Wally's Reviews > Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
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Jan 15, 11

bookshelves: adventure, boy-hero, cities, death, dystopia, families, friendship, series, teen
Read in January, 2011

Nailer, a teen living on the beach of the Gulf Coast near New Orleans in the near future, makes his living taking out copper wire and other valuable metal parts from rusting freighters and oil tankers. When a super-hurricane stops work and wrecks the flying yacht of a super-wealthy family, Nailer and his friend Pima start to salvage the best bits, until they find a dying girl whose wealth tempts them (and other, more dangerous people) to help her find her family.

Nailer is a strong, conflicted boy who is not sure he has done the right thing, whether it's saving Nita, the rich girl, or fighting certain enemies to the death. The setting of an environmentally compromised Gulf Coast, especially the series of cities known as the Orleans, is intriguing, but a little sketchy: I wanted more detail! But apparently there's a sequel on the way. Great characters, great setting, solid plot with just a few predictable points, if not always outcomes. This is a great adventure for at least 7th grade on up.
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