Biblibio's Reviews > Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
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's review
Jul 22, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult-science-fiction
Read from July 20 to 21, 2012

To put it simply, I'd probably easily recommend Ship Breaker to the majority of readers looking for a good-quality adventure, but this recommendation comes with serious reservations. Not simply genre limitations (which Bacigalupi actually does a very nice job of avoiding), but rather straight-up literary ones.

I liked Ship Breaker a lot - it's got great pacing and storytelling, and a truly wonderful world. Paolo Bacigalupi creates a rich and believable existence without succumbing to overwriting - Ship Breaker is tight and relatively clean in this regard. Character-wise, the book is also a pleasant surprise. Nailer as a main character is a bit more of a catalyst than a real lead, but it works - he fits comfortably between two wonderfully characterized women (Pima and her mother), as well as the slightly less developed Nita (who ultimately gets less screen time despite featuring prominently plot-wise in the novel). Even the "villain" serves as an interesting juxtaposition for Nailer, such that there's not much to complain about in this regard.

The fault I found was, oddly enough, in the writing. Bacigalupi is a strong writer, but something about Ship Breaker felt like it wasn't edited very well. Certain phrases repeated again and again in reference to specific characters (often appearing scant paragraphs apart from each other). Some sentences felt abrasively awkward. All in all the writing was fine, but a few minor repetitions or clumsy sentences kept throwing me off and jolting me out of the story.

Overall, Ship Breaker is worth recommending, if hesitantly. It's easier to offer this one to younger readers - a certain simplicity in the writing makes it comfortably "young adult" - but it's also a pleasant futuristic adventure with a lot of tough, excellent characters and some exciting plotting.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Simcha (new)

Simcha Lazarus Great review. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had expected to but I can't really remember anymore why that was.

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