Book 1 of 2
by Jordana Frankel
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (April 30, 2013)
Publisher: Harper Audio
Narrated By Merritt Hicks
Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
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Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.
However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.
At a Glance:
The Ward was a high adrenaline story that had all the elements that make you feel things in books. There were car races and chases, government conspiracies, cities covered in undrinkable water, loves that rival any I've read about, and huge surprise that completely changes what you thought this book was going to be. Though bits were confusing, overall I really enjoyed this book a lot.
This was one of the best audiobooks I've listened to in awhile. The reader Merritt Hicks does a flawless job of bringing all the characters to life. I love the slightly New Yorkish, tough-girl accent she had for Ren. It was perfect! Every character was distinct, none were cheesy, I honestly have no complaints. The emotions she brought to the book really made me enjoy it on another level, and even, at times, made it easier to navigate the confusing parts. I highly recommend this one on audio!
Let's Get the Negative Over With:
So, I'll start out with my only complaint. I found that I often had a hard time picturing the things that were happening, especially during the race scenes. Part of this is totally me. I'm not a visual person, and I can often go through a book without really needing to picture exactly what the setting is. This book was different. There was so much about the racing and the buildings and the water, that I really felt like I missed something big by not grasping it fully. What I really needed was a map. OR a movie! I seriously think this would make an awesome movie! This did somewhat pull me out of the story, but overall, it didn't ruin it for me.
Ren has to be one of my all-time favorite heroines. I seriously think she is the toughest girl I've read about. And for once, it wasn't because she just knew how to carry a gun/sword and slaughter people. She definitely knew how to takes some hits, though, that's for sure. I swear this girl got the crap kicked out of her every other moment, by people, by car crashes, or just by the elements, but she Would. Not. Stop. She lived fiercely, loved with every bone in her body, and fought like she had nothing to lose.....or maybe like she had everything to lose.
I know what you think I'm going to talk about right here. Romance and boys, boys and romance. Wrong :P This love I speak of is Ren's love for her (not technically) sister, Aven. I'm not sure I've ever read a character that I felt loved someone, and would do anything for this someone, that felt more real to me than in this book. Katniss and Prim? Who are they? They've got nothin' on the sisterly love Ren has goin' on. It was kind of awesome!
Okay! The Romance :D
Yes, of course I'll talk about the romance! I'm not sure I've had such conflicting feelings for a guy before. I loved him, I hated him, I didn't understand him, I was disappointed in him, I was surprised by him, I was let down by him, I admired him. So many feelings! But, I really like this. I like not knowing what to expect, always being suspicious, waiting to find out what's really going on. Oh, and am I the only one who had a little crush on Calem happening?
And then this happened:
There was so much going on in this book, then all of a sudden SOMETHING is revealed, and this changes the entire book. What is this book? I did not see that coming at all, but it added an element to the book that I actually really enjoyed. I've seen people saying that The Ward is a ripoff of Divergent. To me, that's like saying Leviathan is a ripoff of The Great Gatsby, just because they're set in the same basic time period. The Ward is seriously something completely different than any other post-apocalyptic book I've read, in so many ways.
Am I alone?
There seems to be quite a few people who didn't connect with this book. Often the world-building confusion was a big cause. But even though I struggled with some of that, I really did end up liking this book a lot. Of course, I'm a big fan of Waterworld too.......
- Profanity: Mild*
- Sexual Content: Mild
- Violence: Moderate