Series: The Country Saga,
Published by Self Publish on 2013-05-28
Length: 380 pages
Reviewing eBook from My Book Shelf
Huck Jones, the son of the admiral of the Soaker fleet, has a legacy to live up to. Haunted by the distorted memories of his mother's untimely death, he must face his demons and the man who raised him as he strives to take the courageous step forward into manhood. When he's transferred to the worst-performing ship in the fleet, everything he believes is called into question when he meets a lowly brown-skinned bilge rat girl. Huck walks a deadly rope...
Meanwhile, Sadie, destined to be a Rider in the Stormer army, seeks to avenge her brother's death at the hands of the Soakers. Trained hard by her mother, an experienced Rider, Sadie knows strength and determination more than most. Her father, a Man of Wisdom, has shown his cowardice more times than she can count. As her world and family fall apart, she must cast aside her anger and focus on the wisdom she's always brushed off as foolishness.
Amidst everything, a Plague ravages all, discriminating against no one.
When four worlds collide, lines will be drawn, sides will be chosen, victory will be sought. Death will be wrought. The mysteries of the Cure for the deadly Plague will be uncovered. Who will survive? And what will those who do learn about themselves and the ones they love?
***Please Note that if you haven’t read this series, there are spoilers to prior books in this review!!!***
I really wanted to love this book like I have the rest of the series, but honestly Water & Storm Country by David Estes didn’t measure up to my expectations. This book is the third book in The Country Saga before The Earth Dwellers, the final book in both The Country Saga and The Dwellers Saga. Told in alternating POV, the book ties together those living above and culminates in war.
What I Liked
David Estes can weave a tale like no other! Each book in The Country Saga is technically a standalone with new characters and unique cultures. However Estes brings these characters together by combining the plots and the evil they are facing. In the first book Fire Country, Sienna uncovers that her father, the tribe’s leader, is selling the children (those presumed dead/missing) to Ice country, somewhere she didn’t even know existed, in exchange for a cure to the plague. In the second book Ice Country, Dazz teams with Skye and Sienna to uncover what his king is doing with the Heater children and where the cure comes from, ending in an epic battle with Riders from somewhere none of them are aware of which leads into this book.
Water and Storm country is the first book in this series to have a country at constant war. You have the Riders of Storm country and their tribe, living off the land, raising and breaking horses, who are constantly vigilant for attack. Then you have the seaman of Water country, who live on a fleet of boats in the ocean. Here’s the reason I enjoyed the book. I liked the author’s vast world that he’s created for both series. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read! And then just how he ties each story together culminating in a massive two-series finale in The Earth Dwellers. It’s impressive!
The plot of this particular book centers around the Heater slaves on the Water country ships. Huck, the main character living in Water country, begins to question who they are, where they came from, and why they are treated as bilge rats. In Storm country, the Riders know what is happening and plan to stop it by going to Ice country. That tidbit is the climax and end of Ice Country so it was nice seeing how it tied together and seeing the Riders’ perspective.
What I Didn’t Like
I did not like Sadie or Huck, the two main characters and whose POV the book is told from. Huck is a young boy, 14 years old, the Admiral’s son, and a crybaby. He whines through the entire book! Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing because he has a reason to whine and cry and be upset, but after several of his chapters I was over it. I wanted to get in his face and yell “Dry it up!” but I’m not that mean 😉 Sadie is the exact opposite. She’s 16, a Rider, and bitter. She’s angry at everyone and everything that crosses her path. She lashes out, she’s hateful, and can be mean. Now again, not saying she doesn’t have a reason to feel that way, but it got old by the end of the book.
Luckily David Estes never disappoints in the character department. There is plenty of room for character growth with both Huck and Sadie and it happens. You just have to stick it out through the first three-quarters of the book to get to point where the characters are enjoyable. For me this made reading a chore. It wasn’t until some of the previous characters from the series showed up that I started really getting interested in the story.
Overall, the good outweighed the bad and I did like the story, just not as much as I expected. It really felt like a bridge book, tying most of the loose ends together before moving on to the big finale. While I didn’t care for Huck or Sadie, I liked the secondary characters like Jade, Cain, Remy, and Gard enough to keep interest in their story. If you are a fan of The Country Saga, than I highly suggest you read the book. If you enjoy dystopians with a vast world, than grab this series!