A highly imaginative, pulse-racing page-turner.
Jordana Frankel's thrilling and imaginative YA dystopian novel The Ward is set in a near-future New York City. A catastrophic flood has washed out Manhattan, leaving the rivers polluted and entire neighborhoods underwater. Some areas are quarantined because of an outbreak of a deadly disease.
The illness, known as the Blight, is killing sixteen-year-old Ren's sister. Desperate to save her sister's life, Ren agrees to lead a secret mission from the government to search for a cure. But her quest leads to a confounding mystery beneath the water and an unlikely friendship with a passionate scientist.
In this gritty, post-apocalyptic debut novel, 16-year-old Ren—a tough orphan surviving in a Manhattan transformed virtually beyond recognition by global warming, floodwaters, and the Blight (a deadly illness)—will do almost anything to support herself and her dying friend, Aven. To the bitter frustration of Ren's male rivals, she's made herself into the best and most daring "mobile" racer in the city while simultaneously working undercover for the hated Governor Voss and his vicious police force, spearheading their desperate search for fresh water. As the Blight worsens, affecting even the better parts of the city, Ren discovers that Voss is not simply looking for clean water. Somewhere beneath the flooded city lurks a miraculous cure for the Blight, "magic in a bottle... or the devil in a bottle," and the governor apparently wants it all for himself. Ren is volatile, embittered, and dedicated to the adrenaline surge of racing, but she's also gutsy, loyal, and at times surprisingly vulnerable. Frankel's unforgiving, drowned New York serves as a formidable background for her survival story, the first in a planned series. Ages 13–up. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (Apr.)
Gr 9 Up—In this run-of-the-mill dystopian thriller, New York City has been washed out by floods. The poor inhabitants live on the top floors of the tallest skyscrapers; fresh water is scarce, and the HBNC virus is wiping out the population. The wealthy people live on the West Isles, where they have better water filtration systems, but the virus is starting to spread to them as well. Ren, 16, grew up in an orphanage and is now a dragster, a person who makes a living competing in dangerous races in a carlike contraption across rooftops. She is a strong, independent young woman who has a lot of responsibility but still shows immaturity. Ren has two secrets: the first is that her friend Aven is very sick, and the second is that she works for the "Blues" scouting for fresh water. However, she didn't realize when she was hired that the governor of the city was hoping that she would find the fountain of youth, and that a secret group of people has protected the fountain for hundreds of years.The story goes downhill from there; it is full of clichés, such as corrupt politicians, police officers, and wealthy bullies who try to keep Ren from succeeding. Furthermore, it is difficult to believe that the buildings are still inhabitable after being under water for so many years.—Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library, NY
A society built atop a catastrophe-stricken United States of America, a feisty heroine torn between guys, an evil government--stop us if you've read this already. Frankel's debut posits a scientifically implausible future in which the Wash Out has transformed New York City and New Jersey into the United Metro Islets. Manhattan is several stories underwater--boardwalks, suspension bridges and amphibious vehicles stand in lieu of streets--and under quarantine due to the Blight, a contagious, cancerlike and always fatal disease. Orphaned drag racer Ren is 5 feet of sexy trouble: Under duress, she works for the police state searching for "fresh" (water) and spends her earnings on her Blight-stricken "sister" Aven, whom she met in an orphanage (a relationship much described but never brought to life). When she finds fresh with amazing healing powers, she lands in the middle of a centuries-old battle over Minetta Brook, currently playing out between the governor and ancient Lenape guardians. Ren must fight both sides if she wants to save herself, Aven and the hundreds of sick people in the Ward, all while dreaming about more-than-meets-the-eye Derek and fighting the first hints of attraction to brainy Callum. The checklist of what makes commercial teen dystopias may be complete here, but the clumsy writing and nonexistent worldbuilding prevent this subpar clone from making a splash. (Dystopian romance. 12-16)
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.60(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 17 Years|