Jamie Fahlgren's Reviews > Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
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Mar 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-fiction

This one almost made it into the "couldn't put it down" category. Set in a dystopian future where most of the world's oil has been used up and the ice caps have melted, Ship Breaker takes place on the shores of the Gulf Coast where crews of people break down old oil burning ships to be recycled into other things. The work is dangerous and the people doing it are desperately poor. Nailer dreams of a better life on the clipper ships that sail the sea. After a storm, one of these white ships is driven ashore and inside he finds a beautiful, wealthy girl.

Interestingly, the most focused on dystopian aspect of this particular future, the incredible gap between the wealthy and the poor, is already present in our own world today.

The plot was rather action oriented with writing to match. Some of the characters felt rounded out, but a lot of them didn't. In the later parts of the book, there are scenes were it doesn't really feel like the characters themselves are having conversation, but the ideals that the characters represent are having conversations.

It was nice to read something YA that wasn't so oriented on the budding relationship between main boy character and the main girl character. And actually, I hope this doesn't become a feature of later books in the series.

I am happy to note it looks like a second book is in the works. I will definitely be reading it.
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