Book Review: Water Born (Rachel Ward)
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: August 7th 2014
Summary (From Goodreads):
Nicola’s dad has been terrified around water for as long as she can remember, and will never come to watch her swim. But then Nicola starts to hear a voice in the pool which changes everything. When girls start drowning, who’s to blame? What secrets lurk beneath the surface?
I loved The Drowning but I loved Water Born even more. The stakes were higher, the pace was faster and it would work perfectly as a stand alone novel as well as a sequel.
I think the main thing for me with this book was how relatable Nic was as a character. This is probably quite a personal thing, but I struggled to relate to Carl in the first book as a young male with quite a poor family life. Nic, however, is a young female with a loving home and is also a competitive swimmer, which is something I did at her age.
Personal touches aside, I raced through this book. Rob’s spirit or ghost or whatever it is of him that is haunting water has survived since the last book and become even more malevolent. In his quest for revenge on Carl and Neisha for the events in the first book, he isn’t fussed about hurting others to get to them, including using their teenage daughter, Nicole.
This book is less of a mystery than the previous one, because early on I knew who Rob was and what he wanted. The tension came through his threats and ultimatum to Nic: girls are mysteriously drowning and accidents start happening to people he knows she’s angry with. I felt so awful each time something happened, for what it did to Nic and what I knew it was driving her towards. There were also a few twists and surprises that I wasn’t expecting to keep me on my toes.
The ending was satisfyingly sad (from someone who’s not a fan of the happily ever after stories) and it seemed an appropriate sacrifice to stop Rob. I did feel the last few pages were perhaps a little cheesy at first, but on reflection I found it sinister: if (trying not to spoil things here) this person is talking to her in the water, that means Rob still could too, or some of the other people who have died in water by his hand/influence. I’m wondering if it points to a possible sequel or if I’m just being paranoid!
This book was the perfect follow up to The Drowning and will give a more satisfying ending to those who want to discover what happens to Rob next.
I will be interviewing Rachel Ward as part of the UKYA Extravaganza Blog Tour so if you have any questions you’d like to ask, leave a comment or drop me a message!