Water Born – Rachel Ward

“You need eyes in the back of your head with kids, don’t you? They’re there one minute, gone the next. 
Someone nearby shouts and it brings me back to my sense. I look around and she’s not next to me. Nicola. I can’t work out where she is, but she can’t be far away. I only took my eyes off her for a second, didn’t I?”

Nic has always been drawn to the water. At two and a half she nearly drowns, her parents and grandmother think its best to move away. Then as a teen she shows a natural talent for swimming, her parents aren’t happy but it makes her happy, and what can go wrong with her dad there watching at every training session, every race. But her dad can’t hear the disembodied voice in the pool, urging her to stay with him. When a boy appears in the pool after a spate of girls her age mysteriously drowning she turns to her dad for answers. But its a past he’s not willing to dredge up,  so she’ll have to do some digging of her own. 

***
What an incredible book, the right balance of contemporary with thriller and a little splash of what can only be described as supernatural, Water Born blew my mind in all the right ways. 
Set 17 years after The Drowning, Water Born is a sequel following the daughter of the characters from The Drowning. This is something I have seen only once before, in Rachel Ward’s other series, Numbers, and I must say I love the way she does it. Because I knew Nic’s parents from the first book they felt like more real characters to me than you often find YA protagonist’s parents are. They weren’t some piece of background and I viewed them as just as important as Nic. 
The story was fantastic and really gripped me. I loved the way it was told and how I knew more about the goings on of the book than Nic even though it was told from her point of view because I read The Drowning. I also loved that despite the fact I haven’t read The Drowning for ages, it didn’t matter because you don’t even have to know what happened in that book to enjoy this one. The supernatural element was a lot stronger in this book and it actually creeped me out a bit, I finished it, went to bed and almost didn’t want to brush my teeth because of how creepy the water was in Water Born. There was a lot I loved and the only downside was how much of a loner Nic seemed to be, with few real friends and too much focus on her swim meets. 
This book gripped me in a major way and I struggled to put it down. Its rare I read a whole book in one day when I have work that day too but I honestly couldn’t wait to get home and crack it open. Its well worth a read and I honestly think all teens should give Rachel Wards books a go! 
The Drowning was published on August 7th by Chicken House books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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