Monday, August 29, 2011
Ship Breaker Review
Book talk: Finding oil is supposed to be your lucky strike--not your death warrant. But Nailer doesn't have much time to contemplate the irony of the situation as the thick black liquid closes slowly over him. Nailer has been working light crew for years, picking apart the old ship wrecks for anything they can sell to those who can still afford it. Your crew is supposed to be your family. Unfortunately for Nailer even family can betray your trust in these harsh times. Getting out alive after being left for dead can change a person, and soon Nailer will hold another's life in his hands. Will he leave a girl to die for the chance to buy his way out of the slums? Or will he risk his life to save hers? Hard times make for hard decisions and while Nailer's never had an easy life he's never been in this much danger either.
Rocks my socks: I love the world this novel is set in: the oceans have risen, oil has become scarce, and the rift between the rich and the poor has turned into a gaping chasm that has swallowed up the middle-class. I think the issues of what is family and the value of loyalty are explored in interesting ways. There are a lot of great characters in the novel as well with even supporting characters with multiple layers and complex motivations.
Rocks in my socks: Just as I was becoming interested in the sea-side shanty town that Nailer grew up in and the characters in it, Nailer ends up going on the lam. As soon as I became interested in a subject that was being explored an action sequence broke in and interrupted it. I felt like this novel was fast-paced to a fault.
Every book its reader: Fans of dystopias will enjoy the distressingly realistic future painted by Bacigalupi. There are some interesting concepts and themes explored that cause the reader to think and lead to good discussions. But those just looking for fast-paced action won't be disappointed either. The picture of the future that's painted is pretty grim and at times violent so I'd save it for 7th grade and up.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Buy it at your local independent book store or check it out from your local library