Wendy Darling's Reviews > Ward Against Death

Ward Against Death by Melanie Card
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's review
Jul 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: read-2011, heroines-butt-kicking, young-adult, adult, male-pov, 2011-publication, action-packed, mature-ya, pn-reapers
Read from June 22 to 23, 2011

This book is heaps and heaps of fun! I didn't know quite what to expect going into it, but I was hooked from the very first page and had a grand old time following Ward on his adventures.

There are so many awesome elements to keep you on the edge of your seat. Cool action sequences. People brought back from the dead. "Seeing smoke." A seductive villain who will steal your soul with a kiss. An assassin who kills someone by throwing a dagger through his throat. Oooo! Just the kind of action I like in a book.

Ward himself is also a really interesting hero, in that he's very sensitive, painfully honorable, and dead set on doing the right thing. He's also decisive, game for anything, and inconveniently attracted to Celia, the undead girl he's brought back to life who guilts him into helping her find her murderer. A great deal of the book is actually spent from her POV, and the dual perspectives are surprisingly well done.

I loved all the medical talk (Ward is also a physician). I loved Celia, who is a seriously kick-ass heroine, taking down attackers with incredible speed and strength and skill. I loved the descriptions of Ward's necromancy, which actually seems to take some, you know, concentration and power and focus. This is a fantastic YA crossover debut, and if things veer a little too often towards repetitive misunderstandings or romance novel territory, I'm okay with it since the rest of the book is so great. Plus the lovesick fixation is actually coming from Ward, since Celia really can't be bothered with this guy at first. I liked the role reversal, and I liked how their relationship developed.

This book is such a well-written, enjoyable read and I got out of it exactly what I didn't get out of The Girl in the Steel Corset: nuanced characters, the promise of an appealing romance, well-plotted action, fun adventures, rich world-building, and clever use of magic. I can't wait to find out what happens next to this reluctant necromancer...and I bet you're really going to like him, too.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher. Recommended for older teens and adults only, as this is more of a YA cross-over than traditional young adult novel.

Completely Irrelevant Side Note: (view spoiler)
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Reading Progress

06/22/2011 page 5
1.0% "All this medical talk is fun. Tell me more, Ward!" 5 comments
06/22/2011 page 33
9.0% "Ooo. I do admire a good death scene." 2 comments
06/22/2011 page 94
26.0% "Hm, this occasionally crosses over into territory that may be a little too erotic for YA. But then Swoon is YA, so what do I know..." 3 comments
06/23/2011 page 274
76.0% "This is still great, but I must say, there's a lot of talk about the proof in Ward's pants." 1 comment

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-38 of 38) </span> <span class="smallText">(38 new)</span>

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message 1: by Brooke (new) - added it

Brooke This one sounds good! I'm going to start it soon, I think. I love Netgalley :oP

Wendy Darling Ditto and ditto! I actually had to add this one to the GoodReads library, as there wasn't a listing for it yet. Hope it's good!

message 3: by Brooke (new) - added it

Brooke Oh, well thank you for doing that! :o) I'll definitely check out your review!

I was going to request a couple of others on Netgally that I wasn't sure on, but when I checked here I saw your one star ratings, so thanks for helping me make up my mind :oP

Wendy Darling Hah, my pleasure. Although sometimes I dislike things other people end up liking and vice versa, so you never know. ;)

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead I have this one as well. I definitely will be watching your updates on this one.

Wendy Darling So far it's really fun! A nice surprise.

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "So far it's really fun! A nice surprise."

That's good.

message 8: by Brooke (new) - added it

Brooke I'm starting tonight! Glad to hear you're enjoying it so far :o)

Wendy Darling I look forward to comparing notes with you, Brooke. :)

message 10: by Nic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nic Awesome review Wendy! I have requested this. I like the sound of the guy being the love sick fool for a change. And LOL at that spoiler. What a cool name :)

Wendy Darling I had such a good time reading this, Nic! I think you're going to enjoy it, too. And yes, I had to include the side note...it's ten years after the break-up and I probably still think about that lost opportunity more than my friend does.

Nafiza You've convinced me!

Wendy Darling Good! It's super fun.

message 14: by Brooke (new) - added it

Brooke LOL @ your spolier Wendy :oP Great review! I hope I enjoy it as much as you did.

message 15: by Elena (new)

Elena Your review made me so excited to read this one that I went straight to NetGalley to request it...and was denied. "Due to the incredible response to this title, we've put a hold on further approvals." D:

Wendy Darling Thanks you guys...but oh no, Elena! :( I saw that 41 of my friends now have this title on their TBR list, but it still seems strange that they're limiting approvals already--I think it was just put up a few days ago. Maybe they'll release more galleys later?

message 17: by Flannery (new) - added it

Flannery Wow, I've never heard of a publisher saying that on Netgalley:)

Best spoiler ever, btw. There is this little store in Pike Place Market that sells old magazines and newspapers and stuff. I only go to look at the Garbage Pail Kids cards they have in little sleeves as magnets. I want a magnetic fridge so I can put them all over it:)

Wendy Darling Garbage Pail Kids were terrible! I wasn't really a fan even as a child, but the names were tremendous. Such a random thing to put at the end of my review, but I couldn't resist.

Crowinator @Elena, wow, I must have just squeaked in. I requested it today too. That's the power of Goodreads, right there!

I loved Garbage Pail Kids. I had so many of those things. I wish I still had them and my mom hadn't sold them at a garage sale when they were over.

message 20: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 24, 2011 01:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Wendy Darling I think Nic was declined too, which is sad for the book since she has such great (international) reach on her blog and here on GoodReads. But in my opinion, this one's worth checking out on your own as well. It's lots of fun, and a very promising debut and start to the series.

Nafiza I got declined too. Boo. Ah well. Maybe they're afraid if too many ppl read the galley, they won't be buying it.

message 22: by Brooke (new) - added it

Brooke Hmm. Is there any way to send/share the galley if you've been approved to view it?

Wendy Darling No, that's nice of you Brooke, but e-galleys aren't lendable. The publishers have a right to control access. I hope people will check this one out when it's released anyway, though!

message 24: by Sarai (new)

Sarai This sounds so good! I loved your review, it got me all hyped up tbh.

Wendy Darling Oh, I hope you'll enjoy it Sarai! :) It's super fun.

message 26: by Cindy (new) - added it

Cindy I can't wait to get this one, sounds really interesting and fun.

Wendy Darling I liked it a lot, Cindy! The characters and the magical elements are really well done.

message 28: by Cindy (new) - added it

Cindy That's nice to hear, I will look forward to reading this one. Thanks!:)

message 29: by Manda (new)

Manda Cool! I wasn't sure about this one, but I think I'll try it!

message 30: by Elena (new)

Elena Update: I re-requested this from NetGalley last night, and was approved this morning. So if you're a NetGalley user, now is the time to try again!

Wendy Darling That's awesome, Elena! I look forward to reading your review. :)

message 32: by JJ. (new)

JJ. Haha what an unfortunate last name that would have been...

Great review! I'll be adding this book to my to-read list. :) I'm not usually fond male narrators as I have some trouble identifying with them, but how can I resist a butt-kicking heroine?

Wendy Darling An unfortunate last name indeed. :)

It's a fun book, Jen, and I'm curious about where the story will go next. I thought the male POV worked well in this case, and the female one is definitely awesome!

message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Wendy- this book sounds so great- Where did you get it? (I don't have a Kindle/e-reader so thats out)

Wendy Darling Hi Rachel, I had an egalley for review, but it's available as a paperback from Amazon as well. http://www.amazon.com/Against-Death-C...

message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks so much! :-)

message 37: by Lace (new) - added it

Lace Tully lol! I love your "Completely Irrelevant Side Note" :P

Amber at Fall Into Books I enjoyed this book, too. I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it, really. It was much better than I'd anticipated!

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