The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

This is a book I’d been looking forward to reading from the first moment I heard of it on twitter. And I wasn’t disappointed.



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 London of the Ship is not a London you would care to visit. And The Ship may not be all that it seems. Or is it more? It’s difficult to tell. This is the story of Lalla, in a world she has little control over. She is very alone, and her concerns are that of any lonely teenager – friendship and the future, with a family bent on control of both.

This is dystopia, but the focus is on the people and the relationships, and I found this fascinating. There were some echoes of Station 11 for me as Lalla tried to gather things to remember her fading past (her very own museum of civilisation) but those were fleeting. It’s a different story, and told very differently. Instead of roving across the world, the focus is tightly on a tiny band of survivors. But will they survive, and will their journey be worth it?

The Ship asks questions – what would you sacrifice, and what would you sacrifice it for? Questions that have stayed with me long after the book was finished.

About Jax Blunt

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