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Ice Breaker (The Hidden #1)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  331 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
'Petrel leaned on the rail, watching the ice cave and stamping her feet for warmth. The berg came closer. That's when she saw him. Laid out on the ice like a dead fish, with a scattering of snow covering his face. A boy, where there should have been nothing but the memory of winter. A frozen boy.'

Twelve-year-old Petrel is an outcast, the lowest of the low on the Oyster, an
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Feiwel & Friends (first published November 1st 2013)
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J Russell Hi, I run a primary school library in Melbourne & have children in secondary. If I had a choice I would rather use the US cover - it is a 'pick me…moreHi, I run a primary school library in Melbourne & have children in secondary. If I had a choice I would rather use the US cover - it is a 'pick me up! cover' for the intended audience. It must be a hard job being an illustrator as they have to create something that the audience will like while being innovative at the same time.... that said a cover the students do not like means they will not pick up the book without someone taking the time to introduce it to them. I have read Icebreaker aloud to one of my boys and he loved it, and I'm recommending it to my able readers at school - but if I had the US cover I suspect I'd probably only need to put it on the new book shelf and the students would be coming back to me and asking me for the next one. (I am assuming this cover is produced with the same high production values as the old cover.)(less)
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Community Reviews

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Confession time: I thought Lian Tanner was a man. This is entirely due to my own misreading of her first name as "Liam," and while I suppose a person of any gender can have any name, I didn't do my librarian due diligence and fact-check anything.

Anyway! Lian Tanner is an Australian writer who wrote the Museum of Thieves books (which are still on my TBR--sorry!). My supervisor speaks very highly of them, so I was pretty confident in requesting Icebreaker that I would get a good, solid story. And
I hugged the book before I read it, and you can be sure I hugged it afterward. Why? Because Lian Tanner has written one of my favorite Juvenile Fiction Series (The Keeper Trilogy) and she did not let me down in Icebreaker.

Tanner creates rather than contrives her characters and their conflicts. It takes reading the novel to realize what I mean by that difference between the creating and the contrivance. The characters experience real, important change, within the boundaries of their personality.
Oct 12, 2016 El-jorro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a copy of this title from Allen & Unwin for review.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Petrel is the Nothing Girl - shunned by her shipmates because of the actions of her parents when she was a baby. When Petrel spots a boy on the ice and convinces the chief engineer to have him brought aboard, events are set in motion that could change Petrel's life forever - as well as endanger everyone on the ship.

There aren't a great deal of middle grade adventure series set on an Icebreaker ship in a specula
Hans Chiddix
This was a decently good book it made me feel like i was actually on the boat and surviving like them.
Jul 19, 2015 Maranda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 3-5-stars
3.5/5 stars
You can find all my reviews here
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I stumbled across this and the cover made me want to know about it, similarly, the synopsis only made me more excited. Petrel is a casteless girl on a ship comprised of three warring tribes. She doesn’t fit in with anybody there but knows the ship better than everyone else from all the time she's spent hiding in the shadows. A young nameless boy gets picked up by
Jun 08, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: upper-primary
In the future, fear and paranoia over artificial intelligence has allowed anti-machine zealots to take over the world. The only place technology is safe is in the deep south, on an ice breaker drifting around Antarctica.

It is a difficult thing to create a unique dystopian storyline and to limit the scope of the story for the a young audience, and to allow for character development. Tasmanian author Lian Tanner has done a great job. Petrel is a resilient and intelligent heroine, with a depth of h
Aug 18, 2014 Celine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good setting and characters, and interestingly dark elements for a kid's book. Kids will love it, I'd say. But it lacked something for me... it felt a touch overly familiar ( it continuously brought to mind Philip Reeves Mortal Engines Quartet for some reason)

A case of my being a touch too old for it, I think.
The Ice Breaker's crew are divided into three warring tribes and one "nobody". Then they rescue a boy from an iceberg and the real adventure begins. Has a steampunk feel - Ice Breaker is a ship run by engines. The people on the ship pursuing them consider machines to be evil. For ages 9+
Monica Edinger
Apr 19, 2015 Monica Edinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really fun SF, dystopic (but NOT of the Hunger Games sort), solidly middle grade, and a great adventure. Looking forward to the next one.
Jake W
Oct 25, 2016 Jake W rated it really liked it
October book
Jake Walford
The book Icebreaker by Liam Tanner, is about the nothing girl who is trying to save the ship from fin's group. In this book, there are people in the world who do not like technology. So, people make a boat that will sail in sea for many years, so they can wait for the people to calm down. After centuries of sailing together, the boat had a big fight. Then, they separated into three parts. There were the greasers, the officers, and the chefs. There is a girl named Petrel
Nov 18, 2016 Simone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, solid middle grade adventure/dystopian story. Great world-building. Recommended for fans of The Golden Compass.

On a side note, I love love love the cover! It does everything a cover should do: gives a hint of what the book is about (giant boat, lots of ice, mysterious figure), conveys the tone of the book (dark, cold, foreboding), and is mysterious enough that I want to pick up the book and find out what's happening (why is that person alone on an ice drift?). Take note publishers - this
Kaleb Munro
Icebreaker by lyan Tanner. Icebreaker is a book about a ship called the Oyster is the ancient ship with a crew that is as tough as a nail. One day a girl name Petrel finds a boy name Finn on the iceberg. Is freezing to death and in need of help the crew takes a man but that ship is divided into three people the greasers the chefs and the officers.

In my opinion, this book was very hard to get into boring most of the book and very few action scenes it was too suspenseful for my liking.

I recommend
Dec 05, 2016 Dru rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-sci-fi
Very cool sci-fi story for late elementary. Similar plot to snowpiercer. Plenty of real world allegories at play in this book, but everything is played rather well and the mysteries are revealed slowly and in a satisfying manner.
Oct 24, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Icebreaker by Lian Tanner Petrel is an orphan that lives aboard the Oyster, an icebreaker that has been sailing the most southern reaches of the southern hemisphere for hundreds of years. Civilization as we know it would be quite the shock to any of the inhabitants of the Oyster. Society has fallen and new cultures have arisen. For Petrel, with there being little contact with anyone outside of their ship, the Oyster is her whole world. Then one day, the Oyster finds a nearly frozen boy, who ...more
Petrel is an orphan that lives aboard the Oyster, an icebreaker that has been sailing the most southern reaches of the southern hemisphere for hundreds of years. Civilization as we know it would be quite the shock to any of the inhabitants of the Oyster. Society has fallen and new cultures have arisen. For Petrel, with there being little contact with anyone outside of their ship, the Oyster is her whole world. Then one day, the Oyster finds a nearly frozen boy, who Petrel calls Fin, and things ...more
Mrs. Hassig
Oct 16, 2016 Mrs. Hassig rated it it was amazing
Loved this story especially the mechanical boy! It's very steam punk! Strong female characters and vivid descriptions of life on a ship. It started slow but about 50 pages in I couldn't put it down.
Liam F
Oct 06, 2016 Liam F added it
Really good book for middle schoolers but not of my interest but still a good book
Sep 21, 2016 Venus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review originally posted on Children's Atheneum

When people rose up to destroy the machines, scientists thought that eventually the anti-machine fervor would die down. So they made a ship with a secret machine aboard that would be able to help humanity once the tumult was over. Except they were wrong. The anti-machinests took over and the ship, called the Oyster, has been floating the southern seas for three centuries now. In that time the people have forgotten their original mission. The machine
Gary VanRiper
Based on the jacket description, I really wanted to like this story. I did finish it because once I buy a book I am committed to it, unless it enters into vulgarity. Chapter after chapter so slow and repetitive. Maybe stretched it out to fill a trilogy? I did find a certain character combination at the end interesting, but took nearly all 250 pages to get there. Totally burned out by then. Could have told the same story in 1/2 the pages and would have greatly improved the pacing and likelihood ...more
Amanda Sanders
Sep 13, 2016 Amanda Sanders rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This apocalyptic book brings a new twist. Anti-machinists have convinced many humans that machines and those that use them are evil. A ship leaves land with the hope that anti-machinists will overcome their fears. Three hundred years later, it has not yet happened. The people on the boat have broken up into 3 tribes. Twelve-year-old Petrel does not belong to a tribe. She is an outcast who hides from the tribes to avoid being abused and lives on scraps of food she can find. She watches as crew ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Oct 30, 2015 Kathleen Dixon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathleen by: Pt Chev Bookshop
This book jumped queue because I needed one with a title beginning with "I". And it's always a pleasure to be able to read a book that I remember putting onto my to-read list (and why). Isn't it always such a disappointment when you get to a book that's been languishing for nearly 10 years and then find, when you start reading it, that you have absolutely no idea what you could have been imagining when you put it onto the list?! Happily, that doesn't happen too often. Anyway, this book has only ...more
ICEBREAKER by Lian Tanner is an intriguing middle-grade science fiction thriller that takes place aboard a huge ship traveling the icy southern polar regions.

After 300 years at sea and an epic Civil War, the crew of the Oyster is divided into three tribes. As an outcast, twelve-year-old Petrel lives a lonely life with only a couple talking rats as companions. The ship was originally launched to save the final remnants of knowledge and technology from the evil Anti-Machinists. However, memory of
Jill Smith
Mar 11, 2016 Jill Smith rated it really liked it
I was in a session at Somerset Literary Festival two days ago presented by Lian Tanner. I shook her hand and introduced myself. She got ready for her meeting with the students who attended by running on the spot.

The kids came in and she had the kids give her story ideas. They giggled and joked while she helped ask the important what if questions. They answered and a very bad story started to come together. At the end of this exercise she said 'funnily enough I didn't write that'.

Then she read
was pleased to win the audiobook edition of Icebreaker through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program. Being a big fan of Lian Tanner's Keepers series I was excited to see what her latest book was about and Icebreaker did not disappoint. Icebreaker centers around a ship named the Oyster that has sailed the same course for three hundred years in an attempt to keep technology safe from zealots who think that machines are evil. Petrel, the main character of the book, a young outcast who doesn't ...more
Jan 20, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The cover caught my eye. The blurb inside the cover captured my attention. By the first chapter of Icebreaker I was hooked. The odd, dark world of the Oyster and the complex society in which Petrel struggles to survive reeled me in. (Okay, enough of the fishing metaphors.) Tanner sets a compelling story in a fascinating world full of interesting characters. This is a great choice for any reader who is looking for a less violent dystopian tale (think The City of Ember and Gregor the Overlander ...more
Aug 10, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing
This one was such a pleasant surprise! I’d heard it talked up on a webinar, but I am highly susceptible to promotional excitement (and highly aware of this), so when I went back and read more about it, I found myself feeling very indecisive. Something about its description simply made me shrug and go “Ehhhhh….” (Maybe it was the talking rats?) Just wasn’t sure my patrons would go for it. But wow! What a great read!

I was sucked in from the start. The tension on the ship was so palpable and the tw
Sep 10, 2016 Brigid rated it liked it
Recommends it for: romping adventure fans
This is a great example of a children's book that can be enjoyed by all ages of readers. Icebreaker is the original function of the ship, Oyster, sent out to the southern seas during an anti-machine craze. Three hundred years later, the Oyster is still at sea and its crew has developed into three tribes in relation to their jobs and workplaces on board: Braid (officers), Grease (engineers), and Duff (cooks). Only 12-year-old Petrel, the Nothing Girl, has no tribe on the ship, and spends hers day ...more
Liz Friend
The story: The Oyster has been cutting through the Antarctic ice for 300 years--so long that her crew can hardly remember why the ship sailed in the first place. But the Devouts remember, and they've sworn to destroy her. The mythical Sleeping Captain will remember, if somehow Petrel can find and awaken him. Only problem is--she's an invisible girl on a ship where everyone has a place. And when Fin, an undercover member of the Devouts, arrives to find and kill the Captain, Petrel knows he's the ...more
Apr 15, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
Petrel is known as the Nothing Girl. She lives on a great ship that has been roaming the Southern seas for three hundred years. The Oyster’s crew are born and live the entirety of their lives on the ship. Each deck has become its own tribe - Braid (Officers), Grease Alley ( Engineers), and Duff (Cooks). The tribes do not mix. Due to a traitorous indiscretion of her parents, Petrel has grown up without a tribe. She alone moves about and knows all parts of the ship. When a boy is spotted stranded ...more
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Lian Tanner has been dynamited while scuba diving and arrested while busking. She once spent a week in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, hunting for a Japanese soldier left over from the Second World War. She likes secrets, old bones, and animals that are not what they seem. Nowadays she lives by the beach in southern Tasmania with her cat, Harry-le-beau, who has his own blog at ...more
More about Lian Tanner...

Other Books in the Series

The Hidden (3 books)
  • Sunker's Deep (The Hidden, #2)
  • Fetcher's Song (The Hidden, #3)

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