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Ship Breaker: Review

Title: Ship Breaker
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Release Date: May 2010
Published By: Little, Brown
Pages: 326
Goodreads Rating: 3.79 stars

Review: In a future shanty town on the Gulf Coast, Nailer works light crew, stripping copper wire from grounded oil tankers in harsh poverty. But when he finds a beached clipper ship with a lone survivor - a beautiful girl - he has a decision to make. At great risk to himself, he rescues Nita from the ship in the hopes that it'll lead to a better life, and everything changes.

One of SHIP BREAKER's best aspects is immediately obvious: the originality. Many dystopian novels deal with very similar settings, but this book breaks the mold and goes for a frighteningly realistic approach. Apart from a few minor details, I could easily see this book taking place in, say, a third world country, so the idea that conditions like these could occur on the Gulf Coast in the future is certainly a possibility.

Just like many dystopian novels, there were both elements of action and emotion interwoven skillfully through the story. The plot bounced back and forth from heart-pounding moments to emotion so tender I may have teared up in a few places, and it worked wonderfully. It's difficult to pull off a good balance, but the author was clearly able to do so here.

My only complaint about this book is that it just wasn't extremely hooking. It didn't always maintain my attention consistently throughout, and there were times when I found my mind drifting in the middle. I wish it kept me at around the same level of engrossment throughout, but unfortunately this just wasn't really the case.

Overall, SHIP BREAKER is a unique dystopian novel perfect for both those who are fans of the genre and those who find it a little too generic. There's both fast-paced action and introspective emotion, even if there are places where my attention faltered. This is an original, solid book that is well-deserving of all its awards.  

I got a free copy of this book from the publisher for review. This in no way affected my review.


Annette said...

I loved the settings. They are familiar enough to be easy to visualize. I thought this was pretty gripping throughout. Didn't have any trouble keeping my attention. Very creative and unique, like you said. Great review!

We Heart YA said...

Ooo, good to know. And Kristan grew up on the Gulf Coast, so she might be particularly interested.

Melody said...

I'm definitely putting this on my TBR list! :)

Jessi said...

I'm happy to hear you liked this one since I got it for Christmas! I've definitely been in the mood for something unique that will really catch my attention so I may have to read this one soon! :)

Jaskirat@SeeitORreadit said...

Sounds cool! Glad to hear you enjoyed it :)

Happy Holidays!

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