*Uncorrected Advanced Copy–Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Author: Virginia Bergin
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN 13: 9781492606543
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Blood sores that itch is how it starts. You scratch it and you tear your skin off. The bacteria soak into your skin and begin to eat. Your nerves fry. Every red blood cell is destroyed, eaten. You slowly die—that’s guaranteed. Virginia Bergin’s H2O (The Rain in the UK) is a post-apocalyptic novel that follows the thoughts of a 15 year old girl in search for the father she loves. Re-printed as H2O in the US, readers can anticipate to own this story in October 7th, 2014. This review is of an advanced, uncorrected copy of Bergin’s book that I received from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.
The story begins following a cataclysmic event with an asteroid that almost hit earth. Ruby Morris and her family (and the rest of the world, for that matter) live in a somewhat oblivious state of being years after the Americans, the Russians, and the Chinese destroy the astroid in space. Little did they realize, that by destroying this asteroid, a toxic cloud of hazardous space bacterium would eventually make its home in the air—-the clouds to be more specific–and show itself years later. This little bacterium devil loves to duplicate itself in water…and by doing so, poisons all available water sources known to living beings, through the rain. The water, toxic now, has become deadly to anyone who comes into contact with it. And it’s all being controlled by a contagious bacterium that loves to make it rain.
Desperate for water and lacking any resources to quench her thirst, Ruby’s situation becomes worse as she must journey to London to find her father and her step brother. After finding unexpected help from a nerd she detests and running into a multitude of clothing boutiques (she has an obsessions for good clothing and make-up), she finds herself having to make a choice between staying with the people she has grown to appreciate or with continuing on her quest to find the father she loves. Dodging the rain, any drops left behind, and those left for dead, Ruby finds herself in a situation that only the brave can overcome.
H2O can be described as a psycho narrative–a bit different from a first person narrative. What readers read is Ruby’s thought process. We read everything because she is talking to herself and her potential reader as she writes her account of what happened—-her history. This type of narration works for this kind of YA novel. Here’s an example:
This narration also serves as a window into Ruby’s transformation, both in a physical and psychological manner. We read when Ruby acknowledges changes she should have made as well as the changes in her own maturity, slow as it may seem. I enjoyed reading H2O—-and I can only hope for some sort of sequel any time soon. H2O had the right amount of creepiness, horror, humor, love, and thrills that held my attention for hours. Truth be told, I could not stop reading.
Much of the story reminded me of a blend of Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave (invasion story) with Susan Beth Pfeffer Life as we Knew It (cataclysmic event story) (and two fantastic books)—which marks this story as one that is uniquely memorable.
About the Author
Virginia Bergin learned to roller-skate with the children of eminent physicists.
She grew up in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, in a house tied to her father’s job. Her parents, the children of Irish and Polish immigrants – and one Englishwoman – had moved from Liverpool to the south of England in search of work.
Virginia studied psychology but ruined her own career when, dabbling in fine art at Central St Martins, she re-discovered creative writing. Since then she has written poetry, short stories, film and TV scripts and a play that almost got produced – but didn’t.
In between and alongside more jobs than you’ve had hot dinners, she has worked as a writer on TV, eLearning and corporate projects and has 22 broadcast and non-broadcast TV credits, from children’s favourite Big Cat Diary Family Histories (BBC) to the award-winning series Africa (Tigress Productions for National Geographic). Most recently, she has been working in online education, creating interactive courses for The Open University.
She currently lives on a council estate in Bristol and has taken to feeding the birds. | Author Website