Beverly B, July 27, 2013 (view all comments by Beverly B)
Teens will love the adventure, suspense, violence and ever-popular spunky teen underdog vs. the evil adults theme in Ship Breaker. The grim world of the novel is the result of today's environmental and political problems. Global warming, raping the land and oceans for resources, drug addiction and corporate greed are the backdrop for the story of Nailer, a teen trying to survive extreme poverty in a corrupt, crime-ridden country. When he double crosses a crime boss and runs away, he is pursued by his psychopathic father, gang enforcers and the assassins who are after the rich American girl Nailer is trying to return to her family. This is not a book to read for light entertainment, but teens will love it.
Serina, January 19, 2011 (view all comments by Serina)
A fast pace adventure / chase novel set in a brutal future where gangs of kids risk their lives stripping precious scrap metal from beached tanker ships. The book centers on a teenage boy and the "posh" girl he rescues from a wrecked ship, but its appeal is much wider than young adult. Waiting to read the next in the series and will also read The Windup Girl - which is set in the same world.
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Susan Benson, November 7, 2010 (view all comments by Susan Benson)
Global Warming Gone Feral
Picture a future America destroyed by climate change, polar meltdown, and greed for natural resources: a place inhabited by powerfully rich swanks and insufferably poor masses. The swanks, who band together in clans, hold the power, while the underprivileged masses, who labor slavishly for the swanks, band into crews. To belong to a crew means that someone’s got your back, that there is an ally in a world of fear and violence. This is Nailer’s world–the world of a ship breaker. Each day Nailer, a small framed teenager, and his light crew enter grounded tankers to scavenge metal, wire, and items of reusable value. With his small, compact frame, Nailer crawls though the ship’s ducts, stripping wire for the crew owner, Bapi. Scarred across his face Nailer wears Bapi’s work tattoo. Nailer’s only relative is his hardened psychopathic father, Richard Lopez, a drug sliding, mean, brutally strong, murderer. Nailer knows it is only a matter of time before his vengeful father kills him.
When a city killer, the name for a regularly occurring hurricane, rips apart the coastline, Nailer and fellow crew, Pima, find on a nearby island a shipwrecked swank clipper. They are momentarily optimistic over the big scavenge until they discover a young woman, a swank, Nita, still alive on the clipper. While they are deciding what to do about Nita, Richard Lopez shows up with his own crew of hard edged men and women. Blue Eyes, a woman with a long scar down the side of her body wants to sell Nita’s organs to the Harvesters of the Life Cult. While his father’s crew sleeps off a drunken stupor, Nailer tries to escape the watchful guard of Blue Eyes, but botches the attempt. Just as Blue Eyes is about to cut Nailer with a machete, Sadna, Pima’s mother diverts Blue Eyes’s attention. Nailer escapes, but not without the stain of blood on this hands. Now, Nailer and Nita, with the help of Tool, a halfman, must find their way to Orleans so that Nailer can hide from his father’s wrath and Nita can find her people.
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Sean Concannon, August 31, 2010 (view all comments by Sean Concannon)
Ship Breaker is set in the same dystopian, global warming-wracked world as Bacigalupi's debut, The Windup Girl, but this one is for the YA reading level. Bacigalupi distills a raft of predictions for future technology and expertly works them into a grand adventure. Appropriately for a YA novel, the story rolls back around to where it began, with a thrilling battle and a satisfying conclusion. I can't wait to read his next book.
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ndeyton, July 27, 2010 (view all comments by ndeyton)
Meet Nailer, a wiry teenager who works the light crew. It's his job to crawl through the dangerous ducts and narrow passages of abandoned tanker ships to scavenge copper wire that his crew can then strip and sell. He's lucky, he has a job and a crew but as soon as he gets too big for the ducts, he'll get stripped of his crew tats and left to fend for himself on the beaches.
Those who are too small to make heavy crew end up like his father, mean and addicted to drugs or worse, at the mercy of the Life Cult, harvesters of body parts. He knows he'll need a lucky strike if he wants to make it out, and he may just get his chance when he and Pima (crew boss girl) find a wrecked boat full of rich salvage. Along with the boat, however, is one survivor - a girl. Should Nailer be smart and "pig stick" the girl to recoup the salvage, or let her live in hopes that she and her rich family will take him out of his hell-hole and away from his abusive father.
Bacigalupi does an amazing job developing this dystopian world in which the polar ice caps have long since melted away, swamping the coastal regions leaving entire cities under water. Oil is still a commodity, but hard to come by, even though it pollutes the water. His characters are equally well developed and tragic, and we find ourselves struggling right along with them as the story line twists and turns.
This is a dark young adult novel that challenges the definition of family and questions moral issues surrounding survival. What would you be willing to sacrifice in order to survive or make a better life for yourself?
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Little Brown and Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"SF novelist Bacigalupi (The Windup Girl) makes a stellar YA debut with this futuristic tale of class imbalance on the Gulf Coast. Teenage Nailer scavenges ships with his crewmates, eking out a poverty-filled existence while avoiding dangers that range from giant 'city killer' hurricanes to his vicious, drug-addicted father. When a storm strands a beautiful shipping heiress on the beach (earning her the nickname 'Lucky Girl'), Nailer manages both to infuriate members of his camp (including his father) and to become embroiled in upper-class trade disputes that he barely comprehends. As Nailer and Lucky Girl escape toward the drowned ruins of New Orleans, they witness rampant class disparity on individual and international levels (tribes whose lands were flooded have taken to the seas as pirates, attacking multinational shipping firms). Bacigalupi's cast is ethnically and morally diverse, and the book's message never overshadows the storytelling, action-packed pacing, or intricate world-building. At its core, the novel is an exploration of Nailer's discovery of the nature of the world around him and his ability to transcend that world's expectations. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Sherman Alexie,
"Exciting, poetic, and breathtaking."
"Vivid, brutal, and thematically rich, this captivating title is sure to win teen fans for the award-winning Bacigalupi."
by Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books,
"Although a cautionary environmental message is implicit...this is essentially a kids-on-the-lam tale with all the narrow escapes and untrustworthy alliances dear to the action crowd, and enough futuristic maritime gadgetry to lure sci-fi fans on board as well."
A Nebula and Hugo Award-nominated author delivers a fast-paced dystopian adventure that is sure to appeal to fans of Little Brother and The Hunger Games.
In this action-packed fantastically-imagined thriller, fifteen-year-old Will Drake has made a career of breaking out from high-security prisons. His talents have landed him at the Rig, a specialist juvenile holding facility in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. No one can escape from the Rig. But Will Drake likes a challenge . . .
Fifteen-year-old Will Drake has made a career of breaking out from high-security prisons. His talents have landed him at the Rig, a special juvenile holding facility in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. No one can escape from the Rig. After hatching some escape plans—and making the first real friends of his life—Drake quickly realizes that all is not as it seems on the Rig. The warden is obsessed with the mysterious Crystal-X, a blue glowing substance that appears to give superpowers to the teens exposed to it. Drake, Tristan, and Irene are banking on a bid for freedom—but can they survive long enough to make it?
First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And the Wall.
After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct…but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.
Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.
Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
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