The Water Knife: A novel by Paolo BacigalupiThere is good evidence that Venus once had liquid water and a much thinner atmosphere, similar to Earth billions of years ago. But today the surface of Venus is dry as a bone, hot enough to melt lead, there are clouds of sulfuric acid that reach a hundred miles high and the air is so thick it’s like being 900 meters deep in the ocean. – Bill Nye

If we keep working at it, we can certainly become Venusian. All we have to do is continue the path we have begun. Global warming, climate change, worldwide drought. Yes, we are on our way to destruction, up the proverbial creek without water.

And water is what this story is all about. Honestly however, in a way it reminds me of those stereotypical 1950’s era monster movies. The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Nuclear weapons were the fear then. And yes, they were worth being terrified of. But as horrifying as they are – this is a situation that it is hard to see any way out of.

Worldwide drought is becoming more and more feasible as a worldwide outcome of our continuing greed and carelessness. And The Water Knife has a good premise. However, its problem is that of being written more like a script for a B movie rather than a well-written novel. The stereotypes are a bit overwhelming, and though it is apparently meant to be exciting and breath-taking, it comes across as a simple genre piece rather than a work deserving of the attention it is receiving from the public. I just expected more – more realism regarding an extremely important ecological issue that can cost us more than we can ever expect to salvage.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.