Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: DRY SOULS by Denise Getson

There are a billion dystopians out there right now.  And a lot of them are based on ecological premeses.  But it's been a while since I read one so compelling as debut author Denise Getson's DRY SOULS.

DRY SOULS follows Kira, a teen girl who can hardly remember her mom, and has grown up at an all-girls orphanage.  She's never quite fit in with the other girls, and when she finds a flower -- something no one has seen in years, since the water is too tightly regulated to support purely aesthetic plantlife -- Kira is compelled to protect it.  It feels like her safe place, her one thing that she has in the world.  And it could have been the key to friendship, with a girl named Mary.  Together they water the flower by saving their rations -- it's their secret.  But on the day that Kira discovers she can conjure water on her own, Mary freaks out, tells the headmistress, and is on the outs again. 

So Kira strikes out on her own, as a traveler, with little direction except to maybe go to the town of her birth, Slag, in an area once known as the Great Lakes Region.  Meeting up with fellow runaway J.D., things seem to be going okay, and Kira is feeling good about her choice to leave the orphanage.  Little does she know, the goverment -- the Territories -- is out to find her.  They know about her power, and have no interest in her filling the lakes and rivers and bringing water to the people.  The Territories have managed to keep control over the population by keeping control over the water, and to them, Kira is an enormous threat. 

Part adventure, part coming-of-age, and completely unputdownable, DRY SOULS is an elegantly written addition to the dystopian genre.  One that presents its stark future with an element of hope, with relateable characters, and without the pretense of a forced romance.  And, at just under 200 pages, it makes a great pick for reluctant teen readers.  Make sure you go to your local library or bookstore and ask for DRY SOULS, stat!

And, fyi, DRY SOULS is with the small press CBAY books.  So if you can't find it right away, make sure to special order it!  Gotta love the small presses, y'all!


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