Jan 172014

Review: The Cloud Seeders

Review: The Cloud SeedersThe Cloud Seeders by James Zerndt
Published by Self published on Aug 22, 2012
Genres: Dystopia, YA
Format: eBook from Author
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Serve Your Country, Conserve Your Water, Observe Your Neighbor.

This is the slogan of the Sustainability Unit and of a country gone eco-hysterical. After nearly twelve months without rain and the hinges of the world barely still oiled, Thomas and his younger brother, Dustin, set out across a drought-ridden landscape in search of answers. What they discover along the way will change their lives, and their country, forever.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This is a dark, almost depressing dystopian. Thomas, his little brother Dustin, and his almost girlfriend Jerusha head out on a journey across the country in the hopes of finding their parents. In a country of severe drought, the dangers and secrets are more than just threats.

The story is told in an alternating pattern between the narration starring Thomas and Dustin, and poems written by their mother. I found this a little disjointed since it kept pulling me out of the story. I’m not a big poetry fan, so this likely contributed to my experience, but I found the poems didn’t add anything to the story.

I found Thomas’ inner dialogue to be quite realistic. He struggles with guilt and self doubt, about what’s happened in the past, and his ability to look after his brother. It’s heartbreaking to hear how much Thomas worries, and how badly he wants things to be okay for Dustin. There is a definite love and parental feeling that comes through and resonates with me as a parent. I doubt most teens would understand his thoughts, but it does contribute something important to older readers.

Overall, this was an interesting and quick read. It has a serious feel to it, that echos through the landscape, people and situations. I wouldn’t suggest picking this up if you’re looking for light reading, but there is definitely a good story inside, even though it is on the darker side.

  5 Responses to “Review: The Cloud Seeders”

  1. Passive-Aggressive

    It’s okay if you don’t want to read this poem.
    It’s no big deal.

    And yes,
    i swear i wrote this one-
    that it’s not another test
    like that time i showed you two poems
    and told you they were both mine,
    but one was by a famous poet.

    When you chose mine as the better of the two,
    i said it only went to show
    you knew nothing about poetry.

    But this isn’t like that-
    i promise.
    And besides, you’ve probably got something better to do
    than read a silly poem
    that’s all about you.

    So i guess you’ll miss the part
    where i write a word
    really small

    i love you!

    and when you lean down to read it,
    the poem grabs your nose
    and squeezes so hard your eyes start to water-
    which is good
    because the sad part is coming.

    The part about how i’m jealous
    of my little Cloud Seeder
    and your love for silver oxide.

    But, yeah, i know
    you’re tired
    and all i do is talk about poetry.
    Poetry this and poetry that,
    blah blah blah.

    All you had to do was read the stupid thing,
    then say thank you
    for the tan you got
    while basking in its brilliance.

    It doesn’t matter now anyway
    because the poem’s over,
    and i’m leaving you.

    Thanks a lot.
    –poem from “The Cloud Seeders” written by Thomas and Douglas’ mother

  2. Finally. Someone who could put to words what I feel about dystopian settings…depressing. *sigh*

  3. Dystopian novels by definition (the opposite of utopian) should be a little depressing or even frightening. I downloaded this for free on Amazon recently and absolutely loved it. The book is filled with humor (as in the above poem I see the author has posted), but I suppose not everyone will appreciate that. As far as dystopian novels go, this one was actually pretty fun!

    • I think my under-appreciation of the poetry really effected my enjoyment of the story, but it’s good to hear that it reasonated with some readers.

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