Saturday, September 24, 2016

Book Review: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Series: Ship Breaker (Book 1)
Publication: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (May 1, 2010)

Description: In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life. . . .

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.

My Thoughts: SHIP BREAKER was an engaging futuristic science fiction story. The earth has experienced global warming melting the polar ice and drowning the coastal cities. The gulf of Mexico sees frequent super storms. Fossil fuels have been depleted.

The story begins with a boy named Nailer who is part of a light screw scavenging old freighters for any usable bits - copper wire, aluminum. He is part of a crew who works in dangerous conditions without adequate safety precautions to make their quotas. They are mostly hungry and live in sorts of gangs.

Nailer's father is an alcoholic and drug user who is violent most of the time. He takes refuge with friends when he can get away from his father.

One day, when out scavenging, Nailer and a friend discover a wrecked sailing ship and a passenger who is almost dead. The friend suggests that it would be better if the girl were dead but Nailer wants to rescue her. Nita is a Swank. Not only is she rich but she is heir to one of the biggest surviving corporations. However, she is on the run from the part of her family that wants to overthrow her father.

Nailer, a half-man named Tool, and Nita decided to go to Orleans to see if they can find some ships loyal to Nita and her father. They need to jump on a moving train to get there which just starts their adventures.

The story is filled with sailing ships, sea-going battles, treacherous people, and ones that can be trusted though sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. I liked that Nailer got a chance to see what was out there in the bigger world.

The world building was well done and the plot was entertaining. I liked Nailer and liked watching him grow through the book.

Favorite Quote:
The blood bond was nothing. It was the people that mattered. If they covered your back, and you covered theirs, then maybe that was worth calling family. Everything else was just so much smoke and lies. 
I bought this one Oct. 24, 2010. You can buy your copy here.

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