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…
My thoughts on the book:
Ward Against Death was a pleasant surprise for me. I went into this novel not expecting a lot, to be honest. The ratings on Good Reads aren't that flattering, but I decided I'd give it a try anyway. So I sampled it from Amazon and ended up downloading the entire novel. I'm glad that I did. This book is a fun and refreshing take on necromancers. The characters are unique and the plot is intriguing. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.
Ward is an entertaining and endearing hero. He is a bit clumsy and not that tough, but he is highly intelligent. He has a good heart, and even though he's socially awkward, he still manages to make an impression on Celia. I really liked the fact that he's not some perfect, brooding, dark leading man. It was a nice change to have a flawed and charmingly awkward character for the hero. Celia is a bad ass, and sometimes I didn't like her. However, she is strong, and overall, I was rooting for her. The more I got to know her, the more I liked her. For both Ward and Celia (the story is told in alternating third person limited POVs), I felt like Card could have given us more to go on so that we got to know them better. I still enjoyed reading about them, though.
The world-building is a bit lacking (I never got a completely clear view of the society), but the explanations that are given are woven throughout the story instead of given to the reader in info dumps, and I liked that. The pacing is pretty spot on, and I was hooked from the beginning. When a story starts with someone raising the dead, you know things will get more interesting from there. The plot itself is intriguing, and the bad guys are really, really bad and kind of horrifying. The writing style is more YA than Adult, but since I enjoy YA, that didn't bother me. There were times that I thought I was reading a YA novel instead of a New Adult story. The romance is lacking a bit, but thankfully there is no insta-love. It seems as if Card is building Ward and Celia's relationship on friendship, and I like that. The ending ties up a lot of loose ends, but leaves enough questions unanswered for the sequel, which I'm looking forward to.
Overall, I'd recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a good New Adult Paranormal novel. The characters are endearing, the plot is unique, and the story is just a lot of fun. Give Ward Against Death a try. You won't be sorry.
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