Thursday, April 18, 2013

[Review: The Ward by Jordana Frankel]

"The Ward"
Author: Jordana Frankel
Series: The Ward #1
Pages: 480
Genre: YA Dystopian
Date Published: April 30th, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest reviw


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.

Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.

My Thoughts:

I have so many feelings about this book.  I honestly didn't know what it was about going into it.  I had heard a few good things floating around about it and the cover grabbed my attention, but I still had almost no clue when I opened the book about what I was going to read.  But I loved what I got.

Jordana Frankel has created a new and interesting world for her dystopian novel.  Taking a place that many people know (New York) and flooding it so that the Chrysler Building is no more than 7 stories tall.  The people of Manhattan now occupy the non flooded levels of it's streets an have built on top of some of the now small sky scrappers.  In most ways it's an underwater city.  I thought that Frankel's bare boned descriptions of The Ward (formerly New York) were awesome.  She gave you just enough to let your mind run as wild as you wanted with it, but still managed to create what she wanted to.  I think that selfishly I was also glad because I have a fear of aquariums and if she would have over described things it would have made me feel more claustrophobic than I already did.  The scenes in The Tank kinda freaked me out guys.

I felt like Ren was an extremely strong heroine and I loved getting to know her.  She seemed hard at first and even though it was definitely one of her stand out personality traits, there was more to her than first meets the eyes.  I could totally get behind her wanting to be one of the guys and even more behind her relationship with her sister.  Both of those things showed us different sides of Ren.  And then on top of it all she was a racer with mad skills and a ton of guts and a secret identity.  She had a lot going on and yet somehow still managed to stay grounded.  I also loved that she had a strong attachment to her footwear and those darn pennies!

The men in the novel were all written really well.  Frankel wrote them realistically.  Showing us their different personalities through their interactions with Ren.  Sometimes the differences were slight, but they impacted the story and the forward movement of the plot.  For instance when Ren hugs Ter and Callum there is a large difference.  With Ter it is strictly a brother sister type thing, but there is sexual tension when she hugs Callum.  Only a very gifted writer can create that feeling so seamlessly.  Benny, Ter, Kent and the rest of the guys were awesome to get to know, even if I didn't like all of them.

Now for the other spotlight characters.  I have to admit that I didn't really Derek after I was done reading the book.  While I was reading I totally got why Ren would dig him, but after stepping back from it all, I saw that he managed to pull a fast one on me as well.  In the end he's just a guy with million excuses as to why he "has" to do what he "has" to do.  So, I like him for the fact that he made me like him even when I truly don't.  He's a snake in the grass and if he doesn't get his stuff together in book two, I don't see myself falling into his charm again.

I don't know if there is actually something between Callum and Ren, but I really hope that there will be!  I adore Callum to pieces and I think he's a great addition to the main plot.  The guy has guts and smarts and fully trust Ren and everything that she is able to pull off.  He never doubts her.  I don't know if there will be a need for teams, but if so Callum gets my vote 100%.

And behind all the baddassery  lies the main fact that this story is about what one sister will do for the other.  It's got heart on top of all the epicness.

I have to give it to Jordana for also adding an element to the story that made if feel more like an Indiana Jones adventure than a dystopian novel at times!  The magical things that start to transpire were a brilliant touch that I wasn't expecting!

All in all I have to say that I am a fan of Jordana Frankel's debut novel.  It's full of mystery, adventure, romance, great family dynamics and real relationships all buried underwater.  I can't wait to see what happens in book two.  Grab this one on the 30th if this sounds like the book for you!

    5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this one now! (or in this case on the 30th)


Giselle said...

Glad you liked this one much more than I did! I was enjoying it at first but then I started to lose interest. I didn't like the world building at all it left too much to be desired for me--I had too many questions and found some plot holes that bugged me. I do agree it's a very adventure type of read! Great review! :)

Eileen said...

Yay that you liked this one! I really enjoyed the same things as you did, especially with Ren her character was so amazing! And the sister bond was also really fantastic. I had an issue with the world building though, where you loved it. But I do have to admit an underwater world is pretty epic.

Fantastic review!

Ashley said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this I keep seeing mixed reviews. A strong heroine is a plus! Glad to hear it. I will definitely be checking out this dystopian. Great review:)

Ashley @ The Quiet Concert