Kristine's Reviews > Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
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's review
May 06, 2012

really liked it
Read in May, 2012

Nailer is a ship breaker, meaning he and his light crew go into old, broken-down relic ships from the accelerated age and pull out anything of value--copper, aluminum, and petrol if it's still there. It's a tough life that leaves scars on the bodies and minds of those who are eking their way through. Everyone is watching for their lucky strike--a find that will give them enough money to live a better life. Nailer and his friend, Pima, find their lucky strike in the form of a wrecked clipper ship filled with easily scavenged metals--and the body of a beautiful girl just about their age. After rescuing the girl, Nita (or Lucky Girl), Nailer finds himself protecting her against the machinations of an uncle trying to take over her father's company.

Although the world is very similar to the one of "The Windup Girl" (in fact, I'm pretty sure it's the same one, just a different continent) the characters are markedly simpler, which is why this is YA instead of SF. Nailer is a basically good kid making some hard decisions. It's very much to his credit that he does what we would consider the right things, valuing life in the face of a world where human life is cheap.

Definitely looking forward to #2.


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