The Captain’s Log – the ship (Antonia Honeywell)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This be the fourth book in me Ports for Plunder – 19 Books in 2019 list. I wanted to read this because it is a postapocalyptic sci-fi novel about a crumbling world where one man’s vision of survival is a ship where he chooses the 500 souls whose only salvation is to get a slot onboard.  But Noah’s ark this ain’t.

The story is told from the perspective of Lalla, a sixteen year old whose father is the saviour.  The ship seems like a utopia to the chosen passengers.  There is safety, running water, food for all, and freedom to enjoy the simple things in life like cooking, listening to music, and swimming.  In exchange, there is no talk about the past or future but only concentration on living in the moment and enjoying life’s little pleasures.  However, Lalla feels smothered by the boat and the memory of those left behind.  She wants to know where the ship is going and what the plan is.  The problem is that no one will discuss it.  Her father focuses only on maintaining his cult-like following and control.

While well-written, this book ended up being tough to love.  I thought the world-building was excellent.  I loved the majority of the concepts.  I loved the entire beginning of the book up through the passengers settling in to life on the ship.  Then it got dicey.  What it came down to was Lalla’s temperament and choices.

Lalla was spoiled and sheltered by her parents.  She has almost no real personality of her own but what she does have is extraorindarily selfishness.  She lost her home and stability when she boards the ship.  Everyone else was fleeing disaster and finds the ship to be a haven.  Initially I had sympathy for her predictiment.  But she is whiney, thoughtless, and silly.  She gives no thought to the feelings or needs of others.  She doesn’t act like a 16 year-old.  She acts like a temper-tantrum-throwing toddler.  She continously makes bad choices and has extremely unlogical and flawed thinking.  I would have just tossed her overboard and been done with it.

Also many of the plot twists of Lalla’s journey were just plain pointless or stupid.  The ending in particular irked me.  I dont’t necessarily fault the author’s choices because it actually made sense for Lalla to have made such a dumb decision.  Every thing Lalla does is based on pure reaction and emotion.  But after reading this, I immediately came up with many better options and long-range plots to potentially achieve success.  Seriously this girl was a moron.  I knew the answers to the mysteries practically upon introduction of them.  Lalla was clueless.

So even though the given prespective and plot were super annoying at times, the story did keep me engaged and I had to keep reading and finish.  The ship did turn out to have a sinister and creepy feeling.  I wouldn’t want to live in those conditions but I understood why others might.  I have no regrets about reading this one and would be willing to try more of the author’s work.  Arrrr!

Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Antonia Honeywell – Author

To buy the book go to:

the ship- Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Reviews for Me 19 in 2019 Books

the lie tree – Frances Hardinge (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

children of blood and bone – Tomi Adeyemi (Captain’s Log – YA Fantasy)

summerland – Hannu Rajaniemi (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

18 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – the ship (Antonia Honeywell)

    1. I think the problem with this book is that the themes were adult and the main character was written in a YA fashion. It muddied the waters and turned the book into something unsatisfying. I think had the main character been in her very late teens or early 20s the book would have been so much stronger. I am surprised the editors didn’t give recommendations about making the character less hateful.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point. It’s one thing if there are adult themes and the younger protagonist grows into the adult themes and learns from them. It sounds like this protagonist didn’t grow much at all in The Ship. How did this book end up on your TBR list to begin with?

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  1. Sounds like an interesting concept! One bit of the synopsis made me laugh, though, and stretches the limits of my suspension of disbelief: “more clothes than anyone can wear, but no way to mend them”. Um… yeah. Needle and thread? Small, easy to pack, and not technological in nature. LOL – sometimes writers (of books or synopses) go a bit too far in the quest for a dramatic turn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t paid much attention to the blurb but that is very funny given what else magically ended up on that ship despite the end of the world. They had washing machines and irons and wedding dresses and wedding decorations. So why not needle and thread? So dumb. Aye, the suspense of disbelief was darn near impossible for me. Too many silly “necessary” things onboard. Dude that ship was doomed. Thanks for making me laugh.
      x The Captain

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