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(The Hidden #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  744 ratings  ·  159 reviews
'Petrel leaned on the rail, watching the ice cave and stamping her feet for warmth. The berg came closer. That's when she saw him. Laid out on the ice like a dead fish, with a scattering of snow covering his face. A boy, where there should have been nothing but the memory of winter. A frozen boy.'

Twelve-year-old Petrel is an outcast, the lowest of the low on the Oyster, an
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Feiwel & Friends (first published November 1st 2013)
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J Russell Hi, I run a primary school library in Melbourne & have children in secondary. If I had a choice I would rather use the US cover - it is a 'pick me…moreHi, I run a primary school library in Melbourne & have children in secondary. If I had a choice I would rather use the US cover - it is a 'pick me up! cover' for the intended audience. It must be a hard job being an illustrator as they have to create something that the audience will like while being innovative at the same time.... that said a cover the students do not like means they will not pick up the book without someone taking the time to introduce it to them. I have read Icebreaker aloud to one of my boys and he loved it, and I'm recommending it to my able readers at school - but if I had the US cover I suspect I'd probably only need to put it on the new book shelf and the students would be coming back to me and asking me for the next one. (I am assuming this cover is produced with the same high production values as the old cover.)(less)
Lian Tanner Ooh, interesting comparison. Yes and no - I haven't seen Snowpiercer but I had a quick look at the blurb. There seem to be definite similarities.
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  744 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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I hugged the book before I read it, and you can be sure I hugged it afterward. Why? Because Lian Tanner has written one of my favorite Juvenile Fiction Series (The Keeper Trilogy) and she did not let me down in Icebreaker.

Tanner creates rather than contrives her characters and their conflicts. It takes reading the novel to realize what I mean by that difference between the creating and the contrivance. The characters experience real, important change, within the boundaries of their personality.
Confession time: I thought Lian Tanner was a man. This is entirely due to my own misreading of her first name as "Liam," and while I suppose a person of any gender can have any name, I didn't do my librarian due diligence and fact-check anything.

Anyway! Lian Tanner is an Australian writer who wrote the Museum of Thieves books (which are still on my TBR--sorry!). My supervisor speaks very highly of them, so I was pretty confident in requesting Icebreaker that I would get a good, solid story. And
Jack P
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ice breaker was a very interesting book. I liked it but it wasn't the greatest. The begining of the story was very confusing to me. You don't really know whats going on. As the book gets on its actually pretty good. The book is a sort of survival book. Theres factions and each faction doesn't like each other. The main character isn't in any of these factions so she's a free roamer. In all I would reccomend this book to people who like survival books sort of like the hunger games because the ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was really amazing. It focused on loyalty and friendship. I recommend this book to people who enjoy a mystery and adventure.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book sucked for me I thought that some of the main characters mistakes could have easily been avoided such as when Petral cut the boy and then the boy became sick they spend about 1 chapter because of this and in the beginning the book is to bland and the whole boat crashes 200 years ago and then they do not explain how I mean come on so this book just sucked also the whole talking to rats like Cinderella and the mice carrying the boy mice are to weak the book was lame and nobody should ...more
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a copy of this title from Allen & Unwin for review.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Petrel is the Nothing Girl - shunned by her shipmates because of the actions of her parents when she was a baby. When Petrel spots a boy on the ice and convinces the chief engineer to have him brought aboard, events are set in motion that could change Petrel's life forever - as well as endanger everyone on the ship.

There aren't a great deal of middle grade adventure series set on an Icebreaker ship in a
Ches W
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: third-nine-weeks
Ice Breaker is set in a boat which has been set on the same route around the South Pole for the past 200 years. But after two centuries the people of the boat have sperated into three hostile tribes. But Petrel is not part of any tribe and not very well liked by any of them. Then one day a stranger shows up on a iceberg with unkown intentions . Read this amazing book to see what happens next. This book made me feel very excited. I recommend it to anyone who likes action or thriller or a good ...more
Maranda  @ Melange of Reviews
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, 3-5-stars
3.5/5 stars
You can find all my reviews here
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I stumbled across this and the cover made me want to know about it, similarly, the synopsis only made me more excited. Petrel is a casteless girl on a ship comprised of three warring tribes. She doesn’t fit in with anybody there but knows the ship better than everyone else from all the time she's spent hiding in the shadows. A young nameless boy gets picked up by
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The intriguing setting was what made me pull this book from the library shelf. After all, one doesn't often come across a book about a 300 year old ship sailing the Arctic Ocean as a common back drop for a Juvenile fiction book, right?
I took home to read, and found it not at all disappointing. The characters were very well thought out, deep, and relatable.
The plot was incredible and kept me interested to the very end. (Even beyond the end...I need the next boooooooooook!!!!)
The setting, as I
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: upper-primary
In the future, fear and paranoia over artificial intelligence has allowed anti-machine zealots to take over the world. The only place technology is safe is in the deep south, on an ice breaker drifting around Antarctica.

It is a difficult thing to create a unique dystopian storyline and to limit the scope of the story for the a young audience, and to allow for character development. Tasmanian author Lian Tanner has done a great job. Petrel is a resilient and intelligent heroine, with a depth of
The Ice Breaker's crew are divided into three warring tribes and one "nobody". Then they rescue a boy from an iceberg and the real adventure begins. Has a steampunk feel - Ice Breaker is a ship run by engines. The people on the ship pursuing them consider machines to be evil. For ages 9+
Zoe Wynns
So boring I couldn't even finish.
Monica Edinger
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really fun SF, dystopic (but NOT of the Hunger Games sort), solidly middle grade, and a great adventure. Looking forward to the next one.
Well to be honest I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. I originally picked it up because I thought it was going to be about the Titanic because, well, there's a ship that looks an awful lot like the Titanic on the cover along with an iceberg that it's about to hit. Sadly, this was not a book about the Titanic at all, but some weird futuristic, but also sometimes seems old-fashioned, society that lives on a boat. There's three clans, the cooks, the officers, and the engineers, and I ...more
Finn L.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The book Icebreaker by Lian Tanner takes place on an old icebreaker ship that has sailed the same route in the South Pole for 300 years. It starts in the eye of Petrel, a twelve year-old outcast who has no place among the three warring tribes who live on the ship. Life is a constant uphill battle for Petrel, from starving to the ship's crew to the cold itself. But one day they find a boy on an iceberg, a living boy who can’t remember
Jack T
12-year-old Petrel lives on a segregated ship named the “Oyster”. This ship has been sailing for over 300 years and has no end goal bu to support all of the people living on it. The ship is divided up among 3 levels: the officers, the cooks, and the engineers. Petrel’s parents once lived on the ship with her, but they became known as traitors for lying to the officers. Her uncle is the chief engineer, but she is seen as an outcast. Many folks on the “Oyster” believe her to be a “nothing girl”, ...more
J Goldson
What the book is about: Ice Breaker is about a girl named Petrel who lives on a ship and is shunned by the crew. One day she sees a boy on an iceberg and anonymously notifies the crew. He is taken aboard and a series of mysterious events taken place as the boy tries to find the rumored captain.
What I thought of the book: I didn't get why Petrel was treated so poorly until we learn about her parents. I liked how we see the story from the boy's point of view and Petrel's; I don't think I would've
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Icebreaker is a compelling story of what might happen if the world really does go haywire and machines are destroyed in the name of saving souls. The inner story is about a 12 year old girl who grows up from 2 years old on with the help of two rats (AI) on in a big ship of unfriendly people. She saves a boy from dying and then he helps her save all the people who were quite unfriendly!
The "Icebreaker" is the ship which travels for 300 years around Antartica.....but also refers to the story
This book was so amazing. I wasn't expecting much after I picked it up on a whim, after not knowing what to read. (more like not being able to choose). But it was really good, the plot had great potential and I'm glad the author didn't ruin it. Characters were great. The ones meant to be loved were loved, the ones meant to be hated were hated. I can't wait to read the next one. The only real problem I had was with one special characters dialogue. I know he was supposed to be proper and such but ...more
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had a student recommend this book and I am so glad I picked it up. The plot is unique and weaves together some interesting themes and prejudices. Machines are deemed as evil by certain groups so an inventor puts his mechanical creation on a boat and it is supposed to be safe until the rage against machines die. 300 years later the boat is falling apart and has evolved and there are different groups/classes. The narrators are a girl called the Nothing Girl because she is not welcome in any ...more
Kathy Wawer
I really enjoyed the first two books of this series and am looking forward to the third. No other series I've read this year has been as compelling to me.
The Oyster, an ancient ice breaker, has been plying the same waters for 300 years and in that time, 3 factions have emerged. A boy is found frozen on an iceberg and Petrel, an ostracized orphan, nurses him back to health. There are secrets within secrets, including a secret that could shake the whole world; and two talking rats who have
Diane Lynne
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-school
This is an interesting dystopia set in a time when a fanatical bunch of ignorant (and power hungry) people called the Anti-Machinists have convinced the world that all of their troubles are caused by machines. So, their goal is to send civilization back to the dark ages. (Man, but I hate fanatics of all types, ancient AND modern! lol). But the characters are well developed and the world building is excellent. I blew through this first book and am now working on the second one. Highly recommend ...more
Saleena Davidson
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Icebreaker is set in a future dystopia where all technology is feared. Petrel is living on a ship that has been sailing around for more than 300 years, keeping a technological secret at its heart for all that time. Now, things are happening and worlds are colliding and readers are left wondering who will survive.
All in all, this is a decent read with well-rounded characters and an interesting premise.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another exciting start to a triology by Lian Tanner, the Australian author of the Keepers trilogy (Museum of Thieves) for the young reader & the young at heart. Plenty of action, sympathetic characters & well researched background. I've been looking forward to trying this out (it's not easy to find in the bookstores though you can find online) & was not disappointed. An excellent read to share with your young reader with enough to keep the more mature reader engaged. I like her ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: t
Actual rating: 3.5 stars. This would have scored a 4 star rating if I'd been given a little more world-building, but it did turn out to be quite the exciting story. I really love the idea of, after hundreds of years, a ship's crew having broken into different tribal groups. You just need to ignore any questions concerning population sustainability and you'll be fine. : P I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book the main character Petrel is hated by everyone on the boat she is living on because her parents did something bad. Petrel's only friends are rats that can talk until the boat drives by an iceberg with a boy on it. The people rescue the boy and put him in a jail cell. Petrel wants to save the boy so she can have a friend and get some answers from him. They try to get him back to his home but must go through many obstacles.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
An okay read, but not a favorite. Finished in three sittings.

What I like? It does have interesting characters and a unique setting. Also, I'm in love with the book cover... that's 99% of the reason why I wanted to read the story.

What I didn't like? The adventure just didn't reel me in, sorry to say. There's lot of action and interesting things happening though -- so you might like it!

Not going to continue reading this series.
Carolyn Carpenter
The Oyster has been traveling the seas nonstop for 300 years. The crew has changed generation after generation. The crew has also split into three warring tribes: the Officers, the Cooks, and the Engineers.

Petrel, known as Nothing Girl on the ship, belongs in no tribe. She slinks around the ship, stealing food and clothing to keep herself alive. Petrel's only friends are two rats, Mister Smoke and Missus Slink.

When a frozen boy is found, Petrel thinks she has found a friend. When something
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this was a great first book in the hidden trilogy.
I loved the mystery and most of the characters, loved the idea of 2 talking rats as friends for the orphan girl :) can't wait to finish the second book !!!

Also the story is set in a very original setting , makes it a bit more mysterious in my opinion and I want to know more about this world !!!!
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Lian Tanner has been dynamited while scuba diving and arrested while busking. She once spent a week in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, hunting for a Japanese soldier left over from the Second World War. She likes secrets, old bones, and animals that are not what they seem. Nowadays she lives by the beach in southern Tasmania with a furry tomcat called Harry-le-beau.

Lian's bestselling fantasy

Other books in the series

The Hidden (3 books)
  • Sunker's Deep (The Hidden, #2)
  • Battlesong (The Hidden, #3)