Donna's Reviews > Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
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's review
Apr 06, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: scifi, teen, adventure
Read from April 06 to 08, 2010

This scifi adventure is set in a not-too-distant future that has been ravaged by global warming. Rising seas and increasingly violent hurricanes have drowned cities all along the southern coast of the U.S. The main character is Nailer, a poor urchin who makes a scant living by scavenging shipwrecks for copper wire and dreams of making a lucky strike that will allow him to escape his dangerous dad. He longs to parasail aboard one of the sleek, solar-powered schooners that he occasionally sees far out on the open ocean. Then one night an especially nasty storm grinds all work on the beach to a halt. Nailer and his friend Pima discover a wrecked schooner and go scavenging, only to find a rich northern girl on board who wears more wealth on her fingers than they have ever dreamed of. Do they kill her and take her rings? Or do they risk their lives to return her to her clan?

I really enjoyed this one, especially since it puts a modern twist on the Mad Max post-apocalypse scenario by replacing nuclear war with global warming and trading the truck-driving skinheads with boats and pirates.

Interestingly, this is the second book I've read this year that features half-men: bio-engineered men whose genetic makeup includes animal DNA (dogs, tigers and hyenas in this case). See also: Unlike in Winter's End, the origin of the half-men is stated explicitly, and the author also treats his half-men characters (especially Tool, who is one of my favorite characters in the book) with dignity.

Oh yeah, I should disclose the copy I read is an ARC that I received for free at PLA.
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