesn't maintain any of the hope that is needed to even out this bleak world. I stopped reading because I realized I had stopped caring how it ends or lives or dies. There's no one to root for in this story, and while all stories don't need champions this one certainly did.
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one day. I yelled at everyone that tried to interrupt me. It was fantastic.

Every time I thought I had figured out what was happening, smugly thinking I knew exactly what the twist would be, something completely unexpected happened. I loved and hated each character, generally at the same time, and the story kept me hooked. When I finished I flicked the last page back and forth several times because I didn't want to believe it was over, then furiously began Googling whether the
Rebecca Bowyer
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an utterly unputdownable book for me. It maps humanity's descent into the worst of our nature and then asks how do we rise above it again? Watershed is the perfect illustration of the theory that we are the product of our circumstances. Our environment shapes our actions.

Back in 2016 author Jane Abbott told SMH: "I think we would revert to everything we have tried to avoid being."

There is gratuitous, horrific violence and it's very hard to tell who you're supposed to be cheering on. Th
Complete waste of time and utterly dreadful, trying so hard to be ‘edgy’ and ‘shocking’. I gave up about 100 pages in.

Abuse triggers ahead.

The constant sexual violance *only^ directed at women, like it can only be committed against women, and only by men as well, was the peak of how bad this book was. Violence exists in many forms, but rape isn’t the only one, or the ‘worst’ - and it isn’t limited by gender, victim or perpetrator, either.

However this aithor seems to think that rape is
Aug 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
An interesting take on the evil inflicted by men on others, including those they love. It is a take that refuses to look itself in the face but marches on regardless. Some very unconvincing but main characters in terms of moral flexibility and physical endurance weakens its arguments. There is much distracting and glorifying of character and facts hovering over where the central chararacter is actually coming from. At the same the evil he, and others he shows loyalty to and affection for, commit ...more
Danny Seipel
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dystopian future where water is in very short supply and civilization has regressed to 4th world levels.

The main character does half the narration.
He's not as clever as he needs to be and everyone else has more knowledge about what's happening than him, and he's not really your hero type.
The other half is the back story of how he got there.

The two threads alternate by chapter so you are backwards and forwards in time but it's well done. There is no confusion from that source.

The plot I'm not so
Nov 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didnt-finish
There was a pathologically violent character introduced in the first chapter that I knew I didn’t want to read any more about.
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
A dystopian Australia where all the water has run out & the systems of governing are sinister & brutal. A strong sense of place in this story with enough grit in the plot to be enthralling ...more
Kirsten Simpson
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I hung in and read till the end ,but it wasn't a satisfying read .Just never reach its potential. There's bleak and then there's depressed frankly Jem could have done with hrlp.,for the life of me I couldn't understand why he continued on there was no feeling of hope for the future at all .Shame I was hoping it would be good
Talia Nyx
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Julie Garner
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I didn't know what to think of Watershed when I first started it. I am not usually a fan of more than one voice telling the story but in this book it is important to her from Gram (Sarah), just as much as it is to listen to Jem's voice. I didn't think I would last through page 50 but something happened and it just sucked me right in...until I finished the last 100 pages in one sitting, late at night (regretting it slightly the next morning at work!).
Ironically, whilst reading this book about a w
Irene (thefictionthief)
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-reviews
*I received this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I both really enjoyed and was mildly frustrated by this book. On the one hand, it was nice having a grand dystopian novel written by an Australian author, as you could almost pretend the setting was somewhere local rather than in America as these sorts of novels normally are. The themes of environmentalism and feminism were really strongly portrayed as well.

And it was just an interesting, enjoyable read.

My criticisms are that
Beth Amos
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Watershed pulled me in (and kept me there) from the start. Abbott’s fast-paced writing style and tense plot is a page-turner.

Watershed is set in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by climate change. The novel tells intertwined stories. We follow Sarah, and her little family, as life as we know it crumbles—the people in it becoming increasingly desperate and unpredictable. And we follow Jem, Sarah’s grandson, who has grown up in this unforgiving society and is now forced to work as an assassin (a
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great debut novel by Australian author Jane Abbott. As soon as I started reading this book I didn't want to put it down. The writing style is fluid, energetic, passionate and gritty...and this is exactly why I did need to put it down. The intense subject matter and raw energy of some of the characters took you into the post apocalyptic world in which the story is set and held you there. At times it was like someone was holding you underwater. Parts of it were disturbing, but still beautifully ...more
Michael Flanagan
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
Watershed takes us into a Australian landscape where it no longer rains. It is a savage and wild post apocalyptic world in which Mad Max would feel at home. As an Australian I was over excited by the prospect of this book, so much so I may have done a small dance of joy when I found it.

Jane Abbot does a masterful job a entwining two narratives together to deliver a cohesive storyline. The World she has created has many layers which come together to create a dark new world in which the age old pr
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have to declare that I know Jane, but regardless of that there is no bias in my review .
Not a genre I would normally pick up, Watershed had me interested after the first two chapters. I haven't had time to read a book this year, and it came out at a time I had 3 assignments due, but I read at least a page,if not a chapter each night, and found I was wondering through the day - what's next? The last few chapters I ploughed through not wanting it to end, but wanting to know what was next.I had t
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jane Abbott's stunning new novel is a post-apocalyptic adventure through the eyes of a paid killer with whom I empathised despite myself. The world she creates has just undergone a climate disaster, and people distill urine to drink, and treat women as slaves. Brutal, fascinating and beautifully written. Now I think I need to read some gardening books so I can sleep well again.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not really sure who the audience is for this book. Some of the time I felt like I was reading young adult fiction but there was a lot of violence, a lot of it directed towards women. I wouldn't recommend it for any teenager I know though. A little too long in my humble opinion - I do usually like dystopian novels but this one wasn't for me.
Tianne Shaw
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This is not for the faint hearted full of violence, foul language and just it my type of post apocalyptic book. It is well written but has these things as a downside that made me feel not so good about it.
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review to come once I have processed this incredible book...
Ben Knight
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Oct 06, 2016
Leeanne Haigh
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PD Walsh
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Cara Bulger
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Oct 01, 2017
Jen Calnan
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Apr 07, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2016
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