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After the Green Withered #1

After the Green Withered: A Young Adult Dystopian Novel

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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?

304 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 18, 2018

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About the author

Kristin Ward

10 books222 followers
Kristin Ward is an award-winning author from Connecticut. She embraces her inner nerd regularly, geeking out with SciFi flicks or quoting 80s movies while expecting those around her to chime in with appropriate rejoinders. As a nature freak, she can be found wandering the woods or chilling in her yard with all manner of furry and feathered friends.

She is often referred to as a unicorn by colleagues who remain in awe of her ability to create or find various and sundry things in mere moments. In reality, the horn was removed years ago, leaving only a mild imprint that can be seen if she tilts her head just right. A lifelong lover of books and writing, she dreamed of becoming an author for thirty years before publishing her award-winning debut in 2018. Her first novel, After the Green Withered, is one of many things you should probably read.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 69 reviews
Profile Image for Marialyce (on our way to Venice).
2,038 reviews710 followers
April 2, 2019
4.5 stars
When choosing a novel to read, Dystopian novels have not always placed high on my list. It makes me unnerved to see the way some authors have pictured our future with ideas that are not rosy, sunny and filled with rainbows. So it was with a large case of "are you sure you want to read this?" that I went into the story. Happily, it has turned out to be a book that I found hard to stop reading, with fascinating details, diverse characters, and one of those books that you say "I can't put this one aside."

The world has experienced drought, disease, wars, and loss of life in cataclysmic proportions. Water has become a rare and precious commodity and in this world of want and need, lives Enora Gray, her family, and a group of characters that struggle for survival. It is a dismal future and as Enora is ready to graduate, her life takes a startling turn. There may be hope for Enora for she has been chosen by the governing body, the DMC, which controls everything from water consumption to the concept of borders, to work for them. They are the "benevolent" force that has keeps one alive in what is a barren dismal environment, and to work for them is an elite position to be in. Enora, was a nothing really, a pleb, so when she is chosen to become a worker for this organization it comes as a shock. However, this position should she accept, entitles Enora and her family to extra water and other "luxuries." She couldn't possibly refuse? She will be trained for her job with her old friend as her boss, Bram. Enora leaves for her training and starts working towards a goal of rooting out those in opposition to DMC. She works in conjunction with a boy, Stringer, who she eventually comes to have feelings for. They both discover some dark underpinnings to the company that controls the very life of everyone, and through Enora's thoughts and actions, we learn more about this devious megalith, DMC. Everything is watched monitored and overseen. If Enora is discovered even having the thoughts she does, her life and that of those she loves would be at an end. Will Enora be able to fight the enormous force that is the DMC or will she and possibly Stringer succumb to this organization that sees all, controls all, and seeks out those who want their dominance to end?

This book was written so well, grabbing the reader from the get go, and making you progress through the pages on an eager journey into Enora's world. The only disappointment was when the book ended and now I have to wait anxiously for the advent of book two. It is a spellbinding riveting look into a possible future.
Thank you to Kristin Ward, and Dave, at The_WriteReads" who invited me along on this blog tour for this exciting book!
Profile Image for Nick Borrelli.
376 reviews382 followers
April 9, 2019
3.5 stars

AFTER THE GREEN WITHERED takes place in a dystopian United States where the land has become a barren wasteland and water is the new global currency. It is wielded as a weapon by corrupt government leaders and it is very apparent that if you aren't part of the elite ruling class, you are going to have an extremely difficult time just making it from day to day. All of what has occurred has been due to the effects of climate change that has long been ignored by past political regimes. Enter main character 17 year-old Enora Byrnes, who takes a job with a government controlled entity that itself is one of the biggest offenders of the new strangulating water-rationing laws. The philosophy is quite simple, conform and fall in line with what we want or be crushed under our boot and die of thirst/starvation. At first Enora goes along with what she has been charged to do because she like everyone else is just looking for a lifeline of survival in this new and destitute reality. However, as the horrors of the agency that she works for begin to slowly get revealed and Enora digs deeper and deeper, she becomes disgusted with what she discovers. At the same time, she is still very much a teenager and is struggling with her desire to do what is right while still doubting whether one person alone can make a difference. Can Enora gather up enough courage to expose what she has uncovered and maybe bring about a positive change? Or will her employer get to her before any of that can happen? Just a couple of the questions raised in this entertaining YA dystopian story.

AFTER THE GREEN WITHERED is definitely a book with a relevant political and social message. Author Kristin Ward does not pull any punches in this regard and the reader absolutely gets a taste of what the world could possibly be like if we continue down our current path with regard to how we are addressing environmental issues. I'm a fan of dystopian SF like this one, and I thought that by and large the author did a solid job of creating an atmosphere that delved into the hopelessness that living under these conditions would obviously engender. I also thought that the character of Enora Byrnes was very well done, and even though she is seventeen, she still possessed a strength and resolve that most teenagers simply do not possess. My only minor stumbling points were that I wanted to know a bit more about the conditions that caused the current situation and water crisis. I know that climate change was alluded to as the culprit, but more back story would have really gotten me more invested in the plight of the characters. Also I thought there were a few slow points where some info-dumping occurred, but those were few and far between, so I was able to get past it for the most part. I definitely recommend this book to fans of post-apocalyptic and dystopian SF, because it is an entertaining read. It is also a great read for younger readers who enjoyed Veronica Roth's Divergent series and the Gone series by Michael Grant. All in all I liked this book quite a bit and am looking forward to revisiting this world again very soon.
Profile Image for Britt.
434 reviews40 followers
August 3, 2019
The scariest dystopians are the ones that could potentially happen at some point in real life.

To say that I was sucked into Enora’s world immediately would be an understatement. I was completely spellbound within the first page or two. One of my favorite things about the dystopian genre is the world-building, and this particular read did not disappoint. The premise is definitely a bit political, dealing in things like climate change, but is absolutely horrifying in the fact that... it could actually happen someday.

Enora lives in a world in which water is so rare that it is used as a currency — every family is dealt “water credits” for a specific amount of time, every town and city has an allotted day where they CANNOT use water for 24 hours, and the entire system is run by a government-type group called the Drought Mitigation Corporation (DMC) (Not to be confused with the ‘80s rap duo Run-DMC). The author, Kristin Ward, does an INCREDIBLE job at explaining this “new world’s” backstory in a way that is fascinatingly horrifying. Every word, every detail, is woven in a way that makes you grateful that you can currently use as much water as you want — because it may not be like that someday.

And what’s a shady government without some good ol’ secret corruption?

I don’t want to go a whole lot into those specific plot points, as to avoid spoilers, but I found that the government secrecy and background reminded me just a little bit of The Giver by Lois Lowry. Enora, just like Jacob in The Giver, is recruited by the government and, of course, finds out just how corrupt the government is. So corrupt, in fact, that she cannot trust even those she works closest with — many of the rich kids and/or fellow government recruits are known as “drones,” and, while at first they may seem like brainless carbon copies of one another, à la Mean Girls, the secret behind these “drones” is actually much more horrific than even I expected. Ward’s masterful imagery succeeded in making it all that much more heart-wrenching once the secret was uncovered.

The imagery, along with the all-too-real backstory, succeeded in making After the Green Withered one of the most horrifically breathtaking dystopians I have ever read. The kind that makes your heart drop and your stomach wrench. I don’t know what I was expecting when I first started reading, but it definitely blew all of my expectations out of the water, and then some.

Overall, I think this is a Must Read for fans of dystopia — or, hell, even if you’re just concerned about where our planet could be headed. This book is entirely fiction, but whispers sad, terrifying things about our planet that could potentially be true within a few centuries.

(Also, might I just say that I love this cover).
Profile Image for Rosemarie Hamilton.
69 reviews12 followers
April 11, 2019
First of all, scary as hell; A world without water? Or almost no water, I mean not even a stream or pond, something? What the hell did we do?

As we begin this book, we meet Enora our protagonist, a 17-year-old about to graduate high school. She lives in a world run dry (the horror) where water is now the global currency to get by. After the tragic events that left the old world devastated we enter a new world, a dystopian society. Enora is in the lower ranks and we see her suffering as a part of that class, can you imagine not having enough water to drink on a daily basis, and you basically have to make an appointment with the shower to bathe?

Anyway, an organization called the DMC foresaw the aftermath of what was happening and put in place resources to conserve water and now they (him) control everything and everyone. Wasting water has now become a crime, who can contemplate such a possibility? But of course, deep down we know it's possible future for us, with everything happening in our world currently, it's an impossibility that can become possible any time, as we've seen in some parts of the world such as in Cape Town, South Africa whose water is rationed due to a three-year-long drought, this is how it can begin.

With graduation looming, Enora becomes fearful of where she'll end up working, such as the Mill her parents toil in every day. She is surprised when she's recruited into the Company, with her being from a lower class being recruited as a Sentinel is huge deal for her, and brings with it a lot of bullying by the upper classes she encounters there, although she's befriended by a couple them she calls drones, she will learn in time if they're friends or foe. As Enora struggles with her new life she must come to terms with must leaving her family and best friend Safa behind.

As she goes through her training she realizes her abilities have turned her into a literal weapon for the Company and she feels trapped within a system where she feels she's being stripped of her humanity. When she's partnered with Springer (I love that boy) to begin carrying out missions, to eliminate so-call threats to the food and water supply. She began receiving compliments for her work which enables her to provide a better life for herself and her family. But is it worth it to lose her soul?

All I can say is I might be a bit traumatized and horrified after reading this book. This is a great dystopian novel filled with suspense and amazing world building, it will leave you questioning our reality long after the last page has been turned. I can't wait to read the sequel Burden Of Truth.
Profile Image for Dora  (Swift Coffee Book Blog).
130 reviews23 followers
April 6, 2019
Read my full review and Ultimate Blog Tour post here: http://swiftcoffee.blog/2019/04/05/gi...

Even the promise of this book was good, but I liked it even more than I expected!

What happened in this book was astonishing, but not in the over-the-top catastrophic plot after an apocalypse kind of way - what makes it terrifying is that it's realistic.

It's so realistic that I can actually see these things happening in the future. I mean, they could. And I don't say that because I'm generally cynical about the people and our future, and our behavior (well, I AM, but I don't SAY it BECAUSE OF that.). What happens in this book is... a very likely scenario. And that's scary.

Okay, I won't say more about the story, go read it and figure it out yourself! ;) (if you haven't already)

It's one of those very rare times, when reading a book I got so into the story that I didn't care I wasn't that much into the characters. I'm a very character-driven reader, so it's a huge statement. The characters were interesting, but they had way more potential than that was actually shown in the book. However, I think that it's mostly because of what the world is like in the story. When people don't trust each other, and in general entertainment is not an option at all, when everybody has their own specific, monotonous task in society, than you have very little chance to get to know them well. So, though I hope that in the sequel this will change a bit, I totally get why it is necessary. What's more, it totally completes the world-building (which is very good, by the way)!
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,253 reviews297 followers
March 13, 2019
I've read Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic speculative fiction (and nonfiction) since childhood, so I am well aware that there are a multitude of potential causes of Apocalypse, each with their own consequences and terrors. I don't wish to start a competition of "my Apocalypse is worse than your Apocalypse!" but I do think that the type illustrated here is both possible, and horrendous. Rather than a flash-bang split second death, here are months and years of fighting for the one life essential (for humans, animals, and plants): Water. Yes I know water is important also for cleanliness, but imagine what life would be like if so little was available for life that nations and even communities started wars to gain or to preserve supplies. Thinking of it boggles the mind...and it could happen.
Profile Image for Darque  Dreamer .
397 reviews56 followers
April 4, 2019
After the Green Withered was quite an interesting read. Although it read like a typical YA dystopian novel, it was unique because it featured a main character living on both sides of the control of the government. Enora started out as one of the poor, having to deal with water rationing, food shortages, and poor living qualities, but she was soon granted the “privilege” to become a sentinel with the DMC, the corporation that took over control of the government to help “ease” the burdens of living in a barren wasteland.

She began to find out that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. She learned terrible secrets about how the DMC really worked, and her eyes were opened to just what government control really meant. It was intriguing to see her experience this while on the same side of it versus living under their control. It was also interesting to see her fight to try to keep her humanity, and to see the war of emotions going on within, knowing that if she stopped working with the DMC, there would be consequences for all those she cared about.

Aside from this little bit of originality, I did wish the rest of the story kept my attention more. It wasn’t bad. I didn’t hate it. But, I didn’t love it either, and it just felt like something I had already read before. The writing was nice. It was easy to read, and never felt clunky or confusing, but the prologue and first couple chapters felt a bit like an info dump. Also, I just never felt like I connected or became attached to any of the characters. I really just felt like I could put it down at any time and not really have the urge to pick it back up.

I don’t regret reading it. I think the author has potential to continue the story and improve on making the reader feel more connected to the characters and what’s going on around them. I don’t feel like the author did anything bad, or wrong, with this one. It just wasn’t exciting for me like I had hoped when I had read the synopsis. It did have a nice touch of originality, and the setting was very detailed. I also enjoyed being in Enora’s head while she experienced life on the DMC side of things, I just never really got attached to her or what was going on around her, but many others have, and could, so I’d rate it 3 stars.

Thank you to the author and The Write Reads for providing me with this free e-copy in exchange for my honest review and as part of the blog tour.
Profile Image for Lee Hall.
Author 8 books175 followers
October 13, 2018
After the Green Withered' is a story set in an imaginative dystopian future. It's clear that Kristin Ward has worked tremendously hard to create a world and setting that may eventually become a reality. Water is the currency and key to survival; and the concept of water rationing gives this story a distinct originality. 

From the beginning the reader is introduced to a well thought out and explained world; explanations is something many writers fail with and this one was just right. And this is a world that has become a police state; with everything under constant surveillance by the somewhat mysterious and sinister 'DMC' also known as the 'company'. Whole towns are heavily guarded and fortified with a feeling that someone is always watching. Like today there are those who are privileged and those who are not, but the poverty contrast is focused more towards survival in this story.

The main character and narrator 'Enora' spends much of her time contemplating and toiling over her uncertainties. She finds herself drafted from High School and poor background to work for the 'DMC', although she never forgets her roots . Enora's journey eventually moves to seeking out who is running the sinister underbelly that is the 'DMC', a company who represses the poor and is also responsible for a lot more. The mystery of who she can trust becomes a central point of tension that builds all the way to the end of the story. 

Overall I was kept intrigued by this story but throughout I felt as if it was over descriptive and wordy. Much of the dialogue could have been longer but more time was given towards Enora's thoughts and contemplation; much of which could have been put into dialogue or even shortened. The heavy description pulled me away from being immersed in what is a good story concept. Much of the writing could have been 'shown' to the reader as opposed to being 'told' and this what I think holds it back.  

The ending came suddenly with no real resolve but kept me thinking as to where this story could go next, especially as there is a sequel planned. Having read this story I would be more than interested and look forward to the next one.

Thank you to Kristin Ward for giving me the opportunity to review the book. 
Profile Image for Stephen Donovan.
Author 2 books43 followers
April 9, 2019
The further I ventured into this story, the more gripping it became. It is an imaginative and often powerful read that brought together a detailed and well conceived dystopian setting, interesting characters, and thoughtful, descriptive writing.

It all begins by introducing an intriguing concept which provides the basis for a sinister plot that gradually gathers both pace and tension. I felt like it built in accordance with how the protagonist, Enora, develops from being a innocent child living with her parents, to learning about the horrific realities of the world in which she lives.

The prologue felt like a bit of an info-dump, but overall I was impressed by the world-building, which was vivid and well-developed, helping to give the book a very oppressive atmosphere. This is further enhanced by how the DMC is presented as a ruthless, autocratic entity where the most hardened members are described as lacking essential human traits.

The whole idea of water credits and having water as a main currency was fantastic. It was also pretty frightful to read about in some ways, especially during a time where climate change is such a relevant and pressing topic. So this is a dystopian novel, but based on an issue that could become very real.

For me, the biggest strength of the book was how Enora's conflicting emotions were conveyed throughout. As she moves through the ranks at the DMC, she faces an ongoing battle with her conscience as she uncovers each new and disturbing secret about the corporation. The writing here is very effective, and is the aspect of the story that I connected with the most.

I quite liked Enora. She has a good storyline, and as the novel moves further along her experiences make her more determined to really stand up for what is right, which sets things up nicely for the next book in the series. It will be interesting to find out what path her rebellion will take, and also to find out more about some of the other characters in the sequel, as there seems to be much more to the likes of Springer and Bram than we have learned so far.

The writing was detailed and well structured, and I liked how metaphors and analogies were used to describe the internal battle of Enora's thought processes. However, my main criticism is that at times there is just too much description and not enough dialogue, which made some parts of the book feel a bit long-winded.

And as for the ending, well it is quite a cliffhanger! I am truly fascinated to find out what happens next - it makes the sequel a really enticing prospect!

So on the whole, I found this an enjoyable read. The world Kristin Ward has built is superbly realised, the characters are fairly complex with extra layers still to discover, and some of the writing is very effective. It will definitely draw comparison with other YA dystopian books, but taking it on its own merits, I liked it.
April 3, 2019
Unlike many reviewers who are part of @The_WriteReads , I am not predominantly a fantasy or YA reader although I am beginning to step into this world.

What I do know is that I loved this book!
The book is set in a dystopian future where water supplies are limited and have become the global currency. Much of the world has been destroyed by drought, war and disaster and all that is left is controlled by DMC (Drought Mitigation Corporation). Kristin Ward has created a world that although totally fictional, could be our future which is terrifying and shocking in itself. With all the environmental issues we currently have, it isn’t difficult to fill in the gaps and see ourselves in a similar position in the future.

As I was reading I became totally immersed in this world and it was difficult not to be affected by some of this issues raised. So many ethical questions around the environment, class divides and fate are raised as the story progresses and it becomes a whole philosophical exercise whilst reading. The world building is so clever, keeping it grounded just enough to make it totally believable but with lots of detail and elements that sets it apart.

The character of Enora is up there in my opinion with Katniss Everdene and Triss and although we were just getting to see her rebellious tendencies by the end of this novel, I am certain that we will see an even more rebellious and determined Enora in Burdon of Truth – Book 2. The thing I love about her is that she was/is just a ‘normal’ teenager – and her journey to get to her thought processes by the end of the book was fascinating to read.

I am hoping that in book 2 we will explore other characters a little more. By the end of Book 1 we were left with many questions about which characters were trustworthy and which were not and to be fair, it’s still a large unknown. We were starting to get a better idea about Springer (or were we?) and I have a theory about Bram which I hope is true.

The story itself is similarish to other famous YA dystopian novels and that’s okay by me as I loved these too. The book flies over and is a great read for anyone looking for something highly entertaining and not too heavy or long. From my perspective it is also a great book for someone , like me, who is new to this genre.

Highly recommended for fans of Hunger Games and Divergent.
Profile Image for Crystal.
392 reviews37 followers
March 17, 2020
Interesting read. Keeping in Mind this is only my 2nd YA/Dystopian book I read and when I started I thought I wasn't going to like it. However, it was so intriguing I kept reading and reading and found myself well... intrigued. I had to find out what happened next. I hated to put the book down.
Now when I read a book(s), I analyze the book as I read. One question I do ask myself is can this situation possibly happen in real life. The verdict on this book is yes I could see this happening in worse case scenario.
I honestly didn't know what to expect but will say this book exceeded my expectations. Look forward to the sequel of this book.
I highly recommend this book to read.
This book was a labor of love and comes from fragments of notes that the author made.
Will I read this book again? Jury is still out on that. However, I liked the book.
Profile Image for Beth Tabler.
Author 7 books172 followers
April 3, 2019
Author, Kristin Ward did a remarkable thing with the story. She took the environmental disaster story that is very common right now due to all the concerns about climate change and made it fresh. No small feat. Ward gives us a glimpse into a very possible environmentally destroyed world that is a bit harrowing when you think that something like this could be right around the corner.

The story is about a character named Enora. She is an 18-year-old high school student when we first start this novel. Much of her education is created and run by an organization called DMC, a company that controls water and water allocation and by extension the fate of the citizens of the US. The DMC controls the future of every citizen including their profession and how they contribute to the community. Any deviation from class or societal rules is met with harsh and quick punishment. There is a lot of information to be taken in, in short order. How society works, why society has crumbled and risen the way it has. How Enora and her family fit into the niche of society the way they do. Once you get past all the back story, the pace slows down a bit and Ward works on showing you the kind of person Enora is. Scared and confused, sure. But Enora has a strong core of strength that gets more apparent as the story moves towards its denouement. My only complaint about it is the way the story ended. The story abruptly stopped when it felt like it just was getting started. I wanted more to be a part of this book, at least something that could be considered a turning point of climax. That being said, it is a very well written story with a lot of promise. I look forward to jumping into book two and seeing how Enora’s journey pans out.
January 3, 2020
I really liked this book and how the world was created. I feel like it is very inspiring and tells us that we need to take action before our world ends up like this. I actually got to meet the author at school which was very cool. We chatted with her about the writing process and becoming an independently published author. Another fun thing was that she gave out signed copies of her book and I cannot wait to read the next one.
Profile Image for Kathi.
34 reviews
July 29, 2018
Great book!

Extremely believable story of a possible future for humanity and our planet, told through the voice of a young woman trapped within a system that is turning her into someone she doesn't wish to become. Well written and riveting.
May 18, 2022
I’m so mad.
I would have rated this higher except for this to end I HAVE to read the next book. This isn’t a complete story and now I feel I wasted my time.
What a bum out.
This had potential to be pretty good but to just stop in the middle so the author can sell you another book…
And that’s literally what it does.. it just stops.
No deal.
Profile Image for Mr Pink Ink.
331 reviews21 followers
May 27, 2019
Cape Town has been experiencing a water shortage since 2015 due to the winters being very dry; the rain being very sporadic with long stretches of heat between each downpour.

However dry and short of water it's people may be, the country is still beautifully green and lush. But what if it wasn't...?

Although having a bit of a slow start, with the intro bit sounding a lot like a history lesson, Kristin spins an incredibly well written story; fast paced and intriguing, keeping the reader guessing at the turn of every page. Disturbingly vivid imagery and thought provoking subjects are all meshed together beautifully.

I adore the characters that Kristin has brought to life; especially Enora - strong willed, determined, fiercely loyal to a fault & highly protective of her family. She doesn't trust easily or delude herself with false hope for too long. Her growth through the book was en pointe and I cannot wait to see who she becomes in book 2, Burden Of Truth.

I highly recommend After the Green Withered to all and sundry; it is really, really good - but remember to have a glass of water nearby, you may get really thirsty!
Profile Image for Kelly Van Damme.
725 reviews26 followers
April 1, 2019
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.

I received a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Devyani.
31 reviews13 followers
May 25, 2019

TITLE: After The Green Withered

AUTHOR: Kristin Ward

GENRE:  Young adult, Dystopian fiction


PAGE COUNT: 289 (Kindle edition)

After The Green Withered is one incredible story set in an imaginative dystopian future. It won the 2018 Best Indie Book Award in young adult fiction!

The story revolves around a young girl named Enora and her struggle in a world affected by drought. Water is the global currency here and the population is paid in water credits. In this world, where there’s scarcity of water and dearth of life, people are constantly vying and competing to stay alive.

Enora, a high school graduate, is one of those souls in this drought ridden world who’s constantly contemplating and toiling over her uncertainties. Soon after her graduation, she is made to work, against her will, for the DMC (Drought Mitigation Corporation). The DMC is an authoritative body that looks after the matters of the nation, manages it’s water resources and holds all the people within it’s strict confinement and surveillance. The world is devoid of democracy and anyone who deviates from what the DMC demands, is a traitor.

Enora tries hard to cope up with the detestable environment of the DMC. However she soon specializes in her role of the Pathfinder and is promoted to field work. No matter how hard it is for Enora to fit in, she executes her duties well and this leads her to take up more challenging tasks. She finds herself on a threatening and precarious  quest, which to her great surprise reveals the dark and grisly secrets of the DMC. The DMC is one sinister organization that keeps on imposing unfathomable harm to the nation and the unprivileged ones. The DMC’s deeds are horrific and indigestible…

Will Enora succeed in unveiling the appalling secrets of the DMC? Or will she vamoose from the deadly boundaries of this menacing organization?


“After the Green Withered” is a dystopian novel that talks about a very possible future. Water is an important natural resource. A drought-stricken world is even hard to imagine! It always sends a chill down my spine whenever I picturise a world with barren lands and lifeless bodies craving for a drop of water. Yet, we human beings do not think twice before exploiting our resources. We only regret our actions when it’s already too late!

It is quite evident from the story that the author has put a lot of effort into the making of this novel. The theme of the story is so profound and dense that it’ll helplessly draw you in. I could literally sympathize with Enora’s character. She was so much caught up in an incessant web of uncertainties and qualms, that I couldn’t help wondering how would I have reacted if I were in her position; you have your family, your career, your future on one hand and on the other, it is your basic human conscience that’s interrupting and holding you back from proceeding further into the depths of this tenebrous world! Like this is such an unfathomable and unsettling situation and the author has brilliantly crafted this novel in such a way that you can explicitly feel the trauma and the wariness that the narrator is going through.

I loved how the author has concentrated on the fine details that contribute to the quality of a novel. The description of the horrific and dreading acts carried out by the DMC left me completely bemused and unnerved! 

The author has been greatly successful in tenaciously building up the suspense at end of this novel! The sequel to this novel- “Burden of Truth” presumably reveals the grim secrets of this sinister organisation and how Enora fights with the dark underbelly of this authoritative body . I can’t seriously wait to read it now!

I personally love dystopian works as I feel it gives us an insight into the depths of a sombre and imaginative mind of an author. I would definitely recommend this book to all those readers out there who enjoy dystopian novels and would like to experience something a little different.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my review  ❤

If you have already enjoyed reading this book then don’t forget to drop down your thoughts in the comment section below. If you are yet to read the book then grab it up asap!

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Profile Image for A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol).
1,974 reviews1 follower
April 2, 2019
Book source ~ Book Tour. My review is voluntary and honest.

The world is barren and water is power for the Corporation that rules it in this YA Dystopian about Enora Byrnes and the choices made for her that she has to live with or die because of. Trust me when I say her tale will hurt you so good.

This book is scary because we could easily end up like Enora and everyone else in this story. It’s depressing as hell, but in a good way. Does that even make sense? I mean, it’s a great dystopian tale about what could happen if our climate changes so horribly that water becomes scarce and everything green just dies. It makes me appreciate that we aren’t that bad. Yet. We still have time to turn our planet around. In Enora’s world it’s so much worse than she could ever imagine, or that I could imagine. And I can imagine a lot. Oh, man, I do not envy her discovery.

When faced with an impossible choice what would you do? Toe the line with head down or resist and probably end up dying a painful death? It’s not a simple choice by any means and Enora’s internal conflict shows throughout the entire book. Should she? Shouldn’t she? What can she do? She’s just one person. Or is she?

The world building is decent even if it slows the narrative a bit in the beginning. The characters are pretty well-defined and the conflict, both external and internal, is nail-biting. I took off for the slow beginning and because Enora had a tendency to irritate me a bit at times. Even with the detractions I had a hard time putting the book down. This is one YA Dystopian you should not miss.
Profile Image for Kate Marie.
1 review1 follower
July 5, 2018
After the Green Withered terrifies you with visions of a devastated world, then draws you in to the truth behind DMC, the company that controls it all. The story was a little slow moving at first and the environmental explanations were overwhelming at times, but as the book progresses I found myself getting more invested in Enora's role with the DMC. I had so many questions and faced the same frustrations as the characters that by the cliffhanger ending I was yelling! And not the bad this-book-was-awful yelling. The I-need-to-know-what-this-all-means-when-is-the-next-one-coming-out kind of yelling. Ms. Ward did a great job of creating a future that could, in all honesty, be not so distant and I'm looking forward to seeing how Enora's story plays out in the sequel.
Profile Image for Melissa.
329 reviews6 followers
April 17, 2019
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Like many, I have read my fair share of post-apocalyptic books. And while many have kept me on the edge of my seat, After the Green Withered is the first to truly frighten me. Not because of the horror that is the world in this book, but because of how easily our world could follow down a similar path.

In reading After the Green Withered I was reminded of the poem The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot. Like the men described in the poem, the majority of the populace live in a kind of Hell. There is no where for them to go and they are far too afraid to try anything that could possibly help them for fear of retribution. We are shown this when one of Enora’s friends tries to build her own small hidden garden. Water is rigidly rationed and growing one’s own food is strictly forbidden. When the tiny garden is discovered, Enora is horrified to see her friend brutally arrested.

After the Green Withered is unique in that there are not many characters to drive the plot. Aside from the main character Enora, there are only a real handful of others that she interacts with and push the story along. Background characters make recurrent appearances, but it is only a few that make up the core of the story.

I found After the Green Withered to be a massively enjoyable read. It was a bit slow in the beginning as the world that Enora lives in is introduced to us, but once she leaves home the story continues at a breakneck speed. There are numerous twists and turns as Enora tries her best to not stand out while keeping true to herself and as she tries to figure out who she can and cannot trust.

My only disappointment comes in how Enora tends to agonize over every decision. While I cannot completely relate to the world she comes from, I do know that there are times when one only seems to be given a choice.

After the Green Withered is a fast paced book that unfortunately ends on a very awkward note. Thankfully, there is a sequel already out so the reader can immediately jump from one to the other should they wish.

Readers who like dystopian type novels with a well thought out back story and decently rounded characters should give this book a try. If nothing else, it will inspire you to possibly care about the environment around us a bit more.
Profile Image for J.B. Richards.
Author 6 books146 followers
March 6, 2019
Questions about morality and privilege are at the forefront of Author Kristin Ward’s dystopian saga about a 17-year-old young woman caught up in a world she cannot escape—A world which forces her to help eliminate those who do not conform to the strict, grossly unfair rationing and regulations that were placed on the majority of the surviving population after the world’s water reserves are sucked dry.

Author Kristin Ward introduces her main protagonist as an individual with little to hold on to in the material world, but much to bear on a young soul yearning for any joy or happiness to enter her bleak and bleary world. Enora’s thought process as she successfully trains and carries out mission after mission to eradicate what her superiors deem as threats to society is chillingly realistic and thought-provoking as she forcefully comes to realize that she is turning against her own people. Even as she receives pats on the back from her superiors and is living a better lifestyle, Enora is aware that she is forced to be a weapon against the poor, starving, and destitute of her world in order to protect the entitled and elite classes within the global government—the megalithic, world-dominating DMC corporation. What results is an in-your-face, spine-tingling read that shocks and awes as it presents one moral dilemma after another, resulting in an expected, but nevertheless shocking choice by Enora between the man she’s grown to care too much for and her future with DMC.

Ward’s tale is well written and is quite pertinent to our current age’s issues with government conglomerates, corporate influences on society, global warming, and future possibilities of mass extinctions. One cannot read this novel and come away without a sense that our world must take notice of the messages contained in her story.

“After the Green Withered” does contain violence, a government training teenagers as lethal military enforcers, a graphic description of a mass grave, and discussions on genetic experimentation, so I recommend it as a Teen to Adult read only. Although this book is currently classified under Amazon’s genres as a “Children’s Book”, I do not feel it is at all appropriate for young children, and so I highly recommend this novel only for ages 13 and up.

Profile Image for Lindsey.
81 reviews6 followers
April 11, 2019
I LOVED this book. I thought the premise was unique (not like Hunger Games and Divergent with some sort of faction-based system) that touched on the same topics that other dystopians do but in a new way. Frankly, I thought it was more realistic than many other dystopians I've read because we are suffering with continued loss of fresh water resources (especially where I live - in California) - it certainly made it all the more engulfing and suffocating. Power, deceit, manipulation, control... I always felt like I needed to keep reading to know what was around the corner. The characters were raw and emotional...even the males. I was so glad this was an ARC - I need to know what Springer knows/is connected to so I've purchased the sequel ^o^

The only thing I wish that the language wasn't as repetitive with the protagonist - the phrase "companionable silence" did get annoying to see over and over again. She also kept going in circles about thinking about her role as being bad for other humans, but then persisted anyways to "fit in" which was annoyingly human.
Profile Image for Joey Paul.
Author 21 books589 followers
January 18, 2019
I picked this up because of the blurb and the cover. It starts as a historical telling of what's come before and then jumps right into the action. Enora has hopes and dreams like any teenager about to embark on adulthood, but whether or not she gets to realise them is another matter. The Company control all the resources and against her wishes, Enora is ordered to join. The story is engaging, well-written and flows beautifully. I loved getting to see the sides of the world building without it taking away from the story. I am going to read the next as soon as possible as the ending leaves you wanting more. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for The Modest Yin.
73 reviews42 followers
August 26, 2019
This is the first time I've ever read a just-published book. The story about a dystopia in which water becomes currency in the future is engrossing and therefore unputdownable. It also makes me become more aware of the amount of water I use every day. Look forward to the next installment.
Profile Image for Emily Weatherburn.
127 reviews25 followers
May 4, 2019
Enora Byrnes was born in the future, only her world doesn’t look like ours. It isn’t lush or surrounded by water: it is barren. Years before Enora’s parents were born, the human race neglected their duties to the environment. They didn’t look after it, and then, one day, the icebergs melted, catastrophe hit, and all the world’s waters dried up. The only company who seemed to have prepared for such a disaster was the DMC. They took control of America’s water supplies and distributed them amongst the remaining population.

For Enora, the DMC has always been an undisputed power. They are not only in control of America’s water; they are also in control of its people. Enora has never had any interest in working for the company, knowing all its employees become “drones”. Yet one day, she is recruited as a pathfinder, and after she graduates from school, she is taken to the DMC headquarters to begin her training.

Her job is to track down the “terrorists” who seek to steal the DMC’s water supplies. She is involved in their executions, only she isn’t happy. No one has told her what these “terrorists” are guilty of. She knows nothing about them, and yet she must assist in their murder. As she continues her work, she begins to realise just how trapped she really is. If she doesn’t do her job, the DMC could hurt her friends and family, and yet how can she keep working when she knows just how wrong her actions are?

The Review

Kristin Ward’s dystopian debut, After the Green Withered, questions our treatment of the natural world. It gives life to the potential tragedies brought about by climate change, reminding us of the future generations that may suffer if we continue to pollute toxins into our atmosphere. By exploring such tragedies through Enora, it brings problems regarding climate change uncomfortably close to home, tackling powerful issues whilst nevertheless fulfilling the tropes of a successful young adult novel.

Enora has lived her life in a state of poverty; she has never had enough food, water, or even clean clothes. As a result, readers are likely to feel sympathy for her as she places herself into the clutches of the imperious DMC. Throughout After the Green Withered, she finds herself in a number of impossibly complex situations, risking her life on multiple occasions as she attempts to unravel the mysteries of this powerful organisation. Yet Enora is still very much a young girl, and she must also tackle the issues experienced by most young girls. She is involved in multiple romantic dramas that add an interesting layer of tension to this narrative whilst never overshadowing the threat of the DMC.

For the most part, this novel is well written. Ward’s writing may come across as a little abrupt, yet it is still descriptive, and it suits the setting of After the Green Withered, providing it with a mechanical feel that coincides with the technological advances Ward considers. The novel also contains short poems that help break up the story of After the Green Withered, although they are arguably not as powerful or emotionally charged as Ward intended them to be.

Perhaps the most irritating aspect of this book is its ending; it ends on a cliffhanger, which can be a very effective narrative device, yet in the case of After the Green Withered, it prevents the story from coming to any real kind of conclusion. This book is a part of a series, which may explain this use of the cliffhanger, yet a well-written series will allow each individual novel to speak for itself. This is not possible in After the Green Withered, for although it leaves its readers wanting more, this is arguably at the cost of a conclusive ending.

Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that After the Green Withered is an exceptionally powerful novel. To promote issues regarding climate change whilst conveying an action-driven narrative is no simple task, yet Ward hits the mark with this novel. Her message is simple: if we do not begin caring for our environment, future generations will suffer. In the case of After the Green Withered, millions of people died after the icebergs melted. The rest of the population live restricted lives as they follow the unquestioned orders of the DMC. She promotes this message to young adult readers, perhaps with the hope of encouraging environmental concerns in younger audiences. Whether this is successful or not, After the Green Withered is an extremely enjoyable story that is sure to keep you entertained.
Profile Image for Jess Combs.
144 reviews11 followers
August 19, 2019
I was hooked on this book from the very beginning!

It starts with a description of the world Enora has grown up in, and the little bit she’s aware of how it got to be this way. The way everything played out was so believable it gave me chills! I could totally see this happening in real life and it terrified me.

The Story:
Basically, we’ve destroyed the planet and now there’s not enough water or other basic resources for us to survive on. Years go by without a drop of rain. Water credits are now the world currency and most families are given barely enough to survive on.

Enora is 17 and is about to graduate from school. Upon graduating, she must choose a job from her limited options (none sound appealing to her) and start working – probably in the mill like her parents. At least, that’s what she expected to happen…

Instead, Enora is recruited by the DMC, the organization that “saved” the world from its population of destructive humans. The DMC is a global powerhouse that started out small, but now governs the entire world. Enora doesn’t want to work from them. It’s the thing she never saw as a possibility and thought of as the worst possible outcome for her future.

But no one really cares what she wants.

And no one says no to being recruited by the DMC.

So she’s thrust into a whole new world as she begins preparing for her new life. She loses touch with her only friend and starts a path to becoming someone she doesn’t recognize. But her parents are much better off and she does make some new friends, although she still feels like an outsider.

Even though things aren’t all bad, Enora continues to be plagued by a feeling that things aren’t right. However, she rationalizes all her doubts away, ignoring the warning signs until she can’t ignore them anymore.

There are a couple of different themes that run throughout the book and I feel like I could write a whole series of posts on them! But I’ll spare you from my ramblings and just break them down real simply here.

Enora, like many others, want to resist the pull of the DMC, but can’t see a way out. The consequences of resistance are just too severe. The phrase “resistance is futile,” while never actually used in After the Green Withered, ran through my head continually during my reading.

There’s also a major theme of the haves vs. the have nots. I won’t expound on that since it’s a pretty simple concept.

Of course, the underlying message throughout the entire book is basically “take care of the earth now before it’s too late.”

Also, don’t allow a single entity to become so powerful that it dictates everything for every person in the entire world!!!

The Writing:
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this story. After reading the synopsis, I was excited about getting to read it for the Ultimate Blog Tour, but the writing style wasn’t what I expected – or what I normally enjoy.

My preferred reading experience is heavy on the dialogue. But After the Green Withered actually has little of that.

Somehow, I found myself pulled more into the story than I ever have with a book written in this way. I wanted to point this out because I think it shows what amazing skill the author has in spinning a tale!

There was only one negative thing I could find in the whole book that bothered me… It happened pretty far in and so I was already hooked and fully immersed in the world and then suddenly I was thrown back into reality like I’d rode in on lightening!

About halfway through the book, there’s a place where Enora and her partner, Springer, have parked and are walking through a parking garage type structure. They’re far away from their vehicle when suddenly I read “He parks the jeep outside a large building…” It took me a good 10 minutes to get past that point and be able to jump back into the story. This isn’t something that may have bothered anyone else as much as it did me. This is the only time that happens, so it’s not a reason to ditch the book, but if this is one of your reading pet peeves… you’ve been warned!

Final Thoughts:
I loved reading After the Green Withered and I recommend it for just about anyone! It’s thought-provoking and entertaining and I just loved it!!! I will say though, it’s caused me to feel some guilt about how much water I use!

*I received a free copy of this book as part of the Ultimate Blog Tour hosted by The Write Reads. This did not influence my opinion or review in any way.*
Profile Image for Lily | Literary Lily.
102 reviews57 followers
April 3, 2019
Review copied over from my blog check it out for more reviews and other bookish content!

After the Green Withered by Kristin Ward, a heartbreaking tale of thirst, desperation and trust. In the spirit of full disclosure, I was gifted a free copy of this book in exchange for my participation in a blog tour by the author. This review is still 100% honest!

When a drought spread across the globe killing billions, the United States became a shadow of its former self. Enora Byrnes lives in a small town controlled by the DMC, the company in charge of food, water, education and every aspect of people's lives. In this new world, water is the currency and only the elite have access to more than what is needed to survive.

Shortly before her graduation, Enora is offered a role within the DMC, something she never expected. As she is thrown into this world where everyone except her seems to be a 'drone', made to look, act as speak alike, she discovers that the DMC is not all that it seems. But who can she trust when she starts to uncover secrets that could change the lives of everyone under the DMC's control?

I have to admit, when I heard that this was a dystopian novel, I was a little apprehensive. I was a young teen during the Hunger Games era and the boom of dystopian novels. I saw it done well, and I saw it butchered by authors just trying to ride the wave of popularity. I am so very glad I took a chance on this book because After the Green Withered has such a unique premise and some really interesting world building.

The start to this book is slow, but in a good way. You are gradually introduced to the world that has been created by the DMC and the monotony of Enora's daily life. At the start of the book, the true shining star is our rebel-at-heart best friend, Safa. She was a breath of fresh air in the grey world and I loved her characterisation. She was so smart and funny and felt very much like the confident young teen she is. I wish we got to see more of her because she was a wonderful character!

It was interesting seeing this world through the eyes of Enora, she is an intriguingly flawed and naive narrator. One of the most captivating aspects of this book is watching Enora going from an innocent teenage girl who believes everything she is told, to a fierce, broken young woman dealing with the weight of so many dark secrets. I have to admit, I found her a little irritating at first, but as she began to see the world for what it is I grew to really love her and root for her.

What I particularly liked about After the Green Withered is that it was much cleverer than I was expecting. There were so many plot twists, particularly towards the end of the book, that I did not predict. However, when I look back there were so many clever indicators that foreshadowed what was coming and I love that! I wont spoil anything but the plot twists truly shocked me, especially the ending!

On the same vein, I could not have predicted how much I would fall in love with the character of Springer. I won't say too much about him in case it spoils the book for some readers, but truly he is a gem. He sees Enora in a light other make characters never have, and he is surprisingly gentle and emotional for a male character in a dystopian novel. I really liked the contrast he had with Enora's character.

All in all, I am so glad I read After the Green Withered and I thank the Write Reads for setting up this blog tour and giving me the chance to read this book! It was a little slower than I'd like, but it felt like it was setting itself up for a much more involved sequel. I can't wait until I get the chance to read the second book and find out what is next for Enora and Springer. If you are a fan of dystopia and strong female leads, please check out this book!
Profile Image for Alex.
786 reviews19 followers
April 2, 2019
This book really made me think about how much water I am using on a daily basis. Enora's generation does not even know what it is like to have enough water to live comfortably. All of the previous generations wasted water until there was barely any left, and now humanity is surviving on the last droplets. Enora does blame the previous generations for ruining her world, and she doesn't want to give birth to any children in order to keep them out of this suffering world. But she keeps looking forward, questioning everything, and never settling for what the barren world was giving her. 

I wanted to cry as I was reading about how they had to live in this time. Everything was dry, dirty, and gritty. No one alive at the time knew or could remember what it was like to live with water. The government took advantage of this and grew into power while helping people to control their water usage. 

Enora was such a smart character. She knew that something was up from the point that she was offered a way to basically join the government's army, and she never believed their propaganda. All of the actions scenes were accompanied by her conflicting inner thoughts as she wondered what she was really doing. She even explored with the new characters that she met along the way, finding out the secrets about her government. 
The only thing that I didn't like about this story was the slight love triangle that I think is starting to appear. I don't know for sure, but it could even be a love square! I just personally like my YA characters to be tied down to one person or another to eliminate unnecessary drama, so this disappointed me a little bit. But the book did end on a cliffhanger, so I don't know how these relationships are going to change in future books. I can't wait for future books!

This book moved so smoothly throughout each chapter. It wasn't so fast-paced that I got lost, but it wasn't so slow-paced that the author was describing every tree that Enora passed on a walk. I read the book almost completely in one sitting and verbally said "that's it?" once I reached the end. I was on the edge of my seat, Ward had me hooked!

Overall, this was one of the best, if not the best YA dystopian novels that I have read in a long time. I was already planning out scenes for the movie as I was going through it, it was great! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a brand new YA dystopian science fiction/fantasy read. 

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review. 
Profile Image for Ezzy.
161 reviews46 followers
April 8, 2019
''It wasn't always thus, this tragic world
Of dust and death, but the green withered
And with it, our dreams for the future,''


I have received this book for free from The Write Reads and Kristin Ward in exchange of an honest review for this blog tour.

Okay, so this day one of the very first Ultimate Blog Tour hosted by The Write Reads featuring ONE HUNDRED bloggers over ten days about one book. I am very nervous to be part of the first ten stops, but excited nonetheless!

I want to start with saying this book really sends a message. It is a dystopian fantasy based on what the world could be in about a hundred years if we don't battle climate change actively and start thinking about our water reserves and how they'd be in the future. I believe this book could be an amazing tool to open people's eyes properly, especially young people, without boring lectures or pamphlets on the streetcorners. It describes very accurately, and not too exaggerated, what will happen in the near future and all the consequences in the long run. I am very much aware the planet is going to shit, but to visualize it when reading this book is a whole 'nother level. I am glad we are spreading the word about this book in the next week and a half, because more people need to read this.

For the people worried, no this book isn't all heavy the entire time. It is still YA and it definitely feels and reads like it still. It is about a young girl dealing with how the world now is and keeps thinking about how the world was and how it changed. In many books like this the protagonist is somewhat rebellious against the system, but Enora is very understanding about why the system is like this. Ofcourse she has doubts by certain aspects, but not too much. It is very refreshing to see this in a post-apocalyptic dystopian and shows the other site of teenage behaviour.

The story itself is amazing. It had a nice pacing and a good passage of time. The time that wasn't too relevant for the plot, sometimes days or weeks, wasn't written in full detail, and the relevant time, sometimes seconds or minutes, was described in its full glory. No "10 pages to describe a tree"-syndrome to be found here. It actually made it feel more rewarding to read as you actually advanced through the plot instead of spending pages upon pages on something simple (I am looking at you, SJM.)

Kristen Ward's writing style is very smooth, easy to follow and very inviting to read for a longer period of time. Especially the last thing is very appreciated by me as I tend to read 50-100 pages per day in one or two goes.

I would really recommend this book to both teenagers and adults alike. It is a very enjoyable (and not so long) read with a great message between the lines. It has great a great plot, a very well written protagonist and the realism of how the written world matches our real one is something that should get more attention. I would really encourage you to read the synopsis on Goodreads, as it gives a great idea of the story without giving too much away. Ofcourse you can ask me questions aswell.

I very much enjoyed reading this book and I am actually VERY curious for what happens next! I am definitely going to read the sequel at some point this year.

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