Synopses & Reviews
Salvage is a thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel that will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. This is literary science fiction with a feminist twist, and it explores themes of choice, agency, rebellion, and family. Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated, conservative deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean. This is a sweeping and harrowing novel about a girl who can't read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. What choices will she make? How will she build a future on an earth ravaged by climate change? Named by the American Booksellers Association as a Spring 2014 Indies Introduce Pick.
"Duncan makes an excellent debut with a novel that's part feminist polemic and part coming-of-age adventure. In a space-faring future, supply ship 'crewes' have developed into patriarchal tribes, with strict gender roles and a mythology to justify them: 'Women of the air, stay aloft,' the girls of the vessel Parastrata are warned. Ava is considered to be deviant for several reasons: she is of suspect Earthly descent, and she has a knack for both math and mechanical engineering, disciplines that are forbidden to women on her ship. After further transgressing Parastrata's laws through a romantic encounter, she is cast out into the Void. With a fierce desire to survive and with the help of a female spaceship captain named Perpétue, Ava escapes space for the deadly gravity of Earth, where she eventually discovers emotional, sexual, and intellectual liberation. Duncan's thoroughly realized setting and subtle control of Ava's voice result in a powerfully immersive story that uses its far-future SF premise to thoughtfully explore gender politics. Ages 13 up. Agent: Kate Testerman, KT Literary. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Her life is a shadow of a life. Her future is not her own to fashion.
Her family is a tangle of secrets. She cannot read. She cannot write.
But she is Parastrata Ava, the Captain's eldest daughter, the so girl of a long-range crewe — her obligations are grave and many.
And when she makes a mistake, in a fragrant orchard of lemons, the consequences are deadly.
There are some who would say, there but for the Mercies go I.
There are some who would say Parastrata Ava is just a silly earthstruck girl who got what was coming to her.
But they don't know the half of it.
About the Author
Alexandra Duncan grew up in a small town in North Carolina and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is a librarian. This is her first novel.