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May 2021 Review: Fast-paced Dystopian Thriller


Author: Jill Williamson

Publisher: Novel Teen Press

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I read this book in only two sittings…and only because I was interrupted on the first.

Could. Not. Put. It. Down.

For those who must know more...keep reading.

I am a sucker for dystopian novels. I can’t help myself. Imagining the role a person’s humanity plays in the midst of the worst case scenario intrigues me. So, when I saw first book of Jill Williamson’s duology go up for sale, I couldn’t help myself. A few dollars later, and the book appeared on my e-reader…where it sat for months. Not because I didn’t want to read it, but because my ‘to be read’ pile was quite large, and I was up to my eyeballs in details for the launch of my own debut novel.

Still, something in the back of my mind told me I needed to read this book.

Finally, Spring Break happened, and our family retreated to the mountains for a few days. The quiet mornings and fresh air on the deck made me grab for my e-reader, and I began to read Thirst. I’m not certain I’ve ever read a book so quickly. And my reading speed is somewhere between slug and turtle speed.

Imagine spending days in the wilderness with friends only to emerge to discover a water-bourne illness has contaminated nearly every freshwater source and killed much of the world population. This is exactly what happens to Eli and his friends as they return to Phoenix from their youth outing in the mountains.

Resources are gone. Stores are looted. Homes are raided. Gunshots ring out in the night.

Eli and his friends find themselves in a state of survival as they attempt to uncover what has happened to their families and make their way to hopes of drinkable water. Strange and dangerous people will cross their path as they learn that a world in anarchy operates with a different set of rules.

Ok, dystopian readers, just go get this book. I don’t know how else to say it. I was completely entertained. Williamson’s characters were relatable (I think I knew these kids in high school), and her worldbuilding never felt contrived. I felt the desperation that deadly drinking water would create in the world. My mind often wandered to consider the ramifications of never again being able to turn on a faucet.

And even better, this book and its sequel are actually a prequel to another Williamson series.

I’ve got a lot of reading ahead of me.

This book is a clean read. No sex. No language. There is some violence and a kidnapping scenario, but nothing graphic. Younger readers might struggle with the constant death these kids encounter. Romance is also present, but it is kept clean. Faith is part of the narrative, but never preachy or forced. I would have zero reservations about having either of my teenagers read this book.

Go get your copy and a package of bottled water.

Available on Amazon or your local bookstore (support local business!).

No disclaimer. I did not receive anything from the author, nor was I requested to write this review.


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