Book Review: Water & Storm Country (The Country Saga) by David Estes

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Water & Storm Country (The Country Saga) by David Estes

A YA Sci-fi/Dystopian Novel published by David Estes (06/03/2013)

 

Summary:

“As the name suggests, storm country is a place where nature fights against itself constantly, warring in the skies— not with swords and shields and horses and ships, but with lightning and dark clouds and— Boom!” (Kindle Locations 506-507).

Huck Jones may only be 14, but in a world that is ravaged by a plague and the fact that old age is a fantasy to most, he is expected to be a man and take command of his life, as long as he follows all the rules laid down by his father, Admiral Jones. Huck is a ‘Soaker,’ and has spent his life on a ship. He is supposed to become a man and take control of the unruliest ship of the lot, but it will take courage and leadership, things Huck is still learning.

Sadie has always wanted to be a Rider and is determined to be a Rider. There shouldn’t be any problems, because she’s destined to be a Rider, but she wants to get her horse and fight now. There are threats now and she isn’t content staying back in the tent with her father. She has no place for cowards and doesn’t like being cooped up when she could be out there with her destiny as a Rider in the Stormer’s army.

The Stormers and Soakers don’t get along, but when an even larger enemy rears its head, they will have to play nice to stay alive together.

Keywords:

 Storms, Horses, Ships, Slaves, Coming of Age, 14 year old, Responsibility, Leadership, Power, Cruel Father, Cowardice, Protection, Loyalty, Love, Romance, Compassion, Patience

My Review:

Water & Storm Country is more than a story about survival and determination, it is a coming of age story set in world entirely different than our own. It is a story about growing up and taking responsibility and fighting for those you love. Huck, more than Sadie, must figure out who he wants to be as an adult and become the leader he is supposed to be.

Once again David Estes creates two narratives in this book and balances them in their strength and importance. Huck is less sure about himself, his future and his decisions. He is nervous about living up to the expectations set forth for him. He has his convictions and they don’t always match those of his father. Sadie knows exactly what she wants out of life and knows she will be exactly what she is supposed to be. She is confident and mildly arrogant about her abilities.

I enjoyed this third book in the Country Saga Series and look forward to the culminating book of both the Country Saga and Dweller Series books: Earth Dwellers.

This novel was published by David Estes 06/03/2013 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating: 5.0

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

David Estes’s Website

Twitter

Book Review: Ice Country (The Country Saga) by David Estes

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Ice Country (The Country Saga) by David Estes

A YA Sci-fi/Dystopian Novel published by David Estes (03/29/2013)

 

Summary:

“To fight or not to fight? Why is it that I constantly have to make this decision over and over again?” (Kindle Locations 1578-1579).

Ice Country is the winter version of Fire Country. There are mountains and forests and snow for days. Ice Country is home to the Icies and the main character Dazz. He lived a normal life, getting into bar fights at Fro-Yo’s, hanging out with his best bud Buff, being told off by his brother Wes, disappointed in his drug-dependent mother, and living for one of his sister Jolie’s smiles. But Dazz gets into one bar fight too many and is kicked out of his second home. Desperate to make the money to pay back Fro-Yo’s for the damages, Dazz and Buff head to the local gambling den. It seems like anything Dazz does cannot end well. When they’re offered employment to help pay off debts, Dazz and Buff jump at the chance. Their employer is not who he seems and the job is exactly what it looks like. Then Jolie goes missing in the night, taken right in front of Dazz’s nose and he will stop at nothing to find her and bring her home. In the middle of his investigation into her kidnapping and during the increasing curiosity that has become his job, Dazz meets the most unlikely allies from the Fire Country. There are bigger things afoot than just the abduction of Jolie, and Dazz is determined to pick himself up and do the right thing now.

Keywords:

 Cold, Survival, Fighting, Disease, Death, Post-Apocalyptic, Convoluted Truth, Friendship, Romance, Love, Family, Curiosity, Allies, Fire Country, Revenge, Murder, Corrupted Leadership, Trust, Strength

My Review:

Dazz seems, at first, like a lowlife good for nothing seeking-out-trouble young bad boy. He gets into bar fights with little to no provocation. He aims high in the girlfriend realm without really falling in love. He has no money and no job and spends all day at the local bar. This is what life is like in the Brown Disctrict, where the poor have less opportunities and many vices. Even Dazz’s brother Wes is only barely getting by. Dazz comes to life as a character to look up to when he is given morally charged choices. He is bound by his family and his love for his sister and wants to protect her, but he is also compelled to protect the weak and innocent. He is a good person stuck in a bad situation, a rut of life in the poorer district. He is a true underdog and grows up to his potential with the story.

Skye from the Fire Country Book one of the Country Saga Series comes into this story with her fierceness and determination. She is more developed and more cool than ever in Ice Country. As Dazz puts it so eloquently, “Skye’s not the type to wait around for heroes to rescue her. She is the hero.” (Kindle Locations 4100-4101). When you need a fighter who won’t back down and can take a punch like any bar-fighter, Skye’s your man (I mean woman). Isn’t that cool to have such a kick-butt female!

Estes brings in more of the characters from book one, interweaving the sinister plot they were discovering in book one into a whole mess of a situation that gets bigger and bigger in this second book. Seina, Circ, and Feve are all back for more.

Dazz is the main character and all events are told from his perspective. He’s a fun, intelligent, and interesting narrator and does the story proud in his telling. I can’t wait for book three, Water & Storm Country.

This novel was published by David Estes 03/29/2013 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating: 5.0

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

David Estes’s Website

Twitter

Book Review: Fire Country (The Country Saga) by David Estes

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Fire Country (The Country Saga) by David Estes

A YA Sci-fi/Dystopian Novel published by David Estes (01/23/2013)

 

Summary:

‘“The Call is an important and magnificent event for us, the Heaters, the people of fire country. It is near and dear to my heart. It is a chance to say to all that threaten us, we will not be defeated! We will carry on, replenish our flock! We are not afraid!” A cheer rises up, but it’s deep and heavy— a man’s cheer. When I look ’round most of the women are silent.’ (Kindle Locations 3710-3712).

Siena will turn 16 shortly and her world will change. At seven her body could reproduce. At 16 she will be matched with her Call and produce a baby. At 19 and 22 she will be re-matched and reproduce twice more. At 32 she will probably die. That is the life for a girl in the Heater Tribe out in Fire Country. As a Pre-Bearer, Sie’s life is mapped out, but what if she has a choice? Her friend Lara knows something. Sie doesn’t want to have to break off her friendship with Circ to be a Call, to do her duty.

When the time comes to make a decision, what will Siena choose? She doesn’t know the complete truth, but she will try her hardest to find the answers to the ever-increasing questions surrounding the Heaters and her father, the Head Greynote.

 

Keywords:

 Tribe, Survival, Desert, Fire, Disease, Death, Fighting, Short Life Expectancy, Post-Apocalyptic, Convoluted Truth, Friendship, Romance, Love, Family, Curiosity, Duty, Obedience

 

My Review:

Siena is Scrawny and Circ is Smoky and together they are the best of friends. Sie lives for Circ and will do anything, even something completely stupid, to try to save her friend. She can’t imagine what life will be like after the Call, when she’s been matched with another random Heater in order to bear children and keep the Heater tribe alive. She can’t imagine it and it never enters the readers mind that it is a real possibility. Something has to happen. Her life and the story would be over if she was the obedient daughter who followed all the rules.

Siena is not one to follow rules without question. She is always seeking out the truth. She may be the scrawniest in the village, but she is tough where it counts. She is brave when it counts. She doesn’t think of only herself when those she loves are in danger. She is a character that fights, that doesn’t back down, that can take a hit. She is a true heroine. Yet, she still gets battered and bruised. She is still knocked around by her father, the town bullies, and her own two left feet. She is far from perfect, but she is someone to look up to nonetheless.

The intense friendship between Siena and Circ blossoms just like the romance between Adele and Tristan in the Dweller Saga. David Estes has a way of bringing two people together and showing their intense feelings and love for each other. There is nothing in Sie’s way in her love for Circ, except her realization that Circ is more than just a friend for her. If it were possible, she might choose him as her Call. Society and her father have other plans, though, and in the Heater world Sie and Circ can never and would never be matched.

I absolutely loved this first novel and will be consuming the entire Country Saga series by David Estes for more daring heroines, dashing heroes, sinister leaders, engaging love and friendships, and everything that Estes is able to do in his books that is so very captivating.

 

This novel was published by David Estes 01/23/2013 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating: 5.0

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

David Estes’s Website

Twitter