Audiobook Review: The Ward

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: The WardThe Ward by Jordana Frankel
Narrator: Merritt Hicks
Length: 12 hrs, 26 mins
Series: The Ward #1
Published by Harper Audio on April 30, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

Set in a futuristic New York City after a catastrophic flood called the Wash Out, The Ward is the story of sixteen-year-old Renata Dane, a daredevil champion racer who will risk everything she has to take care of her sick foster sister, Aven.

Ren's sister is suffering from the Blight, an incurable, deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution. The disease is ripping through the Ward—formerly known as downtown Manhattan—and since the region is home to the poor and the vagrant, little is being done to help the sick.

But when the Blight somehow spreads to the affluent Upper Islets, the government recruits Ren for a secret mission: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure. She is the only girl in the Ward to master helming a mobile—a car that can defy gravity and drive up the walls of a skyscraper, or transform into a high-speed boat at the push of a few buttons.

However, when Ren accepts this job—and the big paycheck that comes with it—she never expects that it will lead her to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist, a web of deceit and lies, and a confounding mystery that's lurking deep beneath the water's rippling surface.

Cinematic and thrilling, The Ward is Jordana Frankel's debut novel.

Oh, post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, I love you so much, but you keep trying to make me stop. The Ward fails to stand out, aside from the largely lackluster writing.

Why Did I Read This Book?
Because I am a sucker for dystopian fiction. What can I say? I’ve been burned over and over again, but I keep sticking my hand in the fire. I never claimed to be incredibly intelligent. Well, I think I have claimed that but solely in jest.

What’s the Story Here?
Ren lives her life to support her sister (not biologically but in everything that matters), Aven, who is sick with the Blight. She earns money racing and by scouting for freshwater as a mole for the Blues, the police force. Basically, she finds some fresh water and it can cure diseases, but then there are suddenly a bunch of forces trying to do different things with the water. Ren, of course, is heading up the good guys and trying to make sure her sister and others get cured.

And the Romance? 
There’s some sort of half-hearted love triangle going on between Ren, Derek, and Callum. Derek is her bookie and she’s been crushing on him for ages, but, now that she’s mixed up in things, he’s all interested suddenly. Then there’s Callum who pretended to be a Blue and sent her on the quest for the fresh she found. He’s also rich. So far, it’s mostly been all about Ren and Derek, but he’s weird and creepy, so I think I would be rooting for Callum if I had to root for someone.

What About the Writing?
Ugh. There were so many awkward phrases, clearly intended to be thought-provoking or poetic which landed with a thud. I did quite a bit of eye-rolling at stupid sentences. Plus, it was REALLY repetitive. The evil sentence was in this book at least four times, which is just crazy. That’s just the top of the iceberg, though. If there’s a breath that Ren takes or holds that the reader doesn’t have to hear about it, I will consume my bonnet with a freaking cherry on top.

Am I Going to Continue with the Series?
Nope. Not happening. I don’t care about any of these characters one bit. They’re flat and failed to make me love them, so, even if I were enthralled with the minimal plot, I probably wouldn’t venture forth.

How was the Narration?
The saving grace of The Ward is that I listened to it, rather than reading a print copy. I love Merritt Hicks as a narrator. Her voice is soothing and a bit huskier than the average female narrator who does YA audiobooks. Her voice matches perfectly with Ren’s character too. She makes the story a much more pleasant experience, but she can only do so much with what she’s given.

Sum It Up with a GIF:

24 responses to “Audiobook Review: The Ward”

  1. Saving this review for when I have read the book *insert Terminator “I’ll be back” gif here*

    And oh my god, that breathing gif! Dying.

  2. Amy says:

    I didn’t finish this. I started to read it like 3 times and just couldn’t get into it. If I had listened I might have been able to get through it, but oh well. Probably better off that I didn’t waste time with this one. Great review babe!!

  3. Aw, I didn’t like this one because of lack of world building either. I was hoping for so much more.

  4. Bonnie R says:

    Yeah, I wasn’t a major fan of this one either and actually ended up just giving up completely. I’m usually a bit more forgiving when listening on audio but this wasn’t interesting at all in print. Too bad too, I thought this one had a lot of promise. Great review!

  5. GillyB says:

    Such a shame. I won a copy of this and was so hoping it would be good (waterlogged Manhattan!). Sadly, this seems to be yet another case of brilliant concept, crappy execution. It’s like authors and publishers think if they can sell you on that one line pitch, you don’t need anything else, and it’s bumming me out.

    • Christina says:

      Boo! I always hate when that happens. Winning a thing only to hear it is a not good thing. Sad day.

      Also, I feel like that’s everything that’s wrong with most books I’ve not liked. *punches those books*

  6. LOL, I love that GIF, LOVE IT. That is also how I feel about a lot of books a lot of the time. So, so long.

    Also, I have the Ward to read but in print. Sigh. Who knows when I will get to it though. Alas.

    • Christina says:

      Yes, that gif made me SO HAPPY. Like, I was going to use the one from that Cinderella movie where Drew Barrymore’s all “Just Breathe,” but then I found this and it made me laugh more.

      Well, if it falls under a desk and gets lost for a while…no harm done. Lol.

  7. fakesteph says:

    Sorry you didn’t love it. Hopefully you get to something awesome soon!

  8. Natalie Bell says:

    I have the e-galley of this and tried to read it a couple of times, but just couldn’t do it. Maybe I’ll try again later, but after reading this (and seeing other lackluster reviews) I’m not in a hurry. I definitely need to start being a bit pickier about the dystopians I pick up. I’m getting burned out from all of the sub-par offerings. Great review!

  9. Kelly says:

    Wait, you wear a bonnet?

    Kelly released a breath she didn’t realize she was holding.

  10. Oh man! I was so hoping that this would be a good one. 🙁 I think I might give it a shot. Because I’m just very intrigued by the plot.

  11. Jessica R says:

    Aw, man. I was looking forward to this one. I too am a sucker for the genre and keep jumping right back in. I might still read this one for the heck of it, but I will definitely go in with lowered expectations. It could have been SO COOL, though!

  12. KM says:

    That’s cool that you’re getting audiobooks for review now! I know a lot of bloggers do that, and I think it’s super cool. (Unfortunately, I’ve yet to jump on board the audiobook train just because I can’t focus while listening to one.) I wasn’t all that interested in this one for, well, reasons (which you know – I’m sick of dystopian in general). This one DOES have a pretty awesome cover, though. But I think if I’m going to force myself to read a dystopian any time soon, it’s going to be DIVERGENT so I can be knowledgeable about the story before I see the movie.

    • Christina says:

      Yeah! I’ve been working with Harper for a while now, and it’s super fun.

      I used to hate audiobooks, but I love them now. Well, the good ones anyway.

      If I read too many more like this, I’ll join you in the sick of dystopian thing. *sighs* Divergent was so bad, imo, but you might like it. Which isn’t meant to be insulting. We just have super different taste. haha.

  13. *sighs* I wanted this to be good…thankfully I have just been drooling over the cover and haven’t committed yet, since you burned your hand I will try and learn from it! thanks cupcake!

  14. Amanda says:

    hee I love that GIF that you chose!

    On a more serious note, I totally get your disappointment. I don’t LOVE dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction per se, but I do quite enjoy it. However it seems like they’re popping up all over the place now, and it does makes it more difficult to identify the diamonds in the rough. I think my philosophy for now will be to avoid reading a dystopian/post-apocalyptic tale until enough trusted reviewers have read and enjoyed it.

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