Ward Against Death is going to be the perfect read for someone. Ward is a screw-up who just can’t seem to catch a break, and the brilliantly efficient Celia (a secret assassin) is his perfect foil. Murder, magic, necromancy and secret societies abound in this fast paced adventure. Maria V. Snyder (who I adore for her Poison Study books) blurbed it, and Ward is favorably compared to Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files (I kinda see it). I sort of feel like a punk because I didn’t fall in love with this book, but I was bored and easily distracted all the way through. Ward, I honestly believe that it’s not you – it’s me. I’m sure there is a reader out there somewhere just waiting to get their hands on you.
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…
This book just wasn’t my thing, and that is surprising since the word “necromancer” paired with a female undead assassin should have really been right up my alley. I think the biggest problem for me is that these characters are running all over the town for answers but those answers never added up to much for me as a reader. So, I couldn’t put the puzzle together without one of the characters explaining in detail what had just happened. When the two characters did slow down. They usually split up which didn’t give them much time to really bond as a team. All the running around also stalled their development as characters – I didn’t feel like they were more than just characters, and that made me apathetic about the outcome of the story. I also struggled with the many character names and the intricacies of this world – I just couldn’t seem to grasp how the social structure was set up, so I didn’t really understand the advantages of killing people or not killing people or raising people from the dead. I really had to force myself to read this book after the first few chapters, but the whole time I was reluctantly reading, I was thinking that some readers would really love this story. I think this book has a lot of things to recommend it to the right reader, but that just wasn’t me.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.