Science fiction is a broad genre, as is fantasy. Sometimes the two are mixed, as in this piece of imaginative narrative. The book deals with a scenario only too likely should we continue to abuse nature and the environment in the ways we have for the past couple of centuries.
However, I have some concerns over the way this novel deals with the issues. My first problem is with the nature of the presentation, which I found confusing. Tense changes frequently and sometimes even mid-sentence. And there are sudden changes of viewpoint I found disconcerting. I suspect this is due to a lack of proper editing, as the formatting of the e-version I read was also faulty. But I was prepared to put up with those issues, as the subject matter and the characters concerned with it engaged me.
My other problem with the book, however, is the author’s apparent acceptance of controversial science and some pseudo-science as real and relevant. For me, this is where the book merges fantasy with science fiction. The evidence, such as it is, for water possessing a ‘memory’ is scant and unconfirmed as far as I can ascertain, at present. The jury is still out on this one. But the idea that water could in some way have a consciousness is, for me, a little too far-fetched.
I made a conscious decision to accept the science/fantasy aspect of the book, as the topic it deals with is of vital importance to the future of humanity on our tiny blue ball.
Without doubt we, as a species, are dangerous; destructive of our own environment and ecologies that support many lifeforms. The pursuit of profit at any cost has recently been encouraged by some governments where ignorance, personal greed, and a form of self-imposed blindness to reality have been allowed to overcome common sense and ignore the evidence presented by science.
This work of imagination predicts a situation many will see as inevitable unless those in power can be persuaded to change their priorities and ditch their addiction to personal wealth in favour of a more holistic and socially responsible view of our society. It’s a sad fact of life that those with imagination are generally first to see the realities that face us. Ideas and predictions follow those imaginative speculations and many of the general population usually follow quickly behind, as they perceive how previous science fiction writers have correctly predicted events in the past. Industry and commerce are often swift to pick up on what they see as profitable aspects of such predictions, capitalising on the ways in which these ideas can make money for them, and generally ignoring other potential consequences as inconvenient. Governments are always last in line to recognise the dangers of developments. They pretend to act cautiously out of concern for their ‘people’; though we all know worry for their constituents is minimal and they’re driven almost exclusively by their anxiety to remain in power: like the love of money, the love of power is highly addictive.
So, this book explores the idea that nature will, in some way, take action to rid the world of our polluting and destructive influence. In this case, the force behind that natural vengeance is personified as water. Whilst I can’t fully accept this particular reading of the potential threat and its possible solution, I wholeheartedly accept that threat exists and must be addressed by our species unless we wish to see the natural world make the necessary decisions for us. In that sense, this is a valid story that, flawed as it is, carries an essential message for humanity: a message we ignore at our peril.
[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]