Being a writer requires a lot of research, and that is not limited to doing content research for the next book. It’s also important to know what other writers in the genre are writing. I stumbled on The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi and the premise intrigued me. I noticed that the author took a current problem, just as I was doing in Sābanto, and accelerated that issue to create a dystopian world somewhere in the not-so-distant future. The characters in the book were navigating a cruel world where every human’s worth is measured by a unique scale, calories. The Windup Girl got my attention because of some of the similarities that I found between that book and Sābanto.
I had heard of The Water Knife by the same author and reached out for it as soon as I had a chance. I was not disappointed. The author immediately takes the reader to a new world where the Colorado river is drying up. Texas cities are gone due to the drought and a wave of refugees is trying to make ends meet in blistering Phoenix where water is more expensive than gas, hoping that one day, somehow, they will be allowed to move north where the grass is still green. The natural disaster has only been amplified by humans, their short-sightedness, inaction, greed and hunger for power. Gangs, outlaws and cults are trying to secure the kingdoms they have created for themselves while Nevada, Arizona and California are all in conflict over who gets the water, and how much.
There is, however, something unusual happening in Phoenix. A rich businessman has been killed, his body mutilated. Lucy, a journalist, and Angel, a man for hire, are looking for answers, however, the more they look the more confusing the story gets. When their paths cross they realize that the situation is grave and they need to find what the killers are looking for before they become victims themselves.
I have to say that Bacigalupi has become one of my favorite authors and I’m looking forward to reading his third novel as well. Why do I think that?