The Ward by Jordana Frankel
Book One of The Ward duo
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
I wanted to like this book so badly. It was easily one of my most anticipated dystopian novels of 2013, and debut novels of 2013, and I was hugely disappointed. I hate that feeling of utter disappointment, when a book is so that great.
I love the cover of this book. If that is one thing that I must about this book and Katherine Tegen Books, it is that the cover and font treatment of the book is so well done, and I absolutely love it. One of the reasons why I wanted to love this book so badly was for the cover. If I loved this book, I would have bought a beautiful, shiny, hardcover copy to put on my shelf. So not happening.
So, what I liked. As far as dystopias go, this one has a good grasp of it, and there is even a fantasy element in this book, which makes it even more likable. I was confused by the fantasy part, but at first, I was thrilled by its presence in this novel.
The flying transportation ships were awesome! They reminded me of Star Wars, if I am understanding them correctly (I could be completely wrong; the description of the races and everything were not amazing).
I LIKE Callum, one of the interests. Maybe I don't really think he is a love interest (see more about this below), but I really like him as a guy. He is so sweet, and such a genius. I just wanted to hug him some times throughout the book!
Overall, I really did not like very much about this book, especially since it confused me and I was bored most of the time, but I do want to see how this duo series ends. I WILL be reading book two, despite what you see below.
What I Did Not Like:
I just... I don't know where to start. When I finished this book, I knew I was not particular pleased with it overall, but I can't describe why. There were many small things that I did not like, and many larger things that I did not like. Overall, the execution was just, ah, pretty poor.
I feel like I never connected with Ren, which is not good, since she is the protagonist, and this book is in first person. All she cared about was her adoptive sister, which I totally understand. But this made Ren lack some level of depth. I also found her a tad bit annoying throughout the book. She makes poor decisions, and it seems like she does not learn from her mistakes. Also, some of her inner monologue of thoughts are silly.
So I was frustrated with Ren. I was also frustrated with the plot. I liked it sometimes, but then, as the book went on, I just got tired of it. It seemed like Ren and Callum and Derek were doing the same thing, over and over. And while this book is very fast-paced, a lot of the action is either poorly described, or brief.
The love triangle was just BAD. I mean, from the beginning, we know Ren likes Derek, her bookie. And then we get the scientist, Callum, and I think Ren like him, too? But I can't say that for sure, because nothing really romantic occurs between them, and there does not seem to be any changing feelings between Ren and Callum. I understand the subtleties of romance, but I don't think this was subtle: I think this was just nonexistent. Also, to make things worse, I really didn't care for either guy, because neither of them had any depth, in my opinion.
That's my next point. Most of the characters were static, one-dimensional characters. I understand that SOME characters need to remain unchanging, but it was literally almost every single character that was static and one-dimensional. Not cool. That just made me not care about any of the characters, even Ren's sister.
I'm confused about the ending, and what Derek is. Guardians? Okay... and the water. So, water has powerful properties now? Somehow, none of this seemed believable. And yes, this is fiction. But I have to believe that this could happen, right? Use my imagination? Well, the author did not make me feel like this was possible, or real.
The world-building wasn't so great, and neither was the writing style, or the writing itself. The characters were weak, the romance was so blah, and the story wasn't believable. Overall, I was not impressed.
Would I Recommend It:
No. I so wanted to like this book, but I would not recommend it to anyone. Sorry!
2.5 stars -> rounded up to 3 stars. I rounded this one up because I will read the next book, to see how the story ended.