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“A book for more mature YA readers. Very dark at times, but the future dystopian world is fully realized and you feel like you really know the characters, good and bad.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Good, quick read. I really enjoyed Nailer and the struggles he went through. ”Cait wrote this review yesterday. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bacigalupi presents a vividly imagined alternate future. Nailer, a teenage boy, works on light crew. His job is to run around in old sunken tanker ships and pull out the copper to be reused. Even though the job is dangerous and the workers sometimes turn on each other, Nailer does this day in and day out to earn a meager living for himself. Until one day when he discovers a fancy new ship recently crashed in a storm. No one else has discovered it yet, and he thinks maybe he can make it big before the big companies come in and claim it; that is until he finds a girl on board. Almost dead, and obviously rich, Nailer suddenly has a choice to make, and it will change his entire future.”NPMS Librarian wrote this review 9 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“http://thepagewalker.blogspot.com/2013/11/ship-breaker-by-paolo-bacigalupi.html”Louize wrote this review 13 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Not as good as I had hoped with all the hype. . .but still a good read.”Sherry M wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good book for high school students or adult who curious about adolescent transition as well as people's behaviors in the society where loyalty is scarcer than oil”Dat Tran wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is such a bleak book, but really hard to put down. The hierarchies among the scavengers, and the group survival dynamics are well depicted without going into a description of the social structures.”Lucy wrote this review Wednesday, November 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Brilliant, perfect amount of action and always something to keep you looking forward to the next page!”tomltorquoise wrote this review Wednesday, October 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Ship Breaker is a book that takes place in the future where resources are scarce. In this advnture novel, you find Nailer, a ship breaker, who finds a rich girl in a broken ship. She says she is worth money, so they go on a quest to find her dad, while Nailer avoids his dad! This book is a great book with some amazing moments and great characters. This is a very good book.”YoloMcSwaggins wrote this review Wednesday, October 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“As a warning to all parents wanting children to read “Ship Breaker” I would like to advise against it, unless you’re children are comfortable with swearing characters, gruesome descriptions and utterly harsh topics such as discrimination, exploitation, drugs, and manslaughter. This may be a little bit of an exaggeration, as the ideas are all introduced delicately and almost neglecting way and written in a concise and factual tone, which leads the audience to believe it’s not all as bad as it seems. However, the thoughts of the main character seem to emphasize fear in almost every chance it gets making it hard not to pay attention to every grim subject that is mentioned. This leads to a mood that is pessimistic and depressing but keeps a little bit of hope that makes the story feel fast-paced, exciting and constantly straining for the “Happily Ever After” ending.
“A gritty, high-stakes adventure set in a futuristic world where oil is scarce, but loyalty is scarcer”
Quote by Paolo Bacigalupi
Paolo’s book fell into the category of dystopian science fiction, which is well within his accustomed topics. He also authored another science fiction book named “The Windup Girl” and getting high praise for the written work. The science fiction aspect of the book isn’t that much of a plot driver and feels more like it’s used for foundations for the setting. All the icecaps have melted and the sea levels have raised submerging most of the land in the world and creating disastrous weather that ravages the seas. The people have flourished in terms of technology and economy however the gap between the rich and the poor has grown much larger than it was before and our main character lies in the lower end of the spectrum.
Being written in 3rd person perspective made no difference in the character development of the main protagonist, Nailer, and made the story feel like it was being written in 1st person, due to the amount of focus put on the main character. Nailer, a fifteen year-old, lived in a place where he had to find scrap metal and other resources on wrecked ships in order to survive and gain enough money to feed him. The poverty that Nailer had felt was clearly expressed through the description of Nailers physique, being small enough to fit into air vents and skinny enough to go through and collect raw materials with ease. The environment was harsh and cut-throat making the story very fast paced. It was also a topic that was expressed through dialogue quite often by using words like “Lucky Strike” to express finding something worth a lot and “Swank” to describe people who were rich.
Sadna and Pima were two major characters that were also in the same situation as Nailer. Sadna filled a very motherly role to both, Pima and Nailer, by taking care of them and making sure they didn’t get hurt on the job. The character Pima filled a very sisterly role, being the closest to the main character, but had almost turned against the main character when they had found a wrecked clipper ship (a very fast futuristic ship). This was a main turning point in the story and led to a lot of change in the main characters demeanor. They had found a girl named Nita, who was a “swank” and on the brink of dying. Nailer had the tough decision of killing her and taking all the materials on the ship, or choosing to save the girl, probably forfeiting all of the ships profit. Pima had supported killing her and taking her money because all of the other “swanks” wouldn’t hesitate to kill people like them (Pima and Nailer) for profit. This book, being somewhat clichéd went with the obvious choice of having Nailer save the girl.
This is where the book starts picking up pace and adding much more suspense because the author makes his figurative language a lot more direct and straightforward leaving no room to slow down. Nita has multiple groups of people going after her, all for very different reasons. One group is a large company trying to overthrow its father company by kidnapping the president’s daughter (Nita). One group is the president’s party that no longer has enough people to fight back. The last group is Nailers fathers’ crew, who would do anything for a chance at a “Lucky Strike.”
Richard Lopez is Nailers father and adds an idea of what blood ties truly means. The abusive father is a steroid addicted fighter who serves as the main antagonist of the book, making the topic of family something that means almost nothing to the main character. The imagery that the author had used to describe past experience with Richard Lopez was very vivid and short giving the feeling that it was something the main character had bad memories of. Nailer seems to always reflect on what he is doing in comparison to his father and always making sure he doesn’t turn out like his father. The authors description of this characters past made the character very well rounded, because Nailer had still remembered the good parts of his dad in the past. This led to a lot of character development for the main character throughout the story because of this, most of it revolving around dialogue and actions between characters that were very direct and eventful.
The author used dialogue quite often to show a lot of the culture and beliefs of the people who lived near the ship wrecks. Words such as the “Fates”, “Life Cult” and other references to a large amount of religions gave the feelings that these workers had went through a lot of deaths and that people were so poor that they would sell organs to the “Life Cult”. The author probably meant this as a metaphor for some of the topic in the book, like sacrifice and fate.
This also gave a very science fiction feel because there were half-human, half-dog people that were created to help aid companies in terms of security. There was one particular character named Tool, who was one of these hybrid characters and had acted as a mentor for Nailer most of the time. He had explained that the half dog part of these hybrids were meant to make them extremely loyal to their masters. However, Tool didn’t have a master and this had been brought up whenever a new character had appeared, being very surprising and stated as impossible because creatures like Tool were made to have a master. This helped give Nailer confidence that just because he was flesh and blood of Richard Lopez doesn’t make Nailer have to be an aggressive killer just like him. When writing about fight scenes the author seems to make all the movements deadlier and more gruesome than they actually were.
The author had used imagery quite often in causing suspense and dialogue to explain a lot of the background to the characters and story. Nailer’s main thoughts always seem to be based on the worst possible turn of events that could happen, which changed throughout the story which gave the story good character dynamics. Almost all of the characters were two sided, having even the main antagonist have a good side. Overall, I would recommend this to teenagers and young adults who are interested in an exciting, action-packed, romance, and heroic cycle story with an underlying sense of beliefs and science fiction.