Kristen Ward has loved writing since middle school but took 30 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 fury and feathered friends. A Sci-Fi geek to the core, she is fueled by dark chocolate and coffee, and can be heard quoting eighties movies on a regular basis.
Kristin Ward Twitter: http://twitter.com/YA_Author
Kristin Ward Website: https://www.writingandmythreesons.com/
After the Green Withered: https://www.amazon.com/After-Green-Withered-Kristin-Ward-ebook/dp/B07D2X7YSY
“We’ve all heard the stories of how it began, but no one really knows the truth because no one ever owned up and took the blame. Anyone who was there when it all started is long dead, and all that remains is their awful legacy. All I know that is real, true, is that the world wasn’t always like this. It used to be green.”
An energy crisis, wars, technology advancing too fast and the over use of non-renewable energy led to the planet drying up. One company, the DNC, foresaw this disaster and bought up the worlds Water. Now they rule, everybody works for them in some way, and people are paid in water credits.
Enora is a “Pleb”, one of the children destined to work in a factory for barely enough water credits to live. Then there are the “Drones”, the children of the wealthy who have been bred to become Sentinals, DNC elite employees who act as guards etc. While studying for her end of year exams, Enora is pulled out of class and told she has been recruited by the DNC to become a Sentinal.
She find’s she has the natural ability of a “Pathfinder.” She believes this is a worthy job, and that the DNC use the information she gains to find Water wells under the earth. When she finds out the real job of a “Pathfinder” her life is changed forever, and not necessarily for the good.
The start of this book holds a deep an important message for our generation, we are killing the Earth! With all the news about the energy crisis and global warming, the outcome of Earth in this book doesn’t seem too far away from a future we might have to envision.
Enora is an interesting character. At times she frustrated me with how naive she was being, not fully grasping her role as a “pathfinder” and her inability to realise that she shouldn’t trust everyone. However, it’s one of those “you don’t know how you would act until you’re forced into that situation” moments, you also have to take into account that this is marketed as YA, and so Enora is seen as “late teens”. There were times she was adamantly against her role as a Pathfinder, and then all it would take was one person giving her justification for her to decide she what she was doing was right.
There is no real intimacy in the book, and any romantic relationships are sidelined for the main plot. Springer is her partner in the DNC, as a Sweeper he is the person Enora has to find a safe path for. Unsure whether she can trust him at first, their relationship starts slowly and then builds throughout the book. Drake is training to become a “pathfinder” like Enora. She trusts him from their first meeting and they become fast friends. However, towards the end of the book Enora realises that she can only trust one of them, and the other has been using her all along. Bram is the friend she used to love, but when he was picked for Sentinal training, he came home a changed boy. He is now the leader of Enoras team, and she finds herself believing there is very little of the boy she used to know left, if any.
The Dystopian/post apocalyptic future that Ward creates is rather eerie. To me it reads rather close to a future we might not be far away from. Because of this, I feel that you get sucked into the story-line more, wanting to know how our world would end up if we carried on ignoring the signs of global warming etc. The DNC read as any “world run company” in most dystopian novels, they control not only peoples livelihoods but their life force. They have the facade of being “for the people”, however, they have a sinister undercurrent and once Enora and Springer find this, their views on the DNC are forever changed.
The plot was slow going at the start, and there were parts that I felt the characters jumped to conclusions there was no real basis for. That being said, it picked up towards the end, especially when we realise Springer is keeping something important from Enora. The book ended on a massive cliffhanger and I would like to read the next book to find out what happens, however, I am in no rush to do so. Because of this my rating is 3.5/5 stars.
Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.