Review: The Rain Never Came by Lachlan Walter (Odyssey Books)

22 Mar

Hey everyone, hope you’re all well. 🙂

Lachlan has been waiting a long while for this review, so let’s get into it, shall we?

This novel is categorized as falling into the Dystopian genre, and I’m happy to report that it features none of the teenage angst which that genre is known for. This is a lyrical, thoughtful, often brutal, honest and surprisingly moving novel which doesn’t comfortably fall into any specific genre, though I do understand the Dystopian classification, since the tale takes place in a world which is slowly dying due to climate change.

In this dying Australia, rain is even more scarce than good people and good intentions – there are those who struggle daily to hold to the kinds of lives they led before the climate calamity settled in to stay, even though there are very necessary changes to their routines and their way of life; but they remain good, conscientious people, who continue to look out for each other. And there are those who either live on the fringes, scavenging, and other who seek to control what they feel they must control – because who else will?

The main character is one of the ‘good guys’, despite what he’s been through and experienced. He spends most of his time at the local, barely-standing pub, and is part of small, hard-working community. Life isn’t easy, but folks get on with it. There’s a stoicism to these people which compliments the world around them – they have become a product of their surroundings and have learned the best ways to survive and enjoy their lives, as and when they can.

Lachlan spends a bit of time ushering us into this more-than-usually arid Australian outback, showing us the place the varied cast of characters call home and revealing their relationships to each other. A vague sense of distant danger swirls around every conversation, and when the MC, Bill, is convinced to help out his friend, Tobe, the story builds to a new pace, and the sense of distant danger gives way to a constant sizzle of dread. Bill and Tobe aren’t entirely sure what to be scared of. But it’s revealed in increments as the landscape, the heat and dust, the ever-present thirst the characters struggle with and the fate they’re moving towards spiral closer together.

This is the kind of novel that doesn’t need awesome battles, flashy tech or detailed science to make it sing – it’s a brooding read, the kind of book that lulls the reader while quietly building strength toward an abrupt -yet fitting- end. ‘The Rain Never Came‘ also showcases Lachlan’s storyteller’s talent, and he’s definitely a writer who should be on your radar.

8 / 10

To order your copies of ‘The Rain Never Came‘, click here to head over to the publisher’s site, and here for Amazon. You can also add the book to your Goodreads shelf, and do check out Lachlan’s website.

Until next time,


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Posted by on March 22, 2019 in Reviews


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