books

The Ship review

28/06/2015

The ship is one of the most interesting
books we’ve read in
a while, taking humanity and showing the devastating effects its corruption has
on the world. The entire book is written with a very simplistic storyline in
mind, focussing on an individual’s story rather than the entire scope of
society. It is one of those dystopias that makes you think (well, isn’t that
the whole point?)

 
 
 
Needless to say, this is not a “save the world”
kind of Dystopia and is instead a story of survival, coming of age and loss.
The Ship has been compared to Children of Men by PD James many times, which is
definitely true, but it also reminded us of The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It
very much has the feel of a timeless story despite the fact that it is clearly
set in the not-so-distant future, which is mainly down to the use of culture
and language.

Antonia Honeywell seemingly wrote The Ship with the overall
storyline in mind – the entire book is cleverly woven with hints and secrets
which all come together to form an ending true to the rest of the book. The
Ship is written in such a way that is almost impossible to describe – it
captures the feel of a classic novel, embedding our protagonist’s love for
museums in the style of writing.

Refreshingly, our protagonist Lalla is not a martyr to
society, and thinks for herself without allowing others to dictate her future.
At times she can seem rather self absorbed and slightly spoilt, however this
does reflect her age and is a very accurate representation of a feisty teenage
girl.

Another thing which stood out about this book was the fact
that it is not strictly a YA and fits into the crossover boundary into NA. This
is mainly because of the essentially “adult” issues that are explored
through relationships, world issues and mature concepts. Unlike many dystopias,
The Ship actually deals with fundamental female issues such as menstruation,
which is something that should be talked about. We admire Antonia for this as
The Ship takes a stand, bringing the book even further into reality. 

The Ship deals openly with some very relevant but painful
issues that are becoming more and more evident today in our own society.
Refugees are being culled in masses, including some who try to find hospitality
in London by arriving in boats (sound familiar? Check out this article
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/06/cameron-merkel-at-odds-resettle-refugees-europe-migration)
whilst others are taking refuge in some of Londons most notorious landmarks
such as the British Museum. These iconic landmarks of England bring a definite
nostalgic feel to the book and again reflects a timelessness feel. The mention
of the museum also reflects the need to hold onto the past, rather than focus
on the now and the future, which is something Lalla battles with throughout the
book.

The main thing that we found slightly frustrating when
reading The Ship was the very long chapters. Unfortunately this made the whole
book drag slightly as there were not many points to stop, however if you fully
emerge yourself in the book like we did, then you’ll find this to be a blessing
rather than a curse – you won’t be able to stop. This book definitely falls
into the gripping category, but not in the same way as the mega dystopias like
The Hunger Games. Instead, it is a book that really makes you think about the
reality we live in and the dystopia we are faced with.

We could go on for pages and pages on the many aspects of
The Ship, but instead why not find out just how realistic this vision of the
future is for yourself. Here’s where you can get a copy:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ship-Antonia-Honeywell/dp/0297871498/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435500256&sr=8-1&keywords=the+ship+antonia+honeywell

 

Age recommendation – YA/NA

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