Friesen, Jonathan


Barcode: 9780310731832

Release date: 23/12/2014

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Only He Can Bring What They Need to Survive.

In the year 2250, water is scarce, and those who control it control everything. Sixteen-year-old Luca has struggled with this truth, and what it means, his entire life. As the son of the Deliverer, he will one day have to descend to the underground Aquifer each year and negotiate with the reportedly ratlike miners who harvest the world's fresh water. But he has learned the true control rests with the Council aboveground, a group that has people following without hesitation, and which has forbidden all emotion and art in the name of keeping the peace. And this Council has broken his father's spirit, while also forcing Luca to hide every feeling that rules his heart.

But when Luca's father goes missing, everything shifts. Luca is forced underground, and discovers secrets, lies, and mysteries that cause him to reevaluate who he is and the world he serves. Together with his friends and a very alluring girl, Luca seeks to free his people and the Rats from the Council's control. But Luca's mission is not without struggle and loss, as his desire to uncover the truth could have greater consequences than he ever imagined.

From Publishers Weekly
Friesen (Aldo's Fantastical Movie Palace) has constructed a future world where fresh water has become exceedingly scarce. Luca is the sixteen-year-old successor to his father, a Deliverer, who makes an annual journey to the underground Rats who control the largest fresh water source: the Aquifer. Luca struggles with daily existence and also with his emotions; emotional expression is punishable by the formidable Amongus, a kind of thought police run by the Council of Nine who rule the Toppers, the people of the surface. When Luca's father does not return from his journey below, the Amongus hunt Luca, so he flees underground for refuge. There he discovers a massive conspiracy that challenges him to reconsider what he thought was true about the world, his identity, and his purpose. Friesen's world is a morally gray one that fleshes out the motivations and struggles of his characters but gives no easy answers for his readers. Though the magnitude of his philosophical questions sometimes feel bigger than the story, Friesen nonetheless offers an entertaining framework for teenage readers to start asking serious questions about emotional responsibility, acting on faith and intuition, the potential blindness of good intentions, and the nature of freedom. (Aug. 6) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist
In a futuristic Australia, fresh drinking water is controlled by a group called the Council of Nine. Each year, the Deliverer must travel to the Aquifer, the water source, bearing gifts of light to a devolved race known as Water Rats to ensure that water will continue to be given. As the Deliverer's son, Luca is well aware of his future duty, and when his father fails to return after a mission, Luca begins to uncover a conspiracy brewing--as well as secrets about his own family. Some world-building aspects of this dystopian adventure are not fully fleshed out, and the plot suffers from some pacing issues, though patient readers will be rewarded with late revelations. Luca is an engaging character torn between whom to trust and what to believe, easy material for teen readers to relate to. Subtle religious themes run through the novel but are never overt enough to turn off nonreligious readers. Grades 7-10. --Sarah Bean Thompson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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