Hydro by A. C. Waltower

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Hydro (Aurelia #1)
A.C. Waltower
Published: December 2014


The year is 2091. 75 years ago, a nuclear war desolated Earth. The top 2% of the world fled to Hydro, a compound on the Moon. The rest of the population were left trying to survive on a barren Earth.

Seventeen-year-old Blake lives on Earth with his dad and little brother. When Blake’s father is given the grave sentence of terminal cancer, Blake decides to save his dad by sneaking onto Hydro and making a deal with Hydro’s council. In exchange for them saving his dad, he will give them the answer to everyone’s problem; the location of a new habitable planet.

The unexpected and unannounced arrival of Blake leaves many citizens with mixed feelings, none more confusing than those of sixteen-year-old Ziva. The more she learns about Blake and where he comes from, the more she learns that not everything she is being told about the situation on Earth in true, including those told by her beloved grandfather. Why has he been lying to her? And more importantly what is he hiding from her?


I know what I have to do.

I leave a note on my bed for Jabori, telling him to continue looking for Ronny tomorrow morning.

My dad is slumped over, sleeping at his desk. I kiss his forehead and then grab the gun my dad has hidden in his desk drawer. I pack so me clothes and then sneak out through the crack in the latrine.

In a hurry, I walk to the cliff. I am careful not to fall on the slippery rocks.

I glance down, baffled at how high the drop down the cliff is.

“Okay, okay,” I say, as I try lamely to psych myself up for the jump.

I turn to look back. No one is chasing me, but I feel my heart racing.

I take a deep, purposeful breath and turn back to look down at the drop again, half hoping that my eyes are playing a trick on me and that maybe the drop is a mere two feet.

Nope, they are not.

Jumping in this water is a crazy idea, but it is what I have to do. It’s this or a two-day hike down the mountain. It really doesn’t matter because both ways could kill me.

I survey the lake. The top layer of water is iced over from the freezing temperatures. To make matters worse, there are jagged rocks flanking the river. Like Darius said, I have to get a running start so I don’t hit the rocks or snags on my way down.

I push my fears aside and grab the gun from my back. I shoot into the water to break up the ice.

I walk back from the cliff. I take a couple of purposeful breaths and then run full speed toward the edge. Once near the edge, I leap high in the air and begin my quest to get to the moon to save my dad.

And if I die, so be it.

What I liked: I really liked the basis of where I can see this series going, war-torn people find habitable planet to begin anew on after abandoning Earth. I do think this series will take place over successive generations because no matter the speed of your ship, it’s very far away and will take a very long time to reach even at the speed of light. Blake was a fun character to follow, to see how someone from Earth would take to Hydro, a place drastically different from the kind of place he grew up in. I would have liked for a bit more about him adapting to things he’s never seen, and likely never heard of. Ziva on the other hand, is drastically different. She’s a bit bookish and spends all her time studying for different test (though I have no idea how that even relates to living on Hydro, does it have any effects on what jobs they get/are applicable for?). She also seems to blindly follow things she was taught, which since she’s never really known anything else makes complete sense. Though, I would have liked my main “bad guy” to be a bit more cunning and a lot less seemingly paranoid and unnecessarily aggressive about Blake, it was a dead giveaway that he was going to be the cause of problems from the start. There were also a few things, such as Blake’s brother, which brought a bit of entertainment to the story.

What I didn’t like: Earth is supposed to the be experiencing nuclear fallout world-wide 75 years after World War III basically happened, devastating most of the planet and leaving it mostly uninhabitable due to the drastic changes in weather. The former wealthy people fled to this compound on the moon where they now live in relative peace away from the people who survived on Earth. Now, I’m not a very science-orientated person but I’m fairly sure history class mentioned that nuclear fallout not only kills, but causes these very weird mutations in people by the next generation (things like extra limbs, extra fingers, extra ears, deformities of all kinds) and I was very confused about how that wasn’t happening. I know it’s fiction but that is something that happens with nuclear fallout, I know it can be a tabooish subject but the bombings of Hiroshima Nagasaki did do this to those who survived and were exposed to the fallout for only a bit. I’m thinking I remember that Chernobyl had the same problem. Also, hand guns are clip fed, not magazine fed. It’s the little things like that I got a little hung up on, but when you spend family time shooting guns at targets you learn the lingo of guns, and magazine always makes me think of rather large guns that you can’t really hide and have to hold in two hands. This, also read a little rough with other small errors, grammatical and spelling mostly. Also, still unsure why they don’t just grow their food on the moon, since that’s kind of a thing

Overall Review: This book wasn’t what I was expecting, because I was expecting more space-y/future-ish stuff and there a few things that were a little off, some stuff that could be fixed through simple research. Overall it had an interesting storyline, and there were a few things that were entertaining to read to say the least, although there were certain other things that I’m unsure about how they will have relevance to the story as it continues.

Recommend?: It has an interesting story, and I’m very curious to see how this series will play out in the future.

Goodreads: 4.3/5 Amazon: 5/5 Barnes&Noble: -/5

My Rating: 3.6/5

Rated Materials:
Cover: 4.5
Idea: 3.4
Story: 3.1
Characters: 3.4

ac waltower

About the Author

My name is AC and I am an aspiring writer. I’ve always had a passion for writing, but find it difficult to write while juggling long hours at my day job. I, also, had to get the courage to publish my work, but this has always been a dream of mine.


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