The Ship || Antonia Honeywell

2:10 pm

Title: The Ship
Author: Antonia Honeywell
Length: 336 pages
Publication date: April 25, 2017
Genre: Post-apocalyptic 
Rating: 2.5/5

I love reading post-apocalyptic fiction. I think I'm always looking for something that can compare with Station Eleven, which is one of my most favourite books. So far I haven't had any luck but I'm still trying. When I saw The Ship available on Netgalley, I had to give it a shot. 

Our main character Lalla has just turned 16. She has grown up in a world that has fallen apart. The oceans have risen significantly, the earth has been stripped of crops and trees. In attempts to monitor and control the population, everyone is required to have identity cards. If you don't have an identity card, you don't exist. The world has fallen into chaos. Lalla's father has come up with an escape plan of sorts, and on Lalla's 16th birthday it is time to escape. They head to the ship, a floating utopia with everything they need to survive a journey to somewhere where they can start over, along with 500 other people that Lalla's father has chosen to come with them. The ship seems perfect on the surface, but Lalla feels like something sinister is going on behind the scenes...

This book had so much potential for me. The premise was so interesting and I really wanted to know about the world, what happened on a global scale. It was hinted at but there wasn't a lot of exposition on that. 

The pacing was really weird. It felt like tons of time should have passed, but then Lalla will remark on the tally she's kept of how many days they've been on the ship and it's only been a few weeks since the last mention of her tally. The way things progressed just felt like they should've taken longer than what they did. It also felt quite repetitive toward the middle. The story is told as first-person narrative from Lalla's point of view, and she just thinks about the same things over and over. Her thoughts don't really vary at all. A few things happen here and there, but mostly Lalla walks around confused and frustrated that things seem too good to be true, but then does nothing about it. She just thinks about it a lot. 

Lalla is also supposed to be 16, but the way she is written I kept thinking she was 10 or 11. She is meant to be very sheltered by her parents, so I can see how that would make her more immature, but it just didn't jive with me. The rest of the characters didn't connect with me at all. They all just felt really generic shells of people. The dynamic between the people on the ship and Lalla's dad was a cult-cult leader dynamic, and that could have been played up a bit more, I think. There were some weird things going on there, but I just didn't feel anything. It felt like something I'd read before. 

I think my biggest problem was that everyone just felt like a paper cutout. The world these people came from was horrible and any backstory that was mentioned was really interesting. You would think that people that came from that place would have more feeling, but everyone was so bland. I always lean more towards characters than plot, but this book do either of those strongly. I knew what was happening almost right away, but it took Lalla almost the whole book to figure it out.

I can't really recommend this book, but I wouldn't say don't read it either. Like I said, there was so much potential, and maybe it will do for you what it didn't do for me. I did also read The Time Being, which is a short story prequel to The Ship. It added a little backstory, so I would recommend reading that if you do read The Ship.

I'll just keep on my search for the next Station Eleven, I suppose...

I received a digital copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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