Monday, August 5, 2013

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Abandoned monstrosities of metal and oil drift to wash ashore on distant beaches. In the future of shantytowns and drowned cities, we meet Nailer - a child among many born into the waste zones. As the upper class moves inland due to increasingly violent coastal storms, dangerous work on the coasts is left to the poor.

Nailer and his 'crew' pull apart oil tankers for scrap and supplies sold to large corporations. The dream of finding enough luck in oil pockets or salvage keeps these youngsters alive. Times are exceedingly tough, so when Nailer finds a shipwrecked vessel, this might just be his Lucky Strike. Unfortunately, the treasure might belong to someone else. Are children prepared to kill for a chance at freedom? What kind of creatures will he meet on his journeys in this futuristic world?

First, the bad: My one caveat is that SHIP BREAKER should probably not be geared towards YA. There is a lot of violence that is not appropriate for this genre.

THE GOOD: I read this book in just a few days, and took it with me everywhere. The characters, setting, and language all transport the reader to another time. The aftermath of a believable future - the dawn of a scary anti-civilization. I couldnt' stop reading and rooting for the main characters and their friends. Even the 'bad guys' have a story to tell. I greatly appreciate feeling almost sorry for the villains - a hallmark of great character development.

Overall, I would recommend this to fans of Clive Cussler or anyone into dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction. I currently have my hands on the second installment, DROWNED CITIES, and I can already tell I want to read more. Happy reading!

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