I received a copy of Kristin Ward’s After The Green Withered for my review on The Ultimate Blog tour organised by The Write Reads.
I highly recommend any and all book bloggers out there to join us in ‘The Gang’ the largest most supportive blogging community I’ve seen. Head over to @thewritereads on Twitter to contact the wonderful Dave for more info.
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?
It took me two attempts to read this book, at one point it was heading for my DNF pile but I’m glad I persevered.
I have to admit that I struggled with the prologue. Whilst it was informative and laid the ground for the story ahead, it was very much a massive info dump. We aren’t introduced to any characters or plot, instead we’re given a lengthy explanation of how the world came to be as it is now. Desolate, drought ridden and controlled by the DMC.
The beginnings of the story were reminiscent of earlier YA dystopia The Hunger Games and Divergent. Young Enora lives an impoverished life with her parents, surviving on strict water rations and awaiting her career instructions after graduation.
Forced to join the ranks of the DMC and leave behind everything she’s known, Enora’s journey to becoming a Pathfinder was an interesting one. My favourite part of this book was waiting for the secrets of the Company to unravel.
There are few female characters in this tale, instead we watch Enora struggle to decide who she can trust. Between Bram- an old friend turned cold DMC Commander, Drake- a sudden new found ally and Springer- her designated partner. I found it a little disappointing that Ward hints at Enora developing confusing romantic feelings for all three of these men.
They all had similar habits- tucking back strands of Enora’s hair, hugging her head to their chests and setting secret meeting places at night. This alongside the swinging pendulum of her trust and suspicion of each man made it difficult to differentiate between them and choose which to ship.
The writing of settings is beautifully descriptive, making it easy to conjure images of Enora’s surroundings at all times, however I’m left with no clear idea of the characters themselves. I also felt there was very limited dialogue, each line seeming to be sparse amongst heavy interpretation from Enora.
However, the fast moving plot kept me invested in After The Green Withered, my need to discover exactly what the DMC is up to and learn where the loyalty of each man truly lies had me turning pages.
I greatly enjoyed the unique concept of a world controlled using water as currency and the eerie plausibility of it in a time where climate control is a rapidly growing threat to life on earth.
If you’re looking for a fast paced, female-led, YA dystopian this may be the book for you.