It can be hard for authors to come up with a completely unique story that isn’t full of overly used clichés. Melanie Card nearly succeed with her debut novel, Ward Against Death – which was one of the most unique stories I’ve read in a long time.
Twenty-year-old Ward de Ath expected this to be a simple job bring a nobleman s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can t be a surgeon the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying so bringing people back from the dead it is.
But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can t bring himself to break his damned physician s Oath and desert her.
However, nothing is as it seems including Celia. One second, she s treating Ward like sewage, the next she s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…
I absolutely adored Ward. He was nothing like a typical hero, in fact he was almost the complete opposite. Tall, awkward and gangly, Ward had no idea how to survive in the dark underworld full of assassins that Celia dragged him into. Apart from his illegal knowledge of surgery, he could have easily been described as the bumbling idiot.
Celia was the complete opposite of Ward, in that she knew the nooks and crannies of the underworld. She was able to fight off the bad guys while Ward stood back and watched. Essentially she was the alpha of the duo, not something typically seen in any book.
Though they were opposites, being forced to stick together made Ward and Celia reevaluate their own morals and beliefs. Each of them grew exponentially throughout Ward Against Death. There were a few clichés in that, but the voices of the characters were so strong by that point that it didn’t feel clichéd.
The plot was full of fast paced chase scenes and some slow emotional “Do I trust him/her or not” scenes between Ward and Celia. Because of that, Ward Against Death was a well balanced story that would appeal to all kinds of readers.
Ward Against Death was one of the most unique, hilarious yet dark, young adult books I’ve read in a long time. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a different