Barren Waters

A Post-Apocalyptic Tale of Survival

Fiction - Science Fiction
390 Pages
Reviewed on 05/20/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

The oceans are officially dead in the post-apocalyptic novel Barren Waters by Julia Shupe. Jeremy's mission is to get his diabetic daughter to San Diego. The only problem is that San Diego is on the other side of the USA, and transport like cars and planes are long gone. Only very few people are left, and they are competition for the limited resources that are still left - especially clean water which is very valuable in a world in which rivers, lakes, and oceans are filled with plastics, toxins, and algae. Jeremy and his daughter encounter many challenges during their journey, meet other people, and have to make some grueling decisions about life and death - often that of said other people. But why is it so important that the two make it to San Diego? What secret is hiding there?

Readers of Barren Waters by Julia Shupe will have to stay focused and pay close attention to the dates of the different chapters. I initially didn't, and found the various timelines very confusing as I am more used to books being more or less chronological. This one isn't and randomly goes from the present to the past and then even further into the past. Personally, I would have preferred a chronological order, though I can see what the author tried to do. Apart from the initial confusion, I enjoyed the plot and pace of it very much. Unfortunately, the catastrophe described in this novel isn't that far from the truth: thanks to humankind, the oceans ARE dying and too few people care. Novels like this might wake up some people and get them to think about their own role in the destruction of the planet. For this alone, the novel needs to be praised. It is a wake up call (I hope) for readers who take water and the world's oceans and rivers for granted. The novel shows what can happen when we lose our oceans, and how the world will slowly fall apart. It is written in an engaging way, and the main characters are all interesting and have their own sets of issues they need to deal with during the plot. They have to make decisions that would be hard for anybody, and readers will follow their arduous journey with excitement.