Water (Akasha, #1)

Water (Akasha, #1) - Terra Harmony If the writers of the old Captain Planet TV show had been tasked with writing a book for ‘grown ups,’ they probably would have come up with something very close to this. Simplistic views on environmental issues, cheesy lines all over the place, powers that make no sense, plot lines that spiral off into nowhere, completely gratuitous scenes that require way more tact than this book is capable of… If you can’t tell, I wasn’t a fan of Captain Planet.But that show, much like this book, had such an interesting premise that I can’t help getting sucked into every new piece of work that follows it, in the hopes of finding something that lives up to the awesomeness promised.First of all, this book needed a lot more spit and polish than it received. Transitions between scenes were clunky at best, and conflicts were picked up and dropped at random. The book felt like a bunch of strung-together concepts instead of something whole. For instance, there’s a scene in an airport where a security guard walks up and randomly demands that Kaitlyn follow him. She’s saved by the smooth talking love interest, but…who was that? Why did he want Kaitlyn? Was it for a real reason? Did she do something wrong? She was just standing around looking lost, but that guy acted like bad news; was there some nefarious intent behind his actions? WE’LL NEVER KNOW! After they leave him behind, no one gives him a second thought. Nearly every conflict in the book that wasn’t romantic was treated the same way. Kaitlyn got kidnapped! Why? Just because. She was drugged and tied to a chair and injected with stuff! What stuff? Psh, it was stuff, we’ve moved on to hot boys now, keep up.The powers in this book were spotty at best and confusing at worst. Kaitlyn learns how to use hers with ease, and then after that, they’re described as…just…doing whatever she wants. There’s very little in the way of structure or guidelines. It’s just ‘energy’ that does stuff. What stuff? All stuff.A lot of stuff isn’t properly explained in this book, for that matter. What do the Seven do? We don’t even get a hint of that until 3/4ths in, and mind you, Kaitlyn had already agreed to work with/for them at that point. She didn’t know either. She went on a mission without having a clue what their ‘missions’ normally entail. When we do find out what they entail, it’s pretty tame stuff. Most of the book actually has nothing to do with the main organization or their missions/purpose/anything. They could be a random group of teens playing with powers and having sex and nothing else, and the plot could have carried on 98% exactly the same.The environmentalism in this book is extremely simplified and makes use of flimsy strawmen to argue against. None of the real thorny issues of environment vs consumerism are addressed, which would have been fine if the book hadn’t included scenes that should have addressed them. There’s a scene where a fruit farmer doesn’t know how to use a compost heap. Really, book? That’s the man’s livelihood, and you think he doesn’t know how composting works? The issue is a matter of the efficacy between compost and chemical fertilizers, and comparing the cost/benefits of both based on how much fruit he has to sell to cover his overhead, not that he’s too clueless to work a compost heap. There’s another scene where they’re trying to convince an airport board of directors to join a water conservation group. The directors’ arguments against it? “We won’t get praised or paid for doing this.” What? How about the added cost of it, costs that would have to be passed on to consumers, which could put a severe pinch on an industry already hemorrhaging money?If you want to just run around saving baby animals and nothing else, then do that. If you want to address complex issues, at least do it right.But for all the promises the book makes about powers and saving the planet, in honesty, most of the book is just people interacting at this one house. That made the plot plod along at an excruciating pace, and I didn’t like most of the characters anyway. The villain was obvious and one-dimensional, and the romantic couple fell in love based on…magic eyeballs?And then of course there’s all that rape. The book did give a trigger warning, and I said I’d give it an extra star for that, so I did. But still. Kaitlyn’s love interest tries to rape her as a training exercise. He says he was doing it ‘to add distraction and stress.’ Really, you couldn’t think of a single other method of making her stressed? Not one, you had to jump right to rape? Kaitlyn does get properly upset about this and refuses to deal with him for a long time after, but the other characters try to convince her to forgive him because he was just trying to step up her training. FFS, no! Someone who can’t realize that ‘rape’ is not a training tool is someone who shouldn’t be around other people! That, in itself, is a problem. He does not have a proper understanding of what’s acceptable and what’s not, and that needs to be addressed. It isn’t.The last 25% of the book is more rape, and it feels like it was thrown in just to make the bad guy badder, but to be honest I kind of expected that part. There are people who fetishize stuff like that, and as long as no one says the bad guy is okay and it’s warned for, YKINMK.A free copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.