Title: The Ship
Author: Antonia Honeywell
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Available: 19 February 2015
Buy it: Here
Lalla was born "at the end of the world" - London is destroyed by the environmental choices of people in a time long since gone; food is scarce, living space is compromised and The Dove is a new government initiative set in place by Lalla's father - if you don't have an ID card, you officially do not exist, and are not provided for. As mass "population control" comes into effect, and London sees an increase in danger and violence, Lalla's father holds the key to their escape and guaranteed happiness: The Ship. But at what price?
The synopsis of this book grabbed my attention for its darkly political themes that are an exploration of the choices we are making right now. I thought the London of The Ship was brilliantly presented as a harsh and military environment, and many of the chosen themes Honeywell focuses on (belonging, community, responsibility and happiness) are very well reflected throughout the choice of setting.
I also LOVED that after a shocking life event, Lalla is given time to grieve throughout the writing. The after effects of what happened are not brushed under the carpet in favour of a new plot point, but instead cause ripples throughout all that is to come. This was one of the most pleasing things for me about The Ship. It felt honest.
However, I had a small problem. After devouring the first third of the book, we follow Lalla, 100% behind her and her brave choices, onto the ship. It is here that I think The Ship falls a little flat. While the ship itself has it's own eerie presence and disguised motives, I couldn't help but feel the REAL story of The Ship was happening on land. Like Lalla, I desperately wanted to return. I felt the book had only really started to properly begin at its end point - so I'm hoping there is a sequel :)
I mentioned "after effects" in my review and I really think it could have been an alternative title! The Ship focuses a lot on the after effects of choices we make as individuals, as communities and as humans. It offers good food for thought, and an engrossing world to view our own choices against. I really hope a sequel is on the cards.