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Watermind Hardcover – 1 Oct 2008


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Amazon.com: 14 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great movie material 5 April 2011
By H. Potter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mad scientists are a standard part of science fiction. In movies, they are usually old men with funny accents, who are nonetheless brilliant. This time, the mad scientist is a beautiful young rich woman. By the end of the book, she's also pregnant, probably by her young Creole lover, a poorly educated laborer and musical genius. The word is "probably" because she has some hot moments with a South American billionaire, too. There's a lot of action in this book.

The sci fi action revolves around an intelligent synthetic liquid being, spontaneously emerging from a mass of electronic, chemical, and genetic junk dumped into the Mississippi. Somehow, it becomes alive and starts to grow and move, causing lots of harm as it goes. Everyone tries to contain or destroy it, with only our heroine trying to preserve it for the knowledge we can gain and the good it can do.

It's a very good science fiction book, with good plausible science and good characters. The writing is excellent, with vivid, strong descriptions of the scenery and events. It would make a great movie. I see Scarlett Johansen as the scientist. And someone who looks a lot like me as her young boyfriend. If only!
Good premise for a Hollywood thriller 19 April 2013
By PerkyTxGirl - Published on Amazon.com
Watermind

By M. M. Buckner

Conceptually, Watermind is an interesting idea. A mixture of sophisticated computers, electronic garbage, and toxic sludge accidentally evolving into an alien artificial being. As a story the novel doesn't really go anywhere. We don't get much insight into the creature. The writing is focused on a cast of characters that we never really connect with - mostly CJ Reilly. The style reminds me of a Hollywood horror movie at times - so much so that at one point I expected CJ to get pregnant with some sort of hybrid spawn. No, the story didn't go there but my mind did perhaps because of the omnipresent foreboding tone of the story. By the end, despite the length of the book, I felt like I had read a short story rather than a novel. Still, I would say it is a worth the read if you pick it up at a bargain price.

Spoiler Alert
This review does contain major plot points.
The prologue tells us that 144 micro-computers accidentally get washed into the a river, 119 of them end up in a mix of toxic waste and electronic garbage called Devil's Swamp. Somehow they form some kind of neural net.

The story is mostly told from the POV of CJ Reilly- a woman who is working on the clean up in the swamp. After the swamp ices over in the middle of the hot summer, she makes a miraculous discovery when she analysis a sample from the toxic sludge that turns out to be pure water. Water pure enough to drink.
We then meet Roman Sacony, CEO of Quimicron. A friend of CJ's late father, he becomes involved with containing the newly found entity after the death of one of the workers.

CJ is given the job of identifying the pond fluid which she quickly identifies as an emulsified colloid but further explanation of its strange properties elude her. They catalogue a cornucopia of electronic bits and pieces and verify that the colloid produces pure water but don't get much farther than that in their study of it. Eventually they dub it "watermind" of the book's title. CJ is determined to use it to revolutionize the world as method for generating clean water. The corporate interests are only interesting in keeping it from spreading.

The story gets bogged down at times in the strange language choices and the fact that nothing much actually happens. At one point the author writes "Her womb suffused with crampy heat." I have no idea what that was supposed mean.

CJ pushes to communicate with the watermind using music. We never see things from the creatures POV but it seems to respond. Meanwhile competing interests proceed with research on how to destroy the creature instead. Despite their best efforts to keep it contained the watermind escapes into the Mississippi.
As the story goes public, everyone starts to panic. Meanwhile the watermind starts growing and evolving as it travels down stream.

The panicky battle against this unknown `menace' reads almost like a Hollywood movie script, right down to the ending which is reminiscent of classic monster and alien science fiction movies.

Spoiler alert:

Salt water of the ocean killed it in the end.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"Watermind" is all washed up. 31 Aug. 2009
By Kevin T. McGuinness - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book had an interesting premise behind it, but it was not well executed. One issue I had with this book was structural. The transition between the dialog and thoughts of the different characters really isn't that smooth. I'd be reading along and with no warning they'd suddenly be talking about another character.

Another thing that bothered me was from a sci-fi/technical standpoint. They'd mention all these items, technological and otherwise, that the Watermind/mote computers would pass in the river on its way to Louisiana, but never explained how most of those items related back to its make-up and/or evolution.

This lack of detail extended to the dialog as well. It was just enough to keep the story moving forward, but not enough to give us any real insight into the characters. Why was Max's ex-wife given primary custody of their daughter? What was the whole thing between CJ and her father? You never do find out. This, plus the whole pacing of keeping things moving down the river, made the story read more like a TV or movie script than a book.

My advice is to skip this book.
stays with you 15 Jan. 2014
By kara - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Every so often I come across a book which stays with me long after I put it down. This is one. It takes an idea we don't think about- all our technological garbage that we don't give a second thought- and combines it with a scifi/ thriller story line. It makes for a crazy ride which makes one think twice about what happens to all this junk we toss aside.
In my own personal rating system, 5 stars means I have the urge to stop random people in the streets and tell them they must read this book.
Great growth for this author. 6 Sept. 2012
By Gary F. McGuire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the 2nd of Buckner's works that I have read. I found both plot and prose to be riveting from the start. She has established a point of view from the fallible heroine that is fun to follow. I highly recommend Watermind. As a matter of fact, I already have done that directly to many of my friends.
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