Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved.
She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood.
So she stays.
But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known?
I do really like the colors on this cover and how muted they are. The face that is transposed over the forest is pretty cool also.
I wonder who this Otto is...
I've been sitting and trying to write this review for about the last 20 minutes, and I still don't know exactly how to express my feeling about this book. Disappointment reigns supreme right now, but I also have an appreciation for the writing in the book so I'm at war with myself. Be warned that the following review may be rather long and rambling. I'm going to try to explain everything I'm currently feeling.
First off, Drought definitely drew me in with its unique premise. I liked that Ruby and her community were trapped in an early-nineteenth century lifestyle because it gave the book an interesting twist. Their clothes were simple, their homes were simple, it was their lives that definitely weren't. Darwin West is their captor and he demands that they collect the water that heals and renews. He doesn't know the secret of how it is obtained, only that these people are the only ones who can collect it. All of that was pretty intriguing and led to a nicely paced plot.
What really threw me off was how flat all the characters felt to me. There is no emotion in the book nearly at all, expect for what Ruby feels towards Ford. These oppressed people all seem so okay with their stake in life that it drove me nuts! I wanted to scream at them, and sadly I slightly felt like they deserved their place in life if they weren't going to try to change things. It was only Ruby, who was deemed a rebel, who wanted anything different than what was given to her in life. Looking back I suppose this was important to the overall story at times, but it made for a very dry read.
My other issue was simply that there are so many questions unanswered at the end of the book. I'll admit that the real reason I actually read so fervently to the end wasn't because I was invested in the story or the characters, but because I really wanted to find out what was going on with Ruby's blood and the mysterious Otto. Unfortunately I wasn't given very much more information and I left the story behind feeling very dissatisfied. There isn't any hint toward a sequel either, so I'm kind of at a loss as to what actually is going on with these people in the story.
Long story short, I did like the writing and the setting of the story. It was interesting enough to keep me reading at the beginning. However the attitude and the cult mentality of the characters was dry very quickly, and I found myself lost in terms of understanding exactly what was going on wit them. Overall I'd say that I enjoyed this story enough to recommend it as a library read. I always say you might enjoy it more than I did!
Author: Pam Bachorz
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pages: Hardcover; 400
Source: Received for promotional tour.
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Final Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart