So The Ship by Antonia Honeywell has a reasonable plot: end of the world, people escape on a ship, plucky heroine thinks all is not what it seems.
It is actually more annoying and aggravating than that.
One: the plot is really about a death cult in a ship.
Two: the heroine takes way to long to figure everything out. She also has a really annoying name: Lalage, which is most often shortened to Lalla.
3: So dull.
4: Spoilers ahead.
Lalla’s father manages to get this ship together, which itself is improbable, and he and his wife personally select 500 people of very admirable worth to join them on the ship. Lalla gets an automatic berth by dint of her family.
They escape a London that is slowly dying, in a world that is slowly dying. Nothing grows, people are no longer people if not registered. Dystopian awfulness. The ship is super well stocked and the 500 (minus a few people like Lalla’s mother who gets shot) all set off on a love fest cruise where everyone is happy to be alive. There is no want on the ship, everyone pitches in and is fine with basically eating powdered eggs and mock everything made up of food pellets.
But Lalla is upset by the death of her mother and the fact that everyone is all ‘get over it dear, isn’t your father wonderful?’ Anyway, she continues to be upset, though she falls in love with a boy named Tom and they proceed to shag all over the ship.
What is SO AGGRAVATING is that it is fucking obvious that the ship is going in circles, there is no intention to land (hence why they are a death cult, they will eventually all die in the ship) and it takes FUCKING FOREVER for Lalla to figure this out. FOREVER.
By that point her father is becoming almost canonised while living by the people on the ship. They are all still going: just be happy on the DEATH SHIP Lalla, stop being so ungrateful. OMG. We have enough for an unspecified period of time so let’s play football and learn tennis.
The fact that Lalla’s father basically plans for her and Tom to hook up and that someone who was supposed to be on the ship shot Lalla’s mother becomes more and more obvious. So by the end, you get no reward or payoff, just the annoyance of everyone being awful and hoping they would hit an iceberg if they hadn’t all melted.
Lalla of course leaves the ship, flipping everyone the finger at her wedding banquet. Tom the twat of course doesn’t come because he’s bought into the death cult. She gets on a little boat and takes off. Probably to die because everything is fucked. But oh well.
What a terrible book. Everyone is awful and obvious and I wanted to throw them all overboard.