Teaser: A science fiction world of high technology, political unrest, and war, Water Harvest reads like a classic novel from its genre. Protagonist Carin, heir to the house of Alar, is a headstrong and reliable young man. But his home world, Kas’tar is a fragile planet with limited resources, and when a warlord threatens total domination it is up to him to unite the houses of Kas’tar and fight for their survival.
Did I like it?: Overall yes, I thought the story was concise and well written, although I have to admit that as only an occasional science fiction reader I did have some difficulty keeping up with all the names and places. I liked the back drop story of a fight for water resources among the houses. However I felt like this avenue isn’t explored very much and only occasionally mentioned, it takes a backseat to the overlord threat. I thought the book had fairly well written action scenes, though they do tend to drag on here and there. There are also some places in the story where I wished the author would have used more dialogue, rather than simply telling the story but the places where there is dialogue work well.
As a protagonist Carin plays the hero motif well. He loses his home, his father, and his love but still manages to preserve through the hardship. Regardless of what obstacle is in front of him, he seems to just charge ahead not even taking a moment to complain about his unfortunate circumstances. I will say that I found the personalities of the antagonists to be a bit too formula in nature for my liking though they are not awful characters by any means. I think I was looking for a “bad guy” that was more clever than forceful. The warlord is so sure of himself that he underestimates the Carin and his father Lord Gar, which is a grave mistake on his part. At one point I wondered why he does not just kill Carin rather than allow him to return as a nuisance later in the story.
The supporting characters in the story are all written well and I didn’t feel like any were there for the sake of filler; however I did find it difficult to keep track of them all. In fact one of the things I like best about the story is the lack of filler; each part connects smoothly to the next. The female characters are strong as well, Cairn’s love interest, Neilai, in particular is enjoyable as character. She spends most of the story away from Cairn, and she is forced to survive on her own merits after losing her home and family. So while she is not physically strong she possesses a mental capacity that others can rely on and she isn’t by any means a damsel in distress.
This story ended pretty much how I expected it to and depending on the type of reader you are it may or may not be satisfying to you. The situation between the houses of Kas’tar is very similar to how it was when the story begins. The main characters have gained quite a bit. Their freedom, peace, and new found power in their realm of influence, however as it stands the issue which in part caused the initial conflict still remains. It leaves me wondering if perhaps Kas’tar will succumb to infighting again, or if they will be able to prevent future tragedy. But I think any book that leaves you with something contemplate is worth reading. And I think any beginning science fiction reader would enjoy this story.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5