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Tool of War (Ship Breaker, #3)
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Tool of War

(Ship Breaker #3)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,801 ratings  ·  229 reviews
This third book in a major series by a bestselling science fiction author, Printz Award winner, and National Book Award finalist is the gripping story of the most provocative character from his acclaimed novels Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities.

Tool, a half-man/half-beast designed for combat, is capable of so much more than his creators had ever dreamed. He has gone rogu
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Laura Roslin You could read Tool by itself, but WHY would you want to miss the wonderful books 1 and 2 of the Ship Breaker Series?

Also if you get a chance, do read…more
You could read Tool by itself, but WHY would you want to miss the wonderful books 1 and 2 of the Ship Breaker Series?

Also if you get a chance, do read The Windup Girl if you haven't already, it's the book that made me want to read everything Paolo Bacigalupi writes. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  1,801 ratings  ·  229 reviews

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Emily May
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
It gave him a certain dark satisfaction to see humans floundering so. It was ever the way of them. Diving always into danger without thought, always optimistic that they might win out. And so they died.

This is such a great series. Bacigalupi's stories of a future ravaged by climate change and corporate greed have stood strong through the dystopian craze of a few years back, and they continue to drag me in and convince me so completely that this future world is plausible.

Tool of War should be
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, 3, starred-2017, ya, sci-fi
Impressively brutal.

This installment of the series is kind of like a futuristic version of Jason Bourne. Essentially, it's about Tool on the run from his creators. Only Jason Bourne in this iteration is a half-human augment and the story is set in a not-so-far-off future ravaged by climate change and corporate interests.

The story itself is rather uncomplicated, but elevated by Bacigalupi's remarkable world building (I would say, out of all dystopias I've read, his version of the future is the mo
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books, read-2018
5 stars 

Tool of War book 3 in the Ship Breaker series. What a great fun read. This book and series are YA gems by Paolo Bacigalupi.

Tool, the augment and scary killer from the first book is the main character in this one. The the plot, the scope and even the storyline are a real blast.

Like other Paolo Bacigalupi novels, Drowned Cities is a fast and incredibly enjoyable story that both adults and young adults will enjoy. I could read his novels every day. There is something raw and real about his
Well, what can I say? Bacigalupi has done it again. Out of the three books in this series, Tool of War is the most intense, bleak and heart-pounding installment. I feared for the characters, despaired over the piling character deaths and rejoiced in moments of triumph. Tool is one of the most interesting characters I have ever encountered in science fiction, and I loved all the psychological dilemmas he went through and how he managed to overcome them through meaningful realizations. I just love ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ya
This book was so good. Bacigalupi brings you right back into his world without missing a beat. The strength of his stories, to me, is their realism. They are not only emotionally true (and brutal in their truth), but they are also frighteningly and viscerally real. This dystopia is less stark fantasy than bleak possibility. You feel like it really could happen. But of course that’s in large part due to the fact that so many of his horrors are grounded in reality. There are child shipbreakers, ch ...more
The Captain
Oct 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandon-ship
Ahoy there mateys! This be the third book in the ship breaker series.  I loved books one and two.  However I cannot get into this one even though it stars one of me beloved characters.  I have no idea why.  I tried this one at least four times in both hardback and audiobook format.  None of them would stick.  I do think this is a case of me and not the author.  Cause I love his work and even featured him in me Broadside No. 17.  So this is just chalked up to being a miss.  I will not be attempti ...more
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

I've been waiting for a follow-on to Bacigalupi's earlier YA novels "Ship Breaker" and "The Drowned Cities," and it's finally here. I devoured it in two days and wish there was more, but at least the stage is now set for a fourth installment, so I'll be patient.

The principle characters of the earlier novels, children and teenagers of a near-future world profoundly changed by pollution and climate change, ruled by warlords and corporations who rose with the fall of nation
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, fantasy
I am so glad I returned to wrap up this Ship Breaker trilogy. I read the second volume, the Drowned Cities, over five years ago. There are plenty of reviews available on these books, so I will just give my quick two cents worth: If you like smart, beefy and rousing Sci-Fi, with terrific characters, give this one a try.

It also worked great on audio.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
The much anticipated sequel to Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities delivers a metric ton of action, but not as much heart as the first two episodes in this YA cli-fi franchise. As in The Water Knife, Paolo seems to be skewing more toward the cinematic in his writing, and this one would be equally adaptable to the big screen, but only by sacrificing character at the bloody altar of plot. In the first two installments, the young heroes at the center of the action kept things grounded in human expe ...more
P. Kirby
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, dystopian
This was a straight up revenge fantasy.

Not that I'm complaining. I adore Tool and want to be part of his pack. Especially since he'd be mighty useful when my dog and I encounter assholes with off-leash dogs, who think the leash law doesn't apply to their special puppy, because, "It's okay, he's friendly," just as Mr. Friendly starts shit with my dog.

Seriously, there are days when me and my pup would love to have a big buddy/bodyguard when out doing our daily walk. Because the assholes is strong
I'm going to need a day or two to digest this one. I've long been a fan of this series, and of Tool, and while this felt like it closed Tool's loop in a satisfying way, I'm vaguely dissatisfied with it at the same time. I think it's because it poses some HUGE moral and ethical questions that it doesn't deal with as deeply as I would have liked.

BIG disclaimer, though. This book is *ultra* violent, and I do mean ultra. Since I've also read adult books by this author, that didn't surprise me, but
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-con-2017
I definitely feel like I would've been able to enjoy this more if I had read the first two books in the series. Without that initial building block I had no idea who most of the characters were and I had to build my relationship with them from scratch.

Without that basis to work on, for me it just felt like there was too much emphasis on people's thoughts and feelings and not enough on plot progression. There was a great deal of time spent on Tool's monologues and for me it didn't create enough
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Okay, I give. At least until I can read the first two books. It's hard to jump in when you don't understand the world, and what makes the characters tick. What brought him to this point? I haven't a freaking clue. ...more
Skylar Phelps
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The writing is very good, but by the end of book three I’m just glad that it’s over. I couldn’t get into the story that much.

3 Stars
This third(and I assume) final book in the Ship Wrecker series reunites some characters from books I and II. While it was satisfying to be reunited with some old friends, the pace of this book was slower than I and II. (view spoiler)

I also was less satisfied with Bacilgalupi’s world building. I had a hard time picturing the
Reading is my Escape
The drone circled high above the wreckage of war.
- first sentence

The third book set in the Drowned Cities universe brings us full circle by including characters from both previous books. It was great to see everything connected and to see Nailer back. I enjoyed the book, but Ship Breaker will always be my favorite from this universe. Tool is like the Terminator - he never gives up and almost can't be killed.
Dennis Hearon
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scif-fi
4.49 stars. A very satisfactory conclusion to the trilogy. Grabs you from the first page and maintains your interest for the rest of the book. Consistent world building of a dystopian future where the neglected and castoff members of the remnants of modern civilization struggle to survive. Tool, an augment, a discarded genetically designed super soldier, discovers his innate humanity and goes to war against its creators. This book and its predecessor, The Drowned Cities, also evokes the lives of ...more
O.S. Prime
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Ends (I hope) the Ship Breaker series and that's about the best I can say for it. Trivial story in what once was a fascinating (if depressing) possible future. Still, it wasn't a bad read, but nowhere near Bacigalupi's best efforts. ...more
Florin Pitea
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dynamic. Fast-paced. Action-packed. Immersive. Highly recommended.
Horse Cryptid
Sep 15, 2017 marked it as to-read
Lisa P
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic finish to the series. Mercier has its sight set on annihilating Tool by any means necessary. Who is pack, kin, friend or foe? From the Drowned Cities to Seaport and then some, Tool fights for survival. This story pulls in Tool’s memories and dreams as well as pieces from his past that tie things up.
Nicholas Karpuk
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's kind of weird to read a honest to goodness sequel to Bacigalupi book. While Shipbreaker and Drowned Cities shared a character, they didn't really interconnect in terms of events or other characters, and it took a while to work out which book actually came first.

Tool of War actually ends up being a sequel to both books in a way that felt reasonably satisfying in terms of returning to previous characters. It was genuinely pleasing to see how these characters had changed.

Otherwise, this book
Jim O'Donnell
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
All in all, this whole series and this final book are quite good. I would definitely recommend that people read them. The world building is fantastic and quite convincing. The characters are engaging and mostly well written. The ideas explored in the books are profound and immediately relatable to our times. Of all the dystopian climate fiction books this one somehow feels the most realistic. However, This third book was a bit disappointing. The pacing was off and the reintroduction of some of t ...more
Suzanne Rooyen
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
YES!!! This was almost all the things I wanted it to be, however, it was extremely predictable and that's why this gets 4 and not 5 stars. I was hoping for some twist in the last quarter but (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
{3.5 rounded up}
This is the final book of the series, bringing to culmination the various threads from the previous books in a satisfying way. On the one hand I can qualm about the final ending which though attempting to be presented as a difficult one, took some easy concessions to reach it with a rather clean and straightforward way. It started out with a slow and calculated pace, acting as a catalyst to a big reveal about the main protagonist's background. However it magically managed a giant
Lynn DiFerdinando
I read this one before reading the first two, but I think they're technically "companion" books rather than direct sequels, so I don't think I missed much at all. Some of the characters seemed to be from the other books, from what I know of them. In other news, I LOVED Mahlia, she was the best and her POV parts were the best written. I think I'll definitely search out the other two books and read them. ...more
Lovely Loveday
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
TOOL OF WAR is the third book in the Ship Breaker Book Series. I read this book without reading the first two books and was a little lost at first. It did not take long to get caught up but you should read the first two then this one since it cannot be read as a standalone novel. There is a little bit of a recap at the beginning which is enough to get you caught up but you would benefit more from actually reading them. The author creates a world that is so realistic and vivid. The setting is in ...more
John Clark
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read the other books in this series (and don't think that took much away from this one). No matter, this is one heck of a wild ride through a world that seems more likely than most want to admit. Dandy characters, wild action and a very satisfying conclusion that leaves a nice option for more in this world. ...more
Donna Rogers
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I certainly hope this isn't the final installment of the series. Tool has started a mini-rebellion and, as a reader, I'd love to see how far it spreads and how the humans in our future will handle a world-wide slave rebellion the likes of which humanity has never seen. One of the most unique dystopias I've read in a long time, AND one that could really happen if we don't accept the reality of a changing planet. Highly recommend for middle school and young adults. ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So happy to meet Tools and Mahlia again after the first book. I missed them so so much.
Less action but more insights for these wonderful caracters in this opus.
I cried a lot.
It was a blessing <3
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Paolo Bacigalupi is an award-winning author of novels for adults and young people.

His debut novel THE WINDUP GIRL was named by TIME Magazine as one of the ten best novels of 2009, and also won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards. Internationally, it has won the Seiun Award (Japan), The Ignotus Award (Spain), The Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis (Germany), and the Grand

Other books in the series

Ship Breaker (3 books)
  • Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1)
  • The Drowned Cities (Ship Breaker, #2)

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