Note: This book was provided to me free of charge by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
PopSugar Reading Challenge: A Book That Takes Place During Summer
I’m on a bit of an apocalypse/dystopian kick at the moment aren’t I? It seems to be a really popular genre this year so there’s heaps of great novels coming out. Apocalypses are so hot right now.
Water is one of those things we don’t really think about in the first world. You turn a tap and water comes out. That’s just life. I’ve never read a novel that looked at what would happen to the world if the water simply up and disappeared. No droughts or warning. Just gone.
On a searing summer Friday, Eddie Chapman has been stuck for hours in a traffic jam. There are accidents along the highway, but ambulances and police are conspicuously absent. When he decides to abandon his car and run home, he sees that the trees along the edge of a stream have been burnt, and the water in the streambed is gone. Something is very wrong.
When he arrives home, the power is out and there is no running water. The pipes everywhere, it seems, have gone dry. Eddie and his wife, Laura, find themselves thrust together with their neighbors while a sense of unease thickens in the stifling night air.
Thirst takes place in the immediate aftermath of a mysterious disaster–the Chapmans and their neighbors suffer the effects of the heat, their thirst, and the terrifying realization that no one is coming to help. As violence rips through the community, Eddie and Laura are forced to recall secrets from their past and question their present humanity. In crisp and convincing prose, Benjamin Warner compels readers to do the same. What might you do to survive?
I feel like Thirst captured the sense of panic that would accompany the water going missing. So many apocalyptic sagas have an everyday person coping with extraordinary circumstances ridiculously well. Everyone has these hidden talents that cause that mean they can survive in dystopia, but Eddie and Laura are ‘every men’ – they care about their neighbors, they panic, they hoard. Benjamin Warner really captured what people would be like in a true crisis. They might not completely lose their humanity, but they will still be looking out for number one.
The characters in this book are a little hard to like. You don’t get to know them really well as it’s not the sort of book filled with loads of backstory and pointless conversation. It turned the reader into an impassive observer, which strangely worked in the story’s favor.
The Not So Good
If you’re the sort of person who has to know why something’s happening, you will hate this novel. No explanation is given for the disappearance of the water. The writing style is unusual too, it becomes more erratic the longer it goes – mirroring the journey of the characters. While I appreciated what they were trying to do, it sort of took me away from the plight of the characters and made it difficult to read. I think it would definitely make more sense the second time round.
My Rating: (4 / 5)
Thirst by Benjamin Warner is published in Australia by Bloomsbury and is available now.