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The Ward

The Ward - I received this eARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss.Originally posted at Gypsy ReviewsThe Ward’s premise stands out amongst YA dystopia novel with it’s unique concept of our world becoming overflooded with water and the difficulty of procuring water which was once so easy to get. However, the story-telling was unclear, the world-building failed to impress and too many details, making it a forgettable debut novel that failed to make an impact and interest me.Here we have Ren, who is an independent girl capable of taking care of herself and knows how how to hold her own. She never expects to care so much about Aven, a girl two years younger than her who she first meets at the orphanage they both go to. She considers Aven her sister and would do anything for her, especially to try and ease Aven’s pain when she is contracted with HNBC, a virus supposedly caused by the pollution the water brought. I like that Ren wasn’t a damsel in distress and was so fiercely protective of Aven, it was reminiscent of Katniss and Prim. I wasn’t too crazy about the way the story was told and Ren’s voice, she rambled a lot and sometimes it was incoherent and I didn’t understand what was going on, a lot of times things aren’t made very clear because it’s Ren’s interpretations of the events. I don’t like not knowing what is going on, it’s disorienting and you lose that connection to the character and the story. The chapters also sometimes didn’t have a connection either, you would be in this situation in one chapter and then the next, suddenly you’re somewhere else and have no idea what happened in between.The races seemed very interesting, I was a little disappointed we didn’t see more of the races after the first part and the idea of the machines was different but it was so hard to visualise the machines and the races because of the lack of world building. Sure there was a lot of action and movement going on but it was very hard to keep up with because of the excessive details and lack of visual information. I couldn’t connect their movements with the visual image and that makes the story boring because you’re just reading a bunch of words but you’re not in the story, in that scene and soaking up the atmosphere. The action wasn’t even action because it failed to have those heart-stopping moments that got your adrenaline pumping because of how unclear everything was. We also weren’t given much information as to how The Ward became like this and that really affected The Ward’s worldbuilding because one of the most interesting aspects about it is the world it has and the state it is in. So in that, The Ward lost one of its most interesting trump cards.Despite the lack of romance here, usually I like little romance but I really didn’t like Ren’s gushing over Derek in the beginning. It utterly shattered my entire image of her and just made me roll my eye at everything she said about Derek. I don’t like how it was executed one bit, I would have much preferred no romance at all and I just didn’t get Derek and Ren’s ‘connection’. They’ve always had a professional relationship, how on earth would that progress to a romantic relationship? Or was it not as professional as we had thought? It seemed out of the blue.I liked the extra element added to the story (not gonna reveal but spoiler!), it gave the story more of an edge but I’m confused by the ending. It seems open for a sequel but when I check, there’s no sequel planned at all. But even if a sequel is published, I will not be picking it up, whether or not I see it at the library, I don’t think it would be worth my time because The Ward really did fail to get me attached to it and feel anything towards the characters, it was a disappointing story. Not necessarily a bad one but it just doesn’t stand out and offer anything different.In overall, The Ward overwhelms the reader with details but lacks the world building to give the full picture and to make the reader really feel like they’re in that world and to soak up the atmosphere in the scenes. With a heroine that rambles a lot and makes the storytelling incoherent and confusing around 60% of the time, The Ward is disappointing and fails to impress in all aspects. I would not recommend this because it is merely a mediocre dystopia that pales in comparison to others.