DROUGHT by Pam Bachorz


Age Range: 12 & up
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In this lengthy, imaginative science-fiction tale, a girl is driven to escape an isolated commune in upstate New York that's been frozen in time since 1812. Ruby actually is 200 years old, but she’s only 17 in growth. She lives in a slave colony controlled by Darwin, its cruel master, and his brutal Overseers. She and the other Congregants gather Water, which can heal any wound or disease and stops aging. The Congregants lead an almost intolerable existence, enduring constant beatings and starvation while taking strength from their cult-like religion. Ruby needs to escape not only her slavery but also her mother’s and the Congregants’ hold on her. Bachorz paints the bleak colony in stark detail and writes especially vivid and interesting characters, but the story suffers from a certain sameness. She makes Ruby’s grim world believable but so unremittingly desolate that readers may need relief nearly as much as the colony’s inhabitants. An intriguing story with depth, but its success will depend on individual taste. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60684-016-0
Page count: 392pp
Publisher: Egmont USA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2010


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