Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation.... Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from struggling to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive - and Darwin rich. Escape from her certain, dreary existence, living as if it's still the early 1800s, when the Congregation was first enslaved. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient to the Water: her blood. So she stays, and prays to their savior Otto, who first gave Water to the Congregants... and fathered Ruby before he vanished.
When the Congregants discover Ruby's forbidden romance with an Overseer, they beat Ford to stop her from running away with him. Ruby steals their store of Water to save Ford's life and is banished. Ruby has everything she's dreamed of: a modern life with Ford. But the modern world isn't what she thought it would be, and Ruby can't forsake the Congregation. Love and loyalty push Ruby to return and fight for her family's freedom... at a terrible price.
©2011 Pam Bachorz (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
This book starts out slow and seems uninteresting but as the story goes on it gets interesting. There is a sort of Romeo and Juliet love story going on so I would recommend listening to the end.
I picked this book because the premise sounded interesting. Unfortunately, 3 hours in, all the characters are unoriginal and without depth. The bad guys are unmitigated evil, with no redeeming value, their only purpose is to hurt the main character directly and indirectly. The introduction of the love interest is ham-fisted at best. Everyone is either a saint or a monster. The writer also makes a common newbie mistake, and rarely uses contractions where in natural speech we would. One might make the argument that she is trying to make the diction sound antiquated, but they don't have any other speech patterns that suggest that. She just tries too hard. This lack of contractions is only highlighted by the narrator. She enunciates every word so carefully that it feels like every word is emphasized.
Worse, even the premise that enticed me at first becomes thinner all the time. The backstory for what brings everyone into the position they are currently in is implausible, the justification for why they endure their oppression with no attempts at freedom is weak, basically I've been in no way rewarded for my suspended disbelief. The book itself suffers from shallow saints as the main characters and pointlessly cruel antagonists, not to mention inconsistencies and improbabilities within the first couple hours and a predictable plot. The narration is often Shatner-esq. If you're looking for a fantasy/sci fi book with a good female protagonist check out Garth Nix's trilogy "Sabrial" "Liriel" and "Abhorsen"
This is the story of Ruby, condemned to a life of slavery along with the rest of her congragation while they pray for their saviour's return. Ruby is precious. It is her blood that sustains the congragation and helps them endure their suffering, but things are only growing worse, and there is no saviour in sight. This is a harrowing account of life as a slave, and the author certainly doesn't hold back. Forbidden love adds an extra dimension to the story, and Ruby knows that whatever decisions she makes will impact not only herself but those around her. This is a gripping tale of love, loyalty and hardship, but it's a novel of self discovery too. I think this author will be one to watch.
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