Title: Anya of Ark
Author: Kristian Joseph
Page Length: 300
Publication Date: Oct. 31, 2020
Publisher: Northern Luck Publishing
Synopsis: The earth flooded, the old world drowned, and now the last humans fight against the elements, on a huge driftwood town.
Welcome to the Ark, humanity’s last chance of survival.
Anya Fairheart knows only the cold harsh reality of the raft. On her sixteenth birthday, she must choose her role in the tribe; an Ark tradition she cannot escape. Deep down Anya knows what she wants to become, but a daring trial, and the old ways of her people, may keep her from her dream.
Little does she know that her wants and wishes may not matter, as everything is about to change. Below the Ark, in the deep dark endless ocean, something lurks in the water, and the old ways will never be the same.
Prepare for an action-packed dystopian adventure filled with injustice, conflict, imaginative monsters and an underwater world never thought possible.
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Anya Fairheart lives on a large raft with her brother and other survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. Anya only knows of life on the water and frightening stories of the water dwellers who lurk in the shadows of the sea. Anya’s determined to become a hunter for her people but knows that the sexist ways of her people prohibit it. When a daring excursion goes awry, Anya realizes that her life will never be the same. Alone and afraid, Anya must create a new life for herself, a life she never knew existed.
The world-building and character-development are my favorite parts of the story. The above and underwater worlds created are incredibly unique and vivid, and the author did a great job of immersing me in this post-apocalyptic world. The idea that all of the lands on Earth is underwater and people survive on huge rafts is not something I see often in dystopian reads. I was quickly pulled into this difficult and harsh world where only the strong survive.
The underwater world is unusual and exciting, and the creatures of the world are so interesting. They live in and around the submerged cities of the past, which is really cool. Some of my favorite parts included the explorations of the sea. I enjoyed learning more about what happened to our world, how people evolved, and how Anya fits into these vastly different societies.
Anya is a great protagonist. Smart and brave, Anya has many adventures, and she learns a ton about prejudice, facing fears, and acceptance. I like that, as Anya goes on a physical journey, she also goes through an emotional one. Anya examines her prejudices, especially her views on people and the world around her. Her willingness to grow, change, and learn from others says a lot about her character.
Anya’s strong bond with her brother, aunt, and uncle grounds her and gives her a sense of home. However, it isn’t until she explores the world below that she realizes how important her family is to her. She forms some unlikely friendships, which help her on this journey, and these friendships are fantastic!
This is a great coming-of-age story for people who like YA fantasy and post-apocalyptic fiction with strong messages about standing up for what you believe in, accepting yourself and others, and embracing change. With a ton of action, unique characters and worlds, and an interesting plot, I think it will appeal to middle grades and above. Thanks so much to the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The characters. They are unique, dynamic, and interesting. I particularly like Anya!
- The world-building. The above-water world is as fascinating as the under-water world.
- The strong messages of resilience, standing up for what you believe in, and accepting yourself.
This is a great story for people who like young adult post-apocalyptical/dystopian novels with strong fantasy elements.