Synopses & Reviews
WATER IS POWER
Paolo Bacigalupi, New York Times best-selling author of The Windup Girl and National Book Award finalist, delivers a near-future thriller that casts new light on how we live today — and what may be in store for us tomorrow.
The American Southwest has been decimated by drought. Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches, deciding if it should just take the whole river all for itself. Into the fray steps Las Vegas water knife Angel Velasquez. Detective, assassin, and spy, Angel "cuts" water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority and its boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert and that anyone who challenges her is left in the gutted-suburban dust.
When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. With a wallet full of identities and a tricked-out Tesla, Angel arrows south, hunting for answers that seem to evaporate as the heat index soars and the landscape becomes more and more oppressive. There, Angel encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist, who knows far more about Phoenix's water secrets than she admits, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas migrant, who dreams of escaping north to those places where water still falls from the sky.
As bodies begin to pile up and bullets start flying, the three find themselves pawns in a game far bigger, more corrupt, and dirtier than any of them could have imagined. With Phoenix teetering on the verge of collapse and time running out for Angel, Lucy, and Maria, their only hope for survival rests in one another's hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only truth in the desert is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.
"Anyone can write about the future. Paolo Bacigalupi writes about the future that we're making today, if we keep going the way we are. It makes his writing beautiful... and terrifying." John Scalzi, author of Lock In
"The Water Knife is an noir-tinged, apocalyptic vision of the near-future: What will the world be like, and how will we live in it? Bacigalupi already seems to live there. Once I started, I couldn't put it down." Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble
"A fresh cautionary tale classic, depicting an America newly shaped by scarcity of our most vital resource. The pages practically turn themselves in a tense, taut plot of crosses and double-crosses, given added depth by riveting characters. This brutal near-future thriller seems so plausible in the world it depicts that you will want to stock up on bottled water." Library Journal, starred review
"The frightening details of how the world might suffer from catastrophic drought are vividly imagined. The way the novel's environmental nightmare affects society, as individuals and larger entities — both official and criminal — vie for a limited and essential resource, feels solid, plausible, and disturbingly believable. The dust storms, Texan refugees, skyrocketing murder rate, and momentary hysteria of a public ravenous for quick hits of sensational news seem like logical extensions of our current reality. An absorbing...thriller full of violent action." Kirkus
About the Author
PAOLO BACIGALUPI is the author of The Windup Girl, as well as the YA novels Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities. A National Book Award Finalist, and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, John W. Campbell Award, and a three-time winner of the Locus Award, he lives in Colorado with his wife and son.