Title: The Cloud Seeders
Author: James Zerndt
Published: 2012 by James Zerndt
Eighteen year old Thomas is currently the sole provider and guardian for his nine-year-old brother Dustin. They haven’t seen their parents in over a year. Both Dustin and Thomas work on water patrol as Officers of Sustainability. It hasn’t rained in a very long time, and water is so scarce that people get fined if they are misusing or using too much water. It’s Thomas’s job to find these people who misuse water. While Thomas doesn’t necessarily agree with what he does, it’s his way to provide for his small family and keep under the radar. His girlfriend, Jerusha, is a little more daring, living her life making recycled water and selling it on the black market. Together with Jerusha they go across country to find their parents. They find both friends and trouble along the way.
This book was surprisingly unique, unlike any other dystopian I’ve read. Glancing through other reviews some call it depressing, but isn’t all dystopia depressing?
Thomas is a strong character. Although he works for the government finding people who misuse water, he slyly gives them a break as well. One woman his brother and himself happened upon had eight offenses. Dustin, being only nine, got excited about this, because they get points for each ‘ticket’ they give and can trade them in for fresh water. Thomas, being older and wiser, sends his brother off and only gives the woman two tickets.
His girlfriend Jerusha is confident and daring. She knows what’s happening in the world is out of control. And she’s a great big sister-like figure to Dustin.
Throughout the book we get to read poems by Thomas’s mother and see some memories of her as well. One such memory is Thomas’s mom teaching him how to surf; he was sure that the wave was way too big. His mom laughed and said, “Oh, Thomas. The only limits are the ones you choose to see.” (page 78).
And another memory Thomas has,
I remember something Mom told us once. How the world is made up of two kinds of people: steak knives and butter knives. For the steak knives, life comes easy. They cut right through things without any trouble. For the butter knives, things are a little difficult, take a little longer. But eventually get the job done. (page 256)
I like his mom.
So although this book is a little dark it was a page turner and the ending doesn’t leave you sad. If you like dystopia, definitely give The Cloud Seeders a try.
My Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
*****I received this book free from Pump Up Your Book in exchange for an honest review.*****
About the Author:
James Zerndt lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and son. His poetry has appeared in The Oregonian Newspaper, and his fiction has most recently appeared in Gray’s Sporting Journal and SWINK magazine. He rarely refers to himself in the third person.
His latest book is the YA scifi, The Cloud Seeders.
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