Review - The Ward

Friday, October 18, 2013

Title: The Ward #1
Author: Jordana Frankel

"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."
Ok, this is a hard review for me to write. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the book, but I had a few issues with it.

Good stuff first, I liked the premise of the book. Scientist do say that in a few hundred years our coastal cities will be gone. So for a major city to be flooded like it is is realistic and made for a very entertaining read. And even better? Most of the dystopian books out are the result of war or plagues. While the book does have both, nature could have been the major cause of the fall of the society. (After all the loss of the fresh water sources in the area and the need to import it prompted fighting. The resulting condition no doubt played apart in the disease that followed.) So the concept was unique and realistic enough that I really liked it. I could see it happening.

The author does a good job creating her dystopian world. The situation is believable, the character's motivations are real. I can see the world prompting the powers that rise up. It all makes sense and is put together in such a way that add depth to the book.

I'm on the fence about the characters. This is where things start slipping. For female characters, we have the sick, but bubbly friend/sister; the stuck up plastic slutty b***hes, who are as fake as racer cheerleaders; and the heroine, who is once again plain. But more than that, she is pretty judgmental and catty enough for someone who claims to dislike the groupies because of those very traits. There were times she annoyed me quite a bit, and I could empathize with those around her. Her saving grace is her relationship with her sister. There is where she becomes a great character. They are believable, they care for each other, and yet both have their own reasons to resent the other.

The main guys were interesting and likeable in their own ways. Even when some spoilerish things happen and the reader's view changes as the characters move along, they remain likable and/or someone that while I may not like, I found interesting. But possible romances? I'm not so sure about...for previously mentioned spoilerish reasons. Especially the one, a bit, um...well, no. So I will have to wait and see.

The other thing that I'm iffy about is the racing. The concept is fun and wonderful. The author does a pretty good job creating the subculture of the races and all that goes with. But, and I fully admit this could just be me, I hard a hard time picturing parts of the races and that threw me a bit. It could just be my brain trying to find comparable images for me to process what I was reading and falling short, but something was lost as I read them.

So did I like it enough to read more? Yes, I am curious enough to how everything is going to play out.

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