Slightly confused by my dystopian adventure

I generally don’t finish reading books that I don’t really like, and therefore, I don’t offer very many reviews on books that didn’t really take my breath away.

However, there was something about “The Cloud Seeders” by James Zerndt that kept me drawn into the story, even though I wasn’t “in love” with the book.

This science fiction/fantasy novel is the tale of two brothers who live in a dystopian America plagued by drought. “Water cops” run rampant, enforcing strict regulations on the conservation of water and energy. The story follows the two brothers’ journey to discover what has happened to their parents, accompanied by the older brother’s girlfriend.

From the beginning, I found myself feeling like the story, while compelling, was also a bit flawed in its logic. Near the beginning of the story, the reader is told that Jerusha (the girlfriend) and Thomas both know what has happened to the boys’ parents, which left me wondering for the entire remainder of the book what possible reason she had for accompanying them through these trials when Thomas said he was taking Dustin to find their parents.

There is a lot of profanity (this is noted in the description on Amazon), and there was one moment in the story that made me feel very uncomfortable and squeamish. I think that both of these situations were an attempt to portray the way Dustin had missed out on his childhood, and as such, were likely powerful literary devices to make that point, as they definitely evoked strong reactions.

Additionally, the book would benefit from some minor editing and proofreading. However, this doesn’t detract from the overall story.

Personally, if I had purchased this book for my own reading pleasure, I would likely have been disappointed and would possibly have returned it for my money back. However, as a free Kindle book, I felt like it was a powerful story and was definitely satisfied.

Although I didn’t feel like this story was “for me,” I find myself oddly interested in reading his other novel currently available through Amazon, “The Korean Word for Butterfly.”

I don’t recommend this book at the $2.99 price tag, but if you enjoy dystopian science fiction/fantasy, I’d definitely suggest keeping an eye out to see if this book pops up as a free offering once again. This book, and Zerndt’s other works, is also available to read for free for Kindle Unlimited members.


3 thoughts on “Slightly confused by my dystopian adventure

  1. Hey there, I just wanted to reply to this real quick since it’s a legit concern. Jerusha (the girlfriend) goes on the trip to be there for Dustin when he does finally get the news about his parents. Thomas (the older brother) is having a hard time telling Dustin and is using the trip as a sort of ploy to gain more time before having to reveal what actually happened. Not the best idea, but Thomas is at a loss for what to do and is handling the situation poorly.

    As to the profanity, I’m wondering if you downloaded your copy some time ago. The earlier versions of the book contain F-words, but the newer version shouldn’t. I tried to clean it up so the book could reach a larger audience.

    Anyway, thanks for reading. And if you ever read The Korean Word For Butterfly, I’d love to hear what you think. (Actually, drop me an email and I’ll send you a mobi copy if you like.)

    Water is good. Water is great.


    1. Thanks for stopping by and responding!

      I think I do understand the situation a little better after your explanation, and really, it’s what I sort of figured out while reading the book, but in the actual reading, I just found myself wishing that the back story were a little more solid.

      I got my copy of “The Cloud Seeders” Aug. 6. However, I have had other authors imply that some of the things that I spoke about in a novel had been changed at some point in the past. If this is a change you have made to make the book more appealing to a larger audience, you might check to ensure that the correct version is getting to readers. I’m generally not a prude, but perhaps I just found the “trash talk” from Dustin more disturbing than I would have in the past now that I’m a mother. I’m currently reading the first true-crime novel in years, and although I’ve read a great many over the years because it’s what my father enjoys reading and I could always borrow one of his books, I find that I feel entirely different reading a true-crime novel now than I did in the past.

      I would love to take you up on your offer regarding “The Korean Word For Butterfly.” I found the way your writing drew me in intriguing, even if “The Cloud Seeders” wasn’t the book for me!

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