So I’m typing up this review mere hours after having finished the book and I have to say I don’t just want to know happens next – I NEED to know!!! Aaaah!! How could the story end like this????
But ok, deep breath, count to ten and let me start from the beginning.
After The Green Withered is a YA dystopian novel, a work of fiction, the result of a creative mind. But then again, the story comes so close to something that might very possible mean reality for us one day that it just hooks you right from page one.
What if the world we know changes, when it is not money that rules the world but something far, far more vital? In Enora’s world, where drought has washed away any green that once coloured the landscape, water is the currency, and it is controlled harshly. Here’s the blurb:
They tell me the country looked different back then.
They talk of open borders and flowing rivers.
They say the world was green.
But drought swept across the globe and the United States of the past disappeared under a burning sky.
Enora Byrnes lives in the aftermath, a barren world where water has become the global currency. In a life dominated by duty to family and community, Enora is offered a role within an entity that controls everything from water credits to borders. But it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. From the wasted confines of her small town to the bowels of a hidden city, Enora will uncover buried secrets that hide an unthinkable reality.
As truth reveals the brutal face of what she has become, she must ask herself: how far will she go to retain her humanity?
How does this sound? Interesting? Worth having a look? Well trust me, it is – you will not be able to stop once you have started! Enora is a great lead for a YA book. She is strong and uses her brain even though she struggles with the reality of her situation (and rightfully so), she isn’t one of those who just follow the big leaders without questioning them, their morals and aims. You find yourself rooting for Enora from page one and hoping that no harm comes her way as she is faced by obstacles and one danger after the other. She doesn’t have much choice in what she has to do because there is no possible way of saying no in her world, but Enora doesn’t let this stop her. Early on in the story she is chosen by the governing body, the so-called DMC (which controls water consumption and the borders, so basically everything), to work for them. Working for the DMC puts Enora in an elite position. Before that, she had nothing, was nothing – a nobody, a pleb. The position she is chosen for would entitle Enora and her family to extra water, a luxury she wouldn’t ever have dreamt of, so how could she possibly say no? Her training position means a new, difficult situation for her – but people who judge her and give her the side eye for being chosen despite being a pleb soon seem the smallest of her problems. It’s easy to say that I was rooting for Enora the whole time. Soon she and the guy she works with, Springer, find out some very dark and disturbing secrets the DMC has been hiding. I don’t want to give too much away, but trust, me this will shake you to your core.
I really liked the variety of other characters the book contains. Enora’s friends and family, the potential love interests and antagonists of the story, they all add to the eerie, action-packed and captivating story. What makes the book all the more enthralling was that you never really knew who to trust, just like Enora. She doesn’t know, but neither does the reader, which adds a whole other layer of suspension to the story. Even though I was wary of most of the characters (but the mc) from the beginning, this only becomes worse the more we dive into the story. Who is friend, who is foe?
Something very special that I loved were the poem-like few lines in between each chapter. They are deep and meaningful, and I loved trying to decipher their meaning ahead of time (I’m not going to say if I succeeded or not lol).
Summing up I can say that I don’t just recommend After The Green Withered to fans of dystopias and sci-fi – if you know me a little bit you’ll know that neither belongs to my favourite genres, but I loved this book regardless – and this is what makes it a 5 star read for me. I’m long past the point where I judge books only by whether I’m a fan of the genre or the story (or by covers, but I do have to admit I’m a sucker for pretty covers lol); I like to read between the lines, look at the characters, the world-building, makes the story sense or not, are you hooked, and many, many more things. This story is special. It’s eye-opening, thought-provoking and deep, it’s imaginative and captivating, and I’m so grateful for both Dave @The_WriteReads for inviting me to this blogtour (make sure you guys have a look at all the other stops of the tour too!) as well as the author Kristin Ward. I’m so glad I got to read this gem of a book and can’t wait to find out what happens in book 2!
If you want to know more about the author, check out her bio here:
Kristin Ward has loved writing since middle school but took thirty years to do something serious about it. The result is her Best Indie Book Award-winning novel, After the Green Withered, followed by the sequel, Burden of Truth. She lives in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, three sons, and many furry and feathered friends. A SciFi geek to the core, she is fueled by dark chocolate and coffee and can be heard quoting eighties movies on a regular basis.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more