Book review: The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

The Ship by Antonia HoneywellThe Ship: What it is about

From the publishers: “WELCOME TO LONDON


Oxford Street burned for three weeks. The British Museum is occupied by ragtag survivors. The Regent’s Park camps have been bombed. The Nazareth Act has come into force. If you can’t produce your identity card, you don’t exist.

Lalla, sixteen, has grown up sheltered from the new reality by her visionary father, Michael Paul. But now the chaos has reached their doorstep. Michael has promised to save them. His escape route is a ship big enough to save five hundred people. But only the worthy will be chosen.

Once on board, as day follows identical day, Lalla’s unease grows. Where are they going? What does her father really want?


The Ship: What I thought

I love post-apocalyptic fiction. What I love most about it is discovering a new world. And every post-apocalyptic book has its own, different world. Authors have such great ideas about what is happening in their version of the future. I always enjoy reading those.

In this book, the world is seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Lalla. She doesn’t know a lot about her world. She has been kept indoors a lot and hasn’t suffered hunger and homelessness like many other people in London. Even so, the situation of Lalla and her parents gradually gets worse, and they decide to board a ship that will take them away.

The ship is organized and stocked by Lalla’s father. Here is one of several things that I wasn’t sure about: How could her father get hold of the ship and the many things he has on board in this time of scarcity? Why did the authorities let him and the other people get away? Was he maybe himself very high up in the ranks? Because Lalla didn’t know, the reader doesn’t know, either.

Lalla is a spoiled girl, and not a very pleasant one. But she is asking the right questions. While the rest of the passengers are just happy to have food and shelter, Lalla, who is used to those things, wants to look beyond this. And she doesn’t like the answers she gets.

I liked how she starts off as a passive, ignorant girl, and eventually becomes a woman who thinks about her situation and takes action. I didn’t like her too much as a person, but I loved the voyage we, as readers, make with her in this strange and dangerous world.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 320

First published: 2015

I got this: for review from Orion Publishers (Netgalley, ebook)

Genre: science fiction, dystopia

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

4 Responses to Book review: The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

  1. OOH this does sounds good – I also enjoy this genre.

  2. Laurie C says:

    I don’t think this is my cup of tea. I prefer my post-apocalyptic fiction to have zombies in it!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Laurie, just zombies? I like post-apocalyptic fiction any way it comes. Does it mean you don’t like ‘realistic’ fiction, things that could actually happen? Or do you think zombies could happen, too? 🙂

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