This is an interesting story. At first I had difficulty with the slow pace, but soon it seemed natural to the time, place, and the depth of despair and pain the people endure and exude. Even their surroundings – dust, dead vegetation, no living animals except for the occasional bird – drag them down.
Bill and Tobe are the best of friends and brother-in-laws. Bill’s sister died many years ago and perhaps that loss helps keep them together. Tobe has a tendency to disappear for long periods of time, but he always comes home, sharing his adventures with Bill. They exist in a village with a small population in an abandoned part of their country, where people who want to still live their own lives hide from the government, rather than be imprisoned.
Bill has days of thirst and hunger, accepting this as part of his way of life. Food is scarce and water even more so. Food usually means hunting kangaroo – a very dangerous endeavor. Water is brought in from an individual who is lucky enough to have water on his property. It has been a long time since the military visited this area. Known as the CRP, or Creeps as people prefer to call them, they are generally viewed as killers and it is rare for anyone to survive their intrusion. These poor people’s lives consist of surviving day by day, oppressive heat, and lots of dry dirt. The economy is only what they are able to make of it, and some try to live off the land, such as it is. It is hard not to admire these characters.
One night, several people see strange lights in the sky. Bound to their small patch of earth, they have no idea as to what would cause something so odd. Tobe, who has always led Bill – even as boys – decides they must investigate. Bill, although, would just as soon stay home, but he has never refused one of Tobe’s adventures, so he packs his canvas bag. Having lived in a deserted land for so long, all they fear is dying at the hands of the Creeps. What they had not planned on was being captured.
The author brings to life a fascinating landscape which cannot be ignored, mostly because it engulfs everything and everyone in a manner that I saw as total control – no escape from its hardship, nor relaxing from the stranglehold. You know – not just by the book’s title – that there will never be the relief of rain, which gives hope to those who suffer.
- Genre and general reading age – This is definitely dystopian. Anyone who enjoys reading this type of story will probably enjoy the challenges this book presents. It is appropriate for older teens and adults.
- Level of sexuality – Mild.
- Is there graphic language? Nothing distracting.
- Did I cry? I was more than a little sad over their struggling existence with the heat, dust, and dead vegetation.
- Did I laugh? No.
- Is this part of a series? No.
- Level of character development – Bill’s eyes were opened for the first time to the reality of being Tobe’s friend. In the past, he was able to put aside his questions, but he shows real maturing when he finally acknowledges that he cannot ignore his new take on Tobe.
I felt like I suffered right along with Bill and Tobe in this fascinating tale, and I happily award it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.