I truly hate being down on any book. I have a deep respect for all authors. I assume that Paolo Bacigalupi poured his heart and soul into his book, The Water Knife. But I'm sad to say that it was probably my least favorite read so far in 2015. The one thing The Water Knife had going for it was that it was short, so I forced myself to finish it. Outside of that it was a major disappointment.
But let me talk a little bit about The Water Knife. It's setup is actually really interesting (which is why I purchased it). It's a novel about the United States in the not to distant future where global warming is in full swing and our water supplies in the South West (California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, etc) are drying up. The book is mainly about the war for water rights between California, Nevada, and Arizona. We follow the lives of a couple characters caught in the middle of this "water grab" if you will. We have Angel for all intensive purposes is the muscle for Las Vegas trying to attain water rights for his boss. Then you have Lucy who's a reporter and still believes in good old fashion journalism. Then you have Maria who's just in the middle of all the mess that happens in Phoenix and is along for the ride.
And that's about all the character development you ever get. Lucy has family, Angel had a near-death experience as a child, and Maria is a Texan who snuck her way into Phoenix. They each have a tidy backstory that influences all of their future decisions. It makes for a predictable read. The only thing positive I can say is that the ending (and I mean the last couple of pages) throw in a nice twist that I wasn't expecting. The rest was predictable and sort of boring. There are a couple torture scenes that felt overly graphic and weirdly inserted into the book. As you can tell I really didn't find much redeeming about the novel. I love the overarching plot idea. As a book outline I think it's brilliant. But sadly The Water Knife didn't have an interesting story to tell.