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Aquifer: Truth Lies Just Below the Surface

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Aquifer: Truth Lies Just Below The Surface by Jonathan Friesen i

Aquifer: Truth Lies Just Below The Surface by Jonathan Friesen is an unique tale with deception, love, freedom, and faith combined into one package. While I did enjoy this book, it was missing the emotional attachment that is necessary for any truly gripping book. I fou...
Aquifer: Truth Lies Just Below The Surface by Jonathan Friesen is an unique tale with deception, love, freedom, and faith combined into one package. While I did enjoy this book, it was missing the emotional attachment that is necessary for any truly gripping book. I found myself scanning the pages wondering when it would be over. But over all it was a fairly well written book, with little to no grammatical or spelling errors. Aquifer followed the basic plot of literature and had no monumental plot twist, leaving me hungry for more of an edge of your seat read. I did enjoy the characters and their personalities though. I would recommend this book for someone looking for a quick read or a unique story to do a book report on.

posted by TheAvidWriter on July 25, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I would say that this was an okay book.  This was not a book tha

I would say that this was an okay book.  This was not a book that if I needed to, I could put it down and not sit wondering what would happen next.  At times, yes it did have a quick story line, but overall it seemed to move slowly.

What had originally interested me wa...
I would say that this was an okay book.  This was not a book that if I needed to, I could put it down and not sit wondering what would happen next.  At times, yes it did have a quick story line, but overall it seemed to move slowly.

What had originally interested me was the fact that this was a "futuristic" book.  It takes place about 240 years from now, and the world has only one source water, the Aquifer.  And the only way to get the water is to exchange light for the water.   It seems like it could be potentially good, but to me the story didn't move fast enough and did not have me invested in the characters enough.  Normally, if I really like a book, I can sit down and read it in a day or two.  This book, took me over a week to read, and it's not even that big.    

posted by Anonymous on August 3, 2013

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  • Posted September 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Kept me turning pages, but story felt a little flat I have ment

    Kept me turning pages, but story felt a little flat

    I have mentioned before that I like to read dystopian fantasy books (see my review of The Fifth Wave), and Aquifer once again fits this category. In the future author Jonathan Friesen presents, the Earth no longer bears fresh water on its surface. The only water safe for human consumption lies below the ground, hidden in an aquifer (hence the title), which is guarded by a race of humans who have devolved to the state of being called “Rats.” Only one person ventures down to visit the rats, and he is called the “Deliverer.” Once a year, the Deliverer follows a path that only exists in his brain through rote memorization from his forefathers and exchanges light rods with the Rats for the promise of another year’s access to water. The story follows Luca, a sixteen-year-old boy who is next in line to be the Deliverer behind his own father, Massa. Luca, and all other humans on the surface, live in a police state where they are not allowed to have any emotions or show any sign of rebellion against the set order or they will be “undone” (forced to kill themselves). But Luca senses he is different from his peers, and when his father goes missing and Luca must keep the connection with the Rats to save the Earth, he learns why he has always felt apart from others. He learns much else that blows the lid off the current state of the world as well when he descends to the world of the Rats.




    I thought this book had an interesting premise and I was eager to find out about the underworld and the Rat people who lived there. The idea reminded me of the Morlocks in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, and I wanted to see what this author had done with a similar construct. Friesen presents a nice twist on the subterranean culture, which I will not reveal here, that sets this book apart. I enjoyed reading the story as it did contain many turns, much like Luca’s memorized route, they kept me turning pages. Teens may find Luca relatable as he is a teenager struggling with his place in the world and feeling different than everyone else around him. The other characters help move the story forward and cause changes in Luca, just as good characters should. My only complaint was that sometimes the Australian phrases thrown in seemed forced. 




    I should also address the fact that this story is printed by a Christian publisher. However, the Christian elements are few and hardly noticeable. Depending on what the reader is expecting, this could be a good or bad thing. There is no mention of God or Jesus, though Luca is guided by a voice that is never identified. There is a book Luca finds that is more important than any other, and when quoted, it is The Bible, though not identified (the characters wouldn’t know what that was).  Because the story is a bit ambiguous, it could easily have a wider appeal among non-Christians as well as Christian readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    I would say that this was an okay book.  This was not a book tha

    I would say that this was an okay book.  This was not a book that if I needed to, I could put it down and not sit wondering what would happen next.  At times, yes it did have a quick story line, but overall it seemed to move slowly.

    What had originally interested me was the fact that this was a "futuristic" book.  It takes place about 240 years from now, and the world has only one source water, the Aquifer.  And the only way to get the water is to exchange light for the water.   It seems like it could be potentially good, but to me the story didn't move fast enough and did not have me invested in the characters enough.  Normally, if I really like a book, I can sit down and read it in a day or two.  This book, took me over a week to read, and it's not even that big.    

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    I received a copy of AQUIFER by Jonathan Friesen from Thomas Nel

    I received a copy of AQUIFER by Jonathan Friesen from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze. I was thrilled at the chance to read it, as I’d seen the book in Barnes and Noble, and fell in love with it. The cover caught my attention first – you can feel the raised bubbles – and the synopsis stole me away. Water is scarce and those who control it are in charge. It sounded like a great futuristic young adult novel. Then, a friend recommended I read it. She’s obsessed with dystopian stories so she reads a lot of them, but she only tells me about the winners.

    So, there I was, with a copy of the book in hand. I was gripped from the prologue forward. The action was nonstop, mixed in with mystery, and the characters were riveting. The only downside I found involved the descriptions. At times, I had trouble picturing what was going on. Since this was a whole new “world,” I would have liked to be immersed more. The first part of the story did set the stage well – I must admit, it did drag at times – but I couldn’t picture the setting or the characters, or what exactly they looked like.

    I recommend this to dystopian fans, and I will definitely look for more of his work.

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  • Posted January 23, 2014

    Pros:  I enjoy dystopian books, and one reason that made Aquifer

    Pros:  I enjoy dystopian books, and one reason that made Aquifer jump out at me was its setting, which is Australia.  I think there are enough books written about dystopian America, so it was great for another country to be featured.  The "problem" in the dystopian world of Aquifer was different, too: lack of water.  I liked Luca's characters mainly because he is very brave and eager to do the right thing.  I think he sets a good example for kids reading this book.

    Cons:  So, was this book an equal to the Hunger Games? No.  Why? Because Aquifer's plot and events were very confusing.  I found myself getting lost, especially at the beginning, as there are flashbacks of past events.  I had to read some sections twice to figure out why the characters were going where they were going.  Also, the book was basically all dialogue, with no background information.  It is told from Luca's perspective, so that may be what limited background info, but I feel like Luca could have revealed a little more past than he did.

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