Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Water Knife

The Water KnifeThe Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Colorado River has begun to dry up and this has caused Nevada, Arizona and California to be constantly fighting about water rights. These fights take place in the courts, but also violently in person. Angel is known as a Water Knife. He uses his skills in multiple ways, some of which leave his targets dead. Angel is sent to Phoenix to investigate claims of a water source that will change everything. As bodies pile up and additional players are introduced, the story moves faster than the river everyone is fighting about.

The Water Knife is a new book for adults that many teens will pick up and devour. The story itself is great and the plot moves along nicely, but three-quarters of the way through the book there is an unnecessarily graphic sex scene. I don’t know if the author put it there to ensure an “adult genre,” but it just felt staged and out of place in this otherwise great action-adventure story. I won’t reduce my rating since these couple of pages were easy to skim over to get back to the real story in my hands. A strong read that was well worth my time.

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1 comment:

  1. THE WATER KNIFE: 'cli fi' or 'sci fi'? The 'debate' goes on...

    ''We might come up with amazing technofixes for climate that will mature as technologies in xyz years, or we could just tax carbon now.'' via TWITTER

    BLOGGER SAYS: "I received a FREE ''ARC.''
    THE WATER KNIFE was more disturbing than I initially thought it would be. I read Bacigalupi’s ''Ship Breaker'' duo and since that was fairly speculative I thought this one would follow suit. It was shockingly realistic though. From what I know of the Colorado River, it, and the states it supplies, are going to be in trouble in the near future. That, combined with the lack of futuristic technology in the book, make it seem very close to reality. This book is ultimately about water, and a future in which it has become dangerously scarce.''

    What happens in the near future when, in the face of global warming and impending permanent drought, the infertile lands of the U.S. Southwest lose the use of water pipelines from Lake Meade and Lake Havasu - and the Colorado River, pray tell?

    Cli-fi novelist Paolo Bacigalupi has done his homework and written a cli-fi thriller around it titled The Water Knife, his latest cli-fi, and yes, it is a speculative fiction semi-apocalyptic tale ''in which the planet's carbon boot has tread all over its already dry regions leaving a permanent footprint of drought," as one pundit puts it, adding: "In this new world that Bacigalupi conjures. water equals power and the powerful will not hesitate to carve their own arterial conduits, when necessary, to feed the heart of their influence.''

    So is THE WATER KNIFE cli-fi or sci-fi?