13 June 2012

Review: H2O by Austin W Boyd and Brannon Hollingsworth

My initial feeling about H2O was uncertainty - it is narrated by Kate Pepper, a 102-pound size 2 aerospace marketing executive and sushi chef who slices off part of her palm while catering a work-related dinner party hosted by her gorgeous but controlling boyfriend, Xavier. I'm not big on blood and I don't like controlling men in fiction or in real life, so this was not a promising start.

But underneath the doubtful beginning there is the start of a puzzle, a mystery, about Kate's reactions to the everyday miracle of water. Kate blacks out in the shower following her hand injury, and this turns out to be just one of many blackouts, always precipitated by water. It isn't long before she starts seeing things during her blackouts, and it becomes unclear what is real and what isn't. She starts searching for answers on the internet, and connects with someone with the known as WRKRJC, who attempts to help Kate make sense of her visions.

Some aspects of the novel felt little odd, like having WiFi explained. I thought that wireless internet technology was virtually omnipresent in the English-speaking world. Others (like the character names Thomas Cook and John Connor, better known respectively as a global travel company and the hero of the Terminator movies) made me wonder if there was something I was missing. And the special coffee roast from the mountains of New Zealand? I don’t think so. Most of our mountains are ski-fields, not exactly conducive to growing a warm-weather crop like coffee.

But despite this, I found the book intriguing, thought-provoking and well worth reading. H2O is rich in symbolism (to the point of almost being allegorical) with excellent use of language. It’s different to most of the Christian fiction on the market today and defies a straightforward genre description, being part literary, part speculative and part romance. I really enjoyed it, and am glad I persevered with it. Recommended.

Thanks to Living Ink Books (imprint of AMG Publishers) and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

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