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Reclusive Duck Woman. Artist. Writer. GR Refugee.

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Dnf--Too Bleak to Care

Rivers - Michael Farris Smith

I hesitated before purchasing Rivers. The kindle edition wasn't cheap and I had reservations about whether I'd enjoy it.


By page ten I was hooked. I loved the odd writing style, the lack of commas, the simple yet powerful descriptions. I also enjoyed the empathic way the author portrayed the people that populate his post climate change world, presenting them as complex, difficult creatures, even more so given the conditions in the rain drenched, lawless land. 


"Cohen watched Aggie and he didn't know what he was dealing with here in this place, with this man. Didn't know exactly who Aggie was or what he was capable of but he knew it was some bad shit. Women behind locked doors and one man with the keys. The Holy Bible stuck in his back pocket. Wearing the coat he'd taken off a dead man. The power to send out others to ambush and steal. The drop-dead glare of the unrepentant."


Then around 50% into the novel a strange thing happened. I put my kindle down for a moment, and found myself reluctant to pick it back up. Now I can usually manage to do all sorts of things while reading. I've been known to walk around our property, feeding chickens or collecting wood with my kindle clutched in one hand. Nothing stops me when I'm midway through a great book. This time I didn't pick it back up for several days. Then, when I eventually did, I found my attention wavering.


I finally made the decision to abandon the book at 66%. The bottom line was that the story line and setting were just too bleak for me to give a damn. I didn't connect with any of the characters, no matter how complex, and therefore realistic, they were. Yes,  I realise that Rivers is a dystopian novel, and bleakness is an aspect of that genre, yet there has to be some POINT (if not hope) to the story. Something that compels the reader to continue. 


All in all, for me Rivers was disappointing novel.