Monday, 1 April 2013

ARC Review: The Ward by Jordana Frankel

The Ward
Author: Jordana Frankel
Pages: 480
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher/Source: Edelweiss / Katherine Tegen Books
Amazon: The Ward
Release Date: 30th April 2013

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

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.

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

The Ward is the first book in this two part series set in dystopian NYC and is a debut novel by author, Jordana Frankel.

Sixteen year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer trying to survive in water-logged Manhattan; she races to support herself and her younger sister Aven (not biologically) who is infected with the HBNC / Blight virus, she also at times accepts secret, dangerous spy missions from the government; her main purpose to search for a freshwater source in the Ward .

I really liked Ren as a character, she was smart despite being a risk taker, determined and loyal to everyone around her but at times her inner monologue had me rolling my eyes. I adored the bond she shared with Aven, it was really sweet despite them not getting a lot of page time together and you really felt for what they were having to go through.

The Ward's premise was certainly intriguing and Ms. Frankel's storyline unique; the world-building though was lacking and definitely could have been refined - what was missing for me were the background details, I needed more visual information about underwater Manhattan and how it all came to be and there were a number of inconsistencies which left me quite confused. The virus and its rapid spread was also something I feel could have been developed further , it was a tad unclear; {spoiler - highlight to show} we know there isn't a cure but Ren is immune, this didn't seem to be a central point despite feeling it was quite relevant to the overall story. {end spoiler}

I really liked reading about the mobile racing, it was new to me and written in a way that kept me interested and wanting to learn more, I enjoyed the descriptive race and action scenes.

Just a personal whine - I was hoping on a little more romance, there was a possibility of it progressing with two potential love interests, Derek and Callum but Ren pursuing a relationship certainly wasn't at the forefront of the story, being a huge fan of romance I hope we see a little more in the sequel.

Overall, The Ward wasn't without its faults but I did enjoy it none the less. Ms. Frankels writing was enjoyable and the creative story she has weaved certainly thrilling. I just hope some aspects are further developed in the sequel.

Overall, an enjoyable start to the series.


  1. I love the cover and was excited by the premises..but I need solid world-building. I am glad that despite issues you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Sharon :)

    1. It had a lot of potential but the world building sadly for me fell flat, otherwise I liked it.

  2. I am definitely intrigued by this cover. I don't read a lot of dystopians, so I only try to choose those I know I'll love. I'm not too sure about this one, but I am glad you mostly liked it.
    Great review, Sharon!

    1. Thanks Andrea, I usually enjoy a good dystopian but the past few have fallen flat which is a shame. The Ward was one of my most anticipated for this year so. My expectations were high.

  3. I originally wasn't going to read this one, but then an ARC showed up, so now it's on my TBR for this month hopefully. It does sound really intriguing, and I'm glad it's just a two-part series and not a trilogy or a longer series - those are harder for me to get invested in these days. I'm glad you liked it, Sharon! I'm looking forward to reading it and to seeing what I think of it.

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

    1. I'm eager to see what you think Molli, it was an interesting premise, I just wanted that wow factor.

  4. I'm currently reading this book atm and I'm having such a hard time getting into it. I feel like the world is unclear. I agree that the world isn't a vivid as expected. Also, I don't like the way Ren talks. You know when she says stuff like, "ain't, gotta". I'm not a huge fan of such language for some reason.
    Still, I'm glad you enjoyed it although you were disappointed by the lack of romance. I would be too!
    Great honest review, Sharon!

  5. I don't think this one would be for me. :( I don't normally read dystopians, but when I do, I have to have the world developed because that's the main allure of it. I absolutely would want to know information about what's in your spoiler - it seems like a silly plot device, not too different in a regular YA that makes all of their MCs perfect. I'm glad it's two books, maybe the second one will explain it all and make this worthwhile - I think I'll wait. :)

    Lovely balanced review!

  6. That front cover really captured my attention! And I've never read a book about a daredevil mobile racer before! I'm a big fan of descriptive action scenes, so have a feeling I would really enjoy The Ward.

    It's such a shame about the world-building though. For me, the best thing about a dystopia is the world the author has cleverly managed to create. I think I would pass on this for that reason.

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful review with us, Sharon! I really hope that the author develops certain aspects in the next book. :)


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