Light – the Rats forgo it so they can control the water,
one of the most basic human needs;
The Prime Minister controls everything – and everyone – else.
Underground for so many generations, the humans guarding Earth’s last freshwater source have mutated into Rat-like darkness dwellers… that’s what the Council tells the Toppers in 2250, when rain on the Earth’s surface is only a memory and emotions are deemed unnecessary.
Imagine having to memorize each step and turn of the long, perilous journey to the Aquifer! If Luca’s father, the Deliverer, is brave enough to face the Rats at the Aquifer every year to renew the water agreement, why is he so sad and distant the rest of the year?
Be sure to have a big drink of cool, clear, fresh water at hand when you read this intriguing tale of a future Australia and a young man whose emotions refuse to stay sedated – just published this month.
My book talk: Luca knows someday he will be Deliverer, making the dangerous journey underground to ensure New Pert’s freshwater supply, but all the Toppers believe about the Rats controlling the Aquifer in 2250 may be a lie.
Only needful work is allowed, no wasteful emotions or art or writing, say the Prime Minister and the Council, so the precious water lasts all year, until the Deliverer renews the agreement with the dreadful Rats by taking them lightsticks that only the Toppers can make.
At 15, Luca is nearly done with school, trying to train his mind to remain calm, practicing the memorized steps and turns of the journey to the Aquifer that his father teaches him, the dreadful journey that someday will be his to make as Deliverer.
Trying to stay unnoticed by the Watchful Amongus is essential, else the Council’s enforcers will cast offenders in chains and dump them into the sea – “undone” from this life. When Luca hides a classmate who’s declared undone in the Deliverer’s shack, he starts a chain of events that could undo the cautious agreement between the Rats and the Toppers, breaking off the water supply or opening it forever.
Why does the museum-keeper show Luca the things she calls “books” and teach him to write?
What broke the spirit of the Deliverer – his many journeys to the Aquifer or something else?
When the time comes, will Luca be brave enough to travel underground as Deliverer?
Forbidden friendships, shared secrets, widespread lies, and even bigger truths fill this tale of a future Australia where spirits are parched for affection as much as their bodies are longing for water from the Aquifer. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)