Arid by Anne Joyce is a tense dystopian novel set in the US where water is scarce but dehydration isn’t the only thing to fear out in the wastelands.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Arid by Anne Joyce
Set in the United States after a nuclear war has occurred in 2040, this camp of people are desperately trying to survive. They are given rations from the people who hold power over them, called the Purifiers. But it’s not nearly enough. This group has ways of trying to gather water themselves and they hunt anything they can safely eat, but it’s still hardly enough to keep them all going.
After a visit from the Purifiers goes sideways, the turmoil begins to rise.
Later, after a violent fight for their lives, the group takes a truck and flees to find safety. But little do they know, they’re about to be faced with horror after horror as they brave the desert to try to get to Mexico, and not all of them are going to make it alive.
This story is an absolutely amazing dystopian! The set up itself really sinks readers right into the situation, and before long, the action begins and doesn’t let up until the very end. I was so nervous at every turn, and just wanted this group to catch a break! I really loved that readers get to know each of the characters more as the story develops. This only adds to the terror as you may learn more about a character on one page, just to see them meet a brutal end shortly after.
Speaking of brutal ends… the action that leads to bloodshed and gore here is intense! One scene specifically on a rooftop has really cemented itself into my mind. But with this, the author also throws in some heart-twisting grief and rage that sets the characters up to fight back.
My Favorite Passages from Arid
Grief changes shape but it doesn’t go away. It’s not something you endure until you get to the other side. I’ve learned that there is no other side, no mystical place or state of mind where everything’s okay again. There’s just adjustment and acceptance. It alters your very soul.
“Mutiny will bring all types of people out of the woodwork. Some of them want to make things better. Others just want to take advantage of the chaos. It gives them an opportunity to do bad things…”
An enormous silhouette of a man holding a lantern came into view. He held up the light to reveal a dirty face with broken teeth and a square jaw. “This is my car! Nobody gets on it but me and nobody closes the —”
Four guns clicked and pointed at him. “Uh… you know on second thought, there’s plenty of room in here.”
My Final Thoughts on Arid
If you enjoy dystopian novels with a lot of terror and bloodshed, but also plenty of heart and sheer determination, then this is a great pick for you!
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Thanks for reading!