This is the very first Blog Tour I’m being a part of and I couldn’t be more happy that it is organized by The Write Reads. An, if you don’t already know, amazing support group for bloggers, where we retweet and visit each other’s blogs and it’s just a wonderful community that I’m so thankful for! It is all about the bloggers and it was organized perfectly! It’s a great life if you’re part of the gang 😉
But enough of that, let’s talk books!
When Dave from The Write Reads approached me and asked if I wanted to be part of this blog tour, I immediately said yes after reading the synopsis for After the Green Withered.
I love reading Dystopian novels, how they acknowledge my fears about what may happen if we continue the way we do, but give me hope at the same time. And not through simply saying everything will be okay, or pretend that the things that happened aren’t gonna stay with you forever, but through showing me that it can be fought and change can happen even if it doesn’t appear that way at first.
After the Green Withered is an environmental dystopian. It’s not a huge flashy apocalyptic event that happened or anything, but just the climate changing slowly and people not realizing what happened. Or rather ignoring what happened until it was nearly too late.
And that is the strongest part of this book. The world the characters live in is soo damn realistic it’s scary. You can tell that Kristin did a lot of research for this and was really passionate about this topic.
(Pro tip for reading this book: Have a large bottle of water, a cup of tea etc next to you! Seriously! Reading about characters not being able to drink when they want … makes you wanna drink aaaaall the water)
After the Green Withered actually got an Award, for the Best Indie Book and I think it’s well deserved. I hadn’t heard about the book before and I’m so glad I did.
If you wanna know more about Kristin Ward and her writing process keep your eyes peeled for my author interview on the 7th!! (And or check out #UltimateBlogTours on twitter to find the other blog posts of this tour!)
But, let’s start with what the book is about.
Title: After the Green Withered
Author: Kristin Ward
Published: May 13th 2018
You can buy the book here*
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I get a small commission
at no extra cost to you
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?
The book starts with some kind of ‘What happened recently’. It explains how the world came to be the way it is in the story and what life looks like in that strictly regulated society. How the DMC, or The Company, came to be in power and how they present themselves as the saviours by regulating the water resources.
This can be quite jarring, to just get all the basic facts about the world right away. but I thought it worked very well in this instance. It suited not only the story, the world but also the contemplative nature of Enora, our mc.
Enora is a very thoughtful person, she thinks about her situation a lot, considers the different options and what the costs or benefits may be. I really enjoyed getting to see her internal struggle between adapting to this society as much as possible, to fit in (not only for her benefit but that of her family as well) and getting to the bottom of the issues she sees, acknowledging that not everything the Company does is for the greater good, or is it?
The book does an awesome job of showing how difficult it can be to accept what consequences your actions are having. How even though you might be sceptical, you can still wear rose-tinted glasses because you just don’t want to see.
Enora learns that not everything is black or white, good vs evil. But that the world is in shades of grey.
I especially appreciated her realizing that people who do ‘bad’ stuff aren’t necessarily evil themselves. That there might be a lot of different reason why a person acts the way they do. And that she was able to apologize.
The slow build of trust, but the fear of being betrayed at the same time …
This is most definitely not a happy go lucky kind of story and because of that, we get to know mostly just one side of each character. (Which can make it a little hard to connect with them) Their life is very regulated, there is no room for free time, for personality to be honest. Another thing Enora struggles with.
We also don’t really get to know a lot of other characters besides Enora very well. Her partner is probably the most fleshed out, but some others do feel a little like the typical YA side characters. I was a little disappointed during the middle when Lina turned out to be the usual jealous antagonist. We don’t focus on her a lot though, so it’s fine.
We do get glimpses of what they are when they aren’t watched though, in flashback scenes and I loved getting this sliver of freedom and how they might feel that way.
This also ties in very well with a person from her past she meets again in The Company. I’m very curious to see how this will evolve. I have a few guesses but … basically ‘Everything is not what it seems’.
But enough about the characters.
When Enora get’s recruited to work for the company, she discovers that she is actually really good at a certain position (You need to read to find out at what ^^). It was so interesting to read about her training, how it changed her that she was so good at it and what the work entails.
I could really see and feel the world around me. Taste the dread she experiences and I loved that! The worldbuilding is truly very good.
There are so many more things I’d love to discuss, but they all would be spoilers so I’m gonna show some restraint and not do that! If you’ve read the book though, please talk to me!
Oh, and one last thing … The ending was MEAN!! Perfect, but very mean. Cliffhanger. But it worked and now I’m really looking forward to reading Burden of Truth!
If you don’t tend to like books that focus a lot on the internal thoughts, feelings and debates rather than having a very fast moving plot, this might not be for you. But I really enjoyed reading this. The world was scarily realistic, the characters actions and reactions were always understandable and the ending left me wanting to go and read the sequel right about now!