Review: Drought

Review: DroughtDrought by Pam Bachorz
Published by EgmontUSA on January 25, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

A young girl thirsts for love and freedom, but at what cost?

Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from the backbreaking work of gathering Water. Escape from living as if it is still 1812, the year they were all enslaved.

When Ruby meets Ford—an irresistible, kind, forbidden new Overseer—she longs to run away with him to the modern world where she could live a normal teenage life. Escape with Ford would be so simple.

But if Ruby leaves, her community is condemned to certain death. She, alone, possesses the secret ingredient that makes the Water so special—her blood—and it’s the one thing that the Congregation cannot live without.

Drought is the haunting story of one community’s thirst for life, and the dangerous struggle of the only girl who can grant it.

Drought is a really strange book. Partly because I thought it was going to be a dystopia, which it did seem to be for a while, but then it turned out to be something else. I would not have picked up on the point of the story at all, if not for an observation by one of the characters; I would discuss it, because it’s an interesting theme, but the reveal is a part of what makes the story interesting, so I won’t. Suffice it to say that it is covering fairly new ground in teen lit.

The story is fairly slow moving without much real action; the characters spend much of the book gathering water and getting beatings. While a whipping may sound like action, it felt more like drudgery, because it happened to the Congregants most every day. Just because the book is slow doesn’t mean it was hard to get through; it actually flowed along at a slow pace, like a sluggish river.

The characters were a bit of a weak point. Ruby was definitely most likable, which is good since you see from her perspective. I couldn’t get caught up in her romance or her worries about the Congregation though, because I did not see why either one really deserved such devotion.

Religious themes are hugely important to the plot of this novel. The Congregation is so named because they all worship together. They worship Otto, their savior who promised to return (sound somewhat familiar?). They believe in him because of the miracles he performed (now?). A couple of clever things are done with this, such as the scene where Ruby and her love interest both insult one another’s beliefs: she his in the Holy Trinity and he hers in Otto.

Overall, I really do not know how I feel about this book. It was just so strange! For that reason alone, I think I am happy to have read it, because it is definitely walking some fresh ground. My plans to read Candor, Bachorz’ other book have not changed; this book was well-written enough and interesting enough to earn her another try.

4 responses to “Review: Drought”

  1. Jasmine Rose says:

    Hmm. I’m sad to hear you didn’t end up liking this one all that much. It’s been on my TBR for quite some time and I’ve been looking forward to it. I think I’ll still give it a chance, but I’ll go in with caution. Thanks for the review :]

  2. M.A.D. says:

    Well, that does sound strange. Although, I started laughing when you said *gathering water and getting beatings* (I’m an awful person, for some reason this struck me as hilarious) O>O

    Think I’ll just see if I can borrow this one form the library for now. ‘Am curious about the fresh ground 😀

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