Friday, May 20, 2016

REVIEW: War of Rain / H.W. Vivian

TITLE: War of Rain
AUTHOR: H.W. Vivian
PUBLISHER: Self-Published


Young Adult -- Post-Apocalyptic/Sci-Fi


15-year-old Miri lives in a desolate future in which the sun's expansion has reduced Earth to a wasteland and water has become next to toxic. The exception to this is Rain -- a supernatural source of clean water that appears in the form of glowing solid droplets and can only be melted through prayer. Though Miri is adept with a hatchet, she and her people, the Rain-gatherers, live a peaceful existence.

The barbarians of Stratos, on the other hand, delight in violence and terrorize the other villages. As an immoral culture, they are unable to pray and therefore unable to melt the Rain--a fact that causes them to deeply resent the others. When Miri kills one of them to defend a village elder, she inadvertently sparks a war--one that could mean the end of her people and their way of life.

H.W. Vivian's WAR OF RAIN is a YA post-apocalyptic adventure, but it's also a tale of faith. In fact, it has the scale and feel of a Biblical tale, with stark contrast drawn between the faithful of Miri's village and the immoral, violent barbarians. Yet it's not all black and white. Miri soon befriends Philippe, a barbarian boy who was banished for refusing to kill an innocent victim. And she soon finds herself engaging in the very violence she once despised in her efforts to save her village.

After the barbarians demand that Miri travel into the Rain caves, where the God of Rain is supposed to live, and bring back an invention that can bring both peace and war, Miri winds up setting off on an unexpected journey through a land no one knew existed--and learning the surprising history of her peoples' origins.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and tore through it in maybe three days, staying up well past my bedtime on weeknights in order to get just one more chapter in. Alternating between high-stakes action, lush world-building, and insightful character meditations, WAR OF RAIN grabbed me and pulled me into the rich post-apocalyptic world H.W. Vivian built. The story took a lot of unexpected twists, which I don't want to spoil, but let me just say that the ending is pretty epic.

WAR OF RAIN can be read as a standalone, though I hear there's a sequel coming, and I'm definitely looking forward to checking it out!


H. W. Vivian is the author of the YA fictions, Chasers and War of Rain, as well as the adult humor fiction, Days of Amber, and the soon to be re-released suspense/thriller, Monarchs, written under her second pseudonym, Alex Chu. Her sequel to War of Rain, The Goddess: A War of Rain Novel, will be released in April 2016.

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