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(Salvage #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  3,194 ratings  ·  523 reviews
Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean, in this thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel that will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth R ...more
Hardcover, 520 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins
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Joelle There is a second book called "Sound" coming out this year, on September 22nd!…moreThere is a second book called "Sound" coming out this year, on September 22nd!(less)

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  3,194 ratings  ·  523 reviews

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Emily May
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, sci-fi, arc, young-adult

2 1/2 stars
I wanted to like this book so badly. So badly. How many well-written feminist sci-fis truly exist for young adult/teen readers? I bet I can count them on one hand. And when I say "feminist", I don't mean the kind that take away all women's rights, call the book a "dystopia" and say "ooh, look at all the unfairness to them there womenfolk". I'm talking about those that explore in some kind of depth the prejudice women face for their sexuality or for their desire to work in male-dominat
Sep 05, 2013 added it
Shelves: ebook, arc

I'm finding the writing too distracting and I just can't, especially for a 500+ page book. It's more the language used than the writing itself. It's narrated using a futuristic/sci-fi language with a lot of odd terms and slang that are thrown left and right for us to figure out on our own. It made reading it frustrating rather than atmospheric or whatever it was trying to be. Maybe it's just one of those that take a bit to get you immersed in the world and dialect, but the last few books I r
Richard Derus
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated, conservative deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean.

I think that's pretty damn skimpy, so here's the flap copy as well:

Her life is a shadow of a life. Her future is not her own to fashion. Her family is a tangle of secrets. She cannot read. She cann
Book, you are awesome.

You remember those famous intro words to Star Trek TNG?

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Well, Salvage shows us not the bright, chromed future of Star Trek, but a gritty one minus the aliens. Small nomadic tribes of hunter-gatherers, marked by powerful kinship bonds, fixed status and rigidly
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

DNF at 27%

After the recent bad luck I've been having with all genres other than contemporary, Salvage is no exception. So after just a little over a fifth in, I decided that there is probably no point. And by the looks of my friend's reviews, I am correct. Duncan is by no means a bad author. In fact, I quite enjoyed her writing--it's very sophisticated yet easy to read through. Nonetheless, a series of major turn-offs in the first few chapters cemented my dec

I really wish someone had told me about that BEFORE I read it, or even better, requested it. Just MAYBE this would have been a good instance to include in the synopsis that there was a LOVE TRIANGLE present. If there's anything I hate more than a love triangle, it's an unexpected love triangle.

And today is Valentine's Day too. I see what you did to me there, World. I see it.

ANYWAY, getting past that LOVE TRIANGLE (*rages*) Salvage was only moderately dec
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, sci-fi
Salvage Alexandra Duncan's debut illustrates a richly detailed world that vividly shows a possible future of Earth where society has both regressed and progressed, where the struggles of humanity have become more dire, but where love still remains. Everything--from the world to the characters--felt viscerally real.  ...more
Aug 16, 2013 marked it as to-read
With one life-altering decision, a sixteen-year-old girl from an isolated community in space is exiled to the over-populated and crumbling Earth.

Thats it? Thats the blurb? LOL, I might read this just to figure the story out.
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always

How could I have resisted a gorgeous, intriguing cover like that? Of course, the cover had lured me to give this book a shot. I didn't finish this book. At around 22%, I just about gave up on the book completely.

That doesn't mean this was a bad book! It just wasn't a book for me. With its elegant, descriptive and poetic writing, it was no wonder Salvage had not really interested me. I do appreciate and love how authors can write this beautifully, but I much prefer simple writing to get me in
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

Morgan, a so girl who lives on the ship Parastrata, doing chores that women need to do. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the small ones. When her father arranges a marriage between her and one from the æther ship, she makes a mistake. Seeing her childhood crush, Luck was a mistake because does something that is scandalized and has her cast a
Katie Walton
Polygamists. In. Space.

What?!?!?! I didn't realize I had preconceived notions about what to expect from a society confined to a space ship, but then Alexandra Duncan started ripping them away and instead she gives me polygamists- in space.

Ava has lived her entire life in deep space, traveling along merchant routes with her Crewe. The women of the ship must all work constantly to be virtuous, productive and demure. Ava's pretty good at living by the rules, and almost as good at breaking them wi
Mar 04, 2014 added it
Shelves: 2014-favorites
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Ten Likes/Dislikes:

1. (+) Ava, the protagonist - Oh, Ava. From the very first pages I was intrigued because she was haughty about being so girl and I knew that wasn't going to last. I was also intrigued by her curiosity, her boldness despite the harsh society in which she lived. And this determination carries throughout the book. I said something similar of the main character in Tin Star, but I'll say it again: It's
Jan 20, 2014 rated it liked it

I loved the concept, but unfortunately I wasn't as engrossed as I wanted to be.
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
***3.5 Stars***

It took me so long to get into this book which turned out to be so confusing at first with the strange language of "so" and "some" being added but I trucked on and eventually was able to block the words out and understand the story.
Kara Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
It is not an easy task to create a young adult novel, in dystopian future with feminist ideas in it. Yet, Alexandra Duncan managed to do so pretty well.
It is a fascination story, symbolic and full of interesting concepts, too chaotic at times, but still exciting for younger readers.
Wykreowanie wiarygodnej fabuły science fiction, łączącej tak popularny gatunek jak powieść młodzieżowa z przesłaniem feministycznym to nie jest łatwe zadanie dla pisarza. Alexandra Duncan podjęła si
Salvage was one of the toughest books to read, the beginning was what I struggled with the most. There was so much detail to get my head around and the way that everyone spoke in Ava’s world just took so much effort to understand. But I’d read a review which mentioned something which happened very early on, so I really wanted to know what the consequences would be next. I could understand why these two characters would assume that they were going to be married to one another and why they would d ...more
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. At first i was confused by the author's writing but then after a while I got used to it and found it really original. The world building was pretty good and I liked getting to know these "crewes" even though the one she lived in was really unfair to women. At least, there were some great characters i enjoyed getting to know and the storyline was interesting. I wasn't bored.

The thing i didn't like though was (view spoiler)
3.5 stars

Good overall, though failed to live up to my expectations. It has its merits and demerits. The author did an laudable chore in describing futuristic Mumbai, but the story was dragged more than it required, causing me to die several times in boredom. Review to come.
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Salvage is a good book, but judging on all the praise in the Amazon description, I had higher hopes and was not very impressed.

Opening Sentence: The morning before our ship, Parastrata, docks at the skyport, I rise early.

The Review:

Salvage is the story of a girl ostracized from her ship in space. Forced away from her love interest and onto the harsh earth, she must learn to survive the gravity of the planet, take care of an orphaned girl, and le
Sarah Louise
Mar 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm quite torn by this book. Despite my three star rating, I really did enjoy this futuristic exploration of survival on Earth. Salvage follows the escape of Ava, a young woman aboard the merchant spaceship, Parastrata, who is sentenced to death by her crew.

In a male-dominated environment, the Parastrata women are treated as unfit, obedient housemaids, with the sole purpose of performing chores and providing children. Although Ava harbours the natural ability of a mechanic, such tasks are restr
Jen Ryland
I'm not a big reader of sci-fi, so I went into this book with some trepidation, but I really enjoyed it. It's a beautifully written coming-of-age story set first in space, then on an floating island of flotsam in the Pacific, then in a futuristic Mumbai.

The first ten chapters or so take place aboard the Parastrata, a space merchant ship that houses an oppressive, patriarchal little community, complete with arranged polygamous marriage.

I wasn't really sure I was up for reading 500 pages of that,
Oct 30, 2013 marked it as to-read
I am about midway through this book and have set it aside for now. I don't know exactly what I was expecting but it wasn't what I got.

This book did not read science fiction to me barely at all. Felt more like a character and society study. There is nothing wrong with that but it just isn't my favorite type of book. I felt a lack of tension and story arc and it felt just like following the main character, Ava, along on her growth as a person. She is raised in a very stifling community that treats
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
SALVAGE is my new favorite book of the year.

Breathtakingly, achingly beautiful, this is literary science fiction at its best. I said it on twitter, but I'll say it again here: if you are a fan of FIREFLY or THE HANDMAID'S TALE, you should probably drop everything and read this book right now.

As other reviewers have noted, Duncan is a master world-builder. From the close, rigid, puritan culture of the spaceship on which Ava is born; to the rag-tag jumble of community adrift on the Gyre; to the g
J.R. Johansson
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
SALVAGE was refreshing in a totally unexpected way. I felt like I was reading something totally new and I don't get to experience that very often. The characters were awesome and I loved Ava's character ARC. She learns and grows and goes through SO much! It was like reading Space Opera meets Little House on the Prarie at moments and Waterworld at others. It was a wild ride and I loved every minute of it! ...more
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alyssa by:
Shelves: 2014-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
Publisher: Greenwillow
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Official Summary:

Salvage is a thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel that will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. This is literary science fiction with a feminist twist, and it explores themes of choice, agency, rebellion, and family. Ava, a teenage

Salvage is the first book by Alexandra Duncan. It is a Young Adult Science Fiction novel with a pro-female message. I read it in the last few days and wanted to get my thoughts here before they are gone. This novel wasn’t perfect, but it had something that kept me reading until the end. So, that is definitely saying something.

I did not, however, love this book. I wanted to, but I didn’t. Which, now that I think about it, is sort of a shame.

Ava is a 17-year-old young woman on the space ship Paras
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via The Obsessive Bookseller at

I will admit I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy this book. It started off with an interesting concept, but I found it kind of difficult to follow and the language a bit convoluted. Because it was so unlike anything I’d ever read before, I decided to stick with it… And I’m so glad I did. This is definitely not your typical teen read – it followed a story line that almost seemed backwards (which was part of its brilliance), had an odd love-inter
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Okay, so I know I was going to try to make it at least 25 pages in my egalleys, but the writing style annoyed me so much that I made it just over two by the egalley's page numbers, but it had 298 pages, so maybe I made it like five pages.

First, the heroine gets up and gets dressed, making sure she's properly covered. Then she mentally praises herself for her preparations and thinks it will be a good day.

"Everything balanced, everything raveled right"

I admit that I had never actually heard the t
OK, made myself finish this one.

It did improve later, or at least got more interesting when the protagonist found herself in a brand new setting with new people/friends. But overall it wasn't a book for me. I think many YA readers will like it better than I did, esp. if they like stories about young ladies fighting adversity and dealing with stuff.

For me (adult reader), it was maybe a 2.25 star affair. I can see it being 3.5+ for many YA readers, esp if they don't mind the occasionally unusual w
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Alexandra Duncan is a writer and librarian. Her young adult science fiction novels Salvage, and Sound, , and Blight are available through Greenwillow Books. Her short fiction has appeared in several Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy anthologies and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. She lives with her husband and four cats in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
You can visit he

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Salvage (2 books)
  • Sound (Salvage #2)

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