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Jamie Zerndt
The Cloud Seeders
James Zerndt, author
Serve Your Country, Conserve Your Water, Observe Your Neighbor This is the slogan of the Sustainability Unit and of a country gone eco-hysterical. After nearly twelve months without rain and the hinges of the world barely still oiled, Thomas and his younger brother, Dustin, set out across a drought-ridden landscape in search of answers. What they discover along the way will change their lives, and their country, forever. The Cloud Seeders weaves humor and heartache, action and romance, as well as poetry and science, into a unique crossover novel that defies categorization.
Plot/Idea: 5 out of 10
Originality: 6 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 5 out of 10
Overall: 6.00 out of 10


Plot: While the plot features enough action to initially grab readers, the storyline meanders and at times feels contrived. Additionally, some character motivations feeling vague.

Prose: Zerndt's prose is solid and well crafted. It remains unobtrusive and allows the plot and characters to take center stage.

Originality: Zerndt's dystopian novel doesn't follow the typical rules of the genre, giving things just enough originality to keep it fresh.

Character Development: The characters in Zerndt's dystopian novel are a mixed bag.The main character and his younger brother are solidly developed. But Jerusha is a thinly drawn type, while the villainous president is more caricature than character.

Date Submitted: April 02, 2018

Readers' Favorite

Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite

In The Cloud Seeders by James Zerndt, Thomas and his young brother Dustin haven't seen a drop of rain in over a year. With the water drying up, the government had gone from Eco-conscious to Eco-hysterical making sure that every drop of water is accounted for, turning things like home gardening and car washing into serious infractions. Thomas is more intent on keeping his brother safe and making it through the day while his rebel rousing friend, Jerusha, feels that there's more to the drought than what the government's spilling. She's determined to find out even if it means going with Thomas and Dustin on a cross-country road trip. A novel that defies easy explanation, The Cloud Seeders is great for anyone interested in the HAARP project or post-apocalyptic, road tripping adventure.

In his acknowledgment, Zerndt said that The Cloud Seeders was turned down by several publishing houses, which is usually my cue to avoid the book like a vampire shuns sunlight. However, The Cloud Seeders was a fantastic read, one that I would love to see on the shelves (mine especially). The characters were very realistically written, nothing struck me as manipulative or sentimental, the way Thomas, Dustin, and Jerusha reacted to various situations I couldn't imagine happening any other way. I found myself thinking of them long after the book was done. I even enjoyed the poems. Usually after reading one or two I wind up skipping over the rest, but in The Cloud Seeders the poems were funny and interesting and gave us little hints about the characters. A thoroughly enjoyable book and I’d be interested in seeing more what Zerndt has to offer.

Portland author, 5-year-old son placed $100 dollar bills in books around Portlan

James Zerndt said it was his 5-year-old son's idea to hide money in copies of Zerndt's book, "The Cloud Seeders," which was first published in 2012. James and his son, Jack, left the money in books at several local stores.