The premise of this graphic novel is interesting, but the way in which it was executed didn’t really cut it for me. H2O is set in the year 2250, after one hundred years of the entire Earth being in a drought. An attempt to fix the atmosphere created “radiation storms” that burned anyone in its scope. The blurb on the back cover asks “How quickly would we ‘de-volve?'” but the contents inside the book don’t necessarily show this.
The main problem I had with this book was how normal the communications technology was shown, and how many people there still were in the world. I’m not a scientist by any means, but I would think that if the Earth hadn’t gotten rain in one hundred years, all life would very quickly become extinct. How would we stay alive without being able to grow food? If radiation storms are burning people and cities, how are there any places still left to inhabit? If the entire world went without water for one hundred years, I imagine we’d be a lot closer to Mars, in appearance and ability to inhabit.
The technology used for computing and communication seems very close to today’s technology, but I just don’t know how these types of things could continue to run without the people behind that technology keeping it going. The premise is interesting and thought-provoking, but the way the book is carried out doesn’t make sense in this way. The idea behind the story is what I liked most, because it got me to think about these types of hypothetical situations and events. The book just didn’t go the way I would think these things would, if they were to actually happen. Yes, I know this is fiction, but it just raised too many questions and not enough clear answers for me (especially in the fact that it’s never explained why it stopped raining in the first place).
In addition to these issues, the character development was attempted, but it just didn’t make me feel anything for the characters. I really hate the trope of blaming the son for his father’s mistakes, and this becomes the main nemesis’ backstory. The main woman’s backstory is pretty thrown together as well, and it all felt quite rushed. I understand that it’s a short book, but at this point, we could have done just fine with barely any character’s backstory because it didn’t have an emotional affect on me.
When I review graphic novels and comics, I like to note the art style, because it’s incredibly important in these formats. The artwork in this book wasn’t bad or good, really. It was good for the story, as the images are clear and not confusing as to what action is taking place, but it wasn’t anything special that stood out to me.
Overall, it was just an okay book. I didn’t hate it, because it made me think, but I just don’t particularly care for it. Again, the premise of a world-wide draught is interesting, and would probably make a really good hypothetical documentary or podcast, but it just doesn’t hold water in the plot that was carried out (pun intended, sorry not sorry).