The Ship by Antonia Honeywell
Published April 25, 2017 by Orbit
Genres Dystopian, YA
London burned for three weeks. And then it got worse…
Lalla has grown up sheltered from the chaos amid the ruins of civilization. But things are getting more dangerous outside. People are killing each other for husks of bread, and the police are detaining anyone without an identification card. On her sixteenth birthday, Lalla’s father decides it’s time to use their escape route–a ship he’s built that is only big enough to save five hundred people. But the utopia her father has created isn’t everything it appears. There’s more food than anyone can eat, but nothing grows; more clothes than anyone can wear, but no way to mend them; and no-one can tell her where they are going.
I love the dystopian genre and the description of this book really caught my attention, but I have to say it fell a bit flat for me. The first few chapters Lalla spends explaining about how the world came to be in the chaos that it is currently in, while also explaining her family and childhood. By the time she is 16, there is really no place left to go as the entire world has basically been destroyed. Lalla’s father has a ship that he has stocked to save his family and 500 other people. There are some things that happen that effect Lalla deeply right at they board the ship and she spends some time trying to move past these events. Her father seems to take on almost a role like a cult leader on the ship, trying to become something to everyone; their father, child, son and future. Lalla also meets a young man aboard the ship and although Lalla is interested in him, she seems to feel isolated and lovely. As she further learns what has happened in the world, since her parents sheltered her quite a bit growing up, she begins to lose hope that there will be any sort of future for her.
The first few chapters are really the only dystopian part of the book, with the rest happening aboard the ship. I didn’t particularly like Lalla as a character and found her to be a bit annoying at times. I also didn’t really like the decisions she made and the way the book ended seemed a bit ridiculous to me. I like to write spoiler free reviews, as I frequently read reviews before I decide to read a book. The book ends in a cliffhanger, I assume setting up for a sequel. It just didn’t really go the way I expected it to and if it had, I think I would have enjoyed it a great deal more. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced reading copy of this book.