The year is 2250 and fresh water is scarce. Those above ground rely on a subterranean species of Water Rats to provide fresh water, when the annual contract is renewed by the Deliverer. Luca, now sixteen years old, is heir to the Deliverer’s position, and when his father suddenly goes missing, must step in to try to make things right again.
But not all is as it seems, and when Luca descends below, he finds out there is much more to the story of the annual exchange than he ever bargained for. His world turns upside down, and the position he is in turns sinister. Can Luca fix things before it’s too late?
Aquifer introduces some really great characters. Although only sixteen, Luca is mature beyond his years, with an admirable sense of responsibility. Various supporting characters are also strong and well-developed. There is a tiny hint of a Christian message in this story, with Wishers who gather to pray, and a Voice that speaks to Luca. A slow start builds to a crescendo, capturing the reader in a race to the conclusion. But there is also quite a bit of violence and darkness to this story, which ends in a disappointing way that leaves too much to the imagination.
Warning: Rated mature for violence
Reviewer: Alice Berger