This book is fucking terrifying.
Not in the scary monster, Stephen King, evil clown sort of way. No, Paolo Bacigalupi’s latest dystopian thriller, his first adult novel since the multiple award-winning The Windup Girl, is terrifying because it feels plausible.
Set in a future where drought has turned much of the Southwest into a wasteland, The Water Knife follows a water war between Las Vegas and Phoenix.
On one side is Angel Velasquez, a “water knife” – a sort of fixer for Las Vegas. On the other is Lucy Monroe, an investigative journalist in Phoenix.
Both are tracking a mysterious set of water rights that could transform the balance of power between the utopian Vegas and the crumbling Phoenix. In between is the scrappy Texan Maria, who is trying to survive and find a way out of Phoenix.
It is a harrowing, often brutal look at the consequences of extreme drought and our inaction that feels like Chinatown meets Mad Max.
It’s also the best book I’ve read this year. Read my full review at “The Nameless Zine”.
And check out my interview with Bacigalupi here.