Blog Tour Book Review! - AFTER THE GREEN WITHERED by Kristin Ward

I'm extremely pleased to be a part of #UltimateBlogTours hosted by Dave and the gang over at the amazing website The Write Reads!  Today is Day #9 of the tour and the book that I will be reviewing is AFTER THE GREEN WITHERED by author Kristin Ward.  It's important to mention that the book won a Best Indie Book Award in 2018.  Further biographical info about Kristin will be included at the end of my review as well as a link to purchase the book on Amazon.  And now without further delay, my review of AFTER THE GREEN WITHERED.

AFTER THE GREEN WITHERED takes place in a dystopian United States where the land has become a barren wasteland and water is the new global currency.  It is wielded as a weapon by corrupt government leaders and it is very apparent that if you aren't part of the elite ruling class, you are going to have an extremely difficult time just making it from day to day.  All of what has occurred has been due to the effects of climate change that has long been ignored by past political regimes.  Enter main character 17 year-old Enora Byrnes, who takes a job with a government controlled entity that itself is one of the biggest offenders of the new strangulating water-rationing laws.  The philosophy is quite simple, conform and fall in line with what we want or be crushed under our boot and die of thirst/starvation.  

At first Enora goes along with what she has been charged to do because she like everyone else is just looking for a lifeline of survival in this new and destitute reality.  However, as the horrors of the agency that she works for begin to slowly get revealed and Enora digs deeper and deeper, she becomes disgusted with what she discovers.  At the same time, she is still very much a teenager and is struggling with her desire to do what is right while still doubting whether one person alone can make a difference.  Can Enora gather up enough courage to expose what she has uncovered and maybe bring about a positive change?  Or will her employer get to her before any of that can happen?  Just a couple of the questions raised in this entertaining YA dystopian story.

AFTER THE GREEN WITHERED is definitely a book with a relevant political and social message.  Author Kristin Ward does not pull any punches in this regard and the reader absolutely gets a taste of what the world could possibly be like if we continue down our current path with regard to how we are addressing environmental issues.  I'm a fan of dystopian SF like this one, and I thought that by and large the author did a solid job of creating an atmosphere that delved into the hopelessness that living under these conditions would obviously engender.  I also thought that the character of Enora Byrnes was very well done, and even though she is seventeen, she still possessed a strength and resolve that most teenagers simply do not possess.  

My only minor stumbling points were that I wanted to know a bit more about the conditions that caused the current situation and water crisis.  I know that climate change was alluded to as the culprit, but more back story would have really gotten me more invested in the plight of the characters.  Also I thought there were a few slow points where some info-dumping occurred, but those were few and far between, so I was able to get past it for the most part.  I definitely recommend this book to fans of post-apocalyptic and dystopian SF, because it is an entertaining read.  It is also a great read for younger readers who enjoyed Veronica Roth's Divergent series and the Gone series by Michael Grant.  All in all I liked this book quite a bit and am looking forward to revisiting this world again very soon.

You can purchase AFTER THE GREEN WITHERED on Amazon by clicking this link:

About the author:

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 80's movies on a regular basis.