Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean, in this thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel that will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood.
Ava is the captain's daughter. This allows her limited freedoms and a certain status in the Parastrata's rigid society-but it doesn't mean she can read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. When Ava learns she is to be traded in marriage to another merchant ship, she hopes for the best. After all, she is the captain's daughter. Betrayal, banishment, and a brush with love and death are her destiny instead, and Ava stows away on a mail sloop bound for Earth in order to escape both her past and her future. The gravity almost kills her. Gradually recuperating in a stranger's floating cabin on the Gyre, a huge mass of scrap and garbage in the Pacific Ocean, Ava begins to learn the true meaning of family and home and trust-and she begins to nourish her own strength and soul. This sweeping and harrowing novel explores themes of choice, agency, rebellion, and family and, after a tidal wave destroys the Gyre and all those who live there, ultimately sends its main character on a thrilling journey to Mumbai, the beating heart of Alexandra Duncan's post-climate change Earth.
DNF at 27%
After the recent bad luck I’ve been having with all genres other than contemporary, Salvage is no exception. So after just a little over a fifth in, I decided that there is probably no point. And by the looks of my friend’s reviews, I am correct. Duncan is by no means a bad author. In fact, I quite enjoyed her writing–it’s very sophisticated yet easy to read through. Nonetheless, a series of major turn-offs in the first few chapters cemented my decision of DNFing this.
1. The names. This was like my warning bell. A little quibble that resulted in more and more as the story progressed. So in the sci-fi/dystopian world that Duncan has created, the characters’ names are something like: “Luck Be With Us On This Journey” and “Solidarity With The Stars”. Just because it’s a dystopian novel does not mean that people are going to have lines of a poem/song for their name. It miiight be possible but c’mon, that’s getting unbelievable and WTF-ery.
2. The jargon. Imagine painting a house but you’ve never seen one before. There is someone telling you to draw a roof, walls and windows etc but you have no idea what roofs and walls and windows are and how to draw those, either. You are lost and frustrated. And finally, they explain: draw a triangle and two small squares in the large square. In Salvage, there’s immediately jargon and weird terminology coming into play which felt suffocating. It took quite some time to work out what the characters were referring to and made it even harder to get “into” the book.
3. Stating the obvious. This has happened quite a few times when I was reading Salvage. The characters really loved stating obvious things or things that pretty much everyone on Earth already knows. Here’s just an example:
“Your hair looks darker when it’s wet,” Luck says.
No SHIT. Everyone’s hair looks darker when it’s wet.
4. Instant-love. So the book opens up with our main character, Ava, who is going to get married. She believes it will be to her friend’s brother, Luck–she’s only met Luck once, but has grown a crush on him. So one night before the marriage, she bumps into Luck and after just a few minutes…they have sex.
Like what. Why. I do not compute.
I do not recommend this book as I found it a waste of time–especially since it’s a whooping 520 pages (and certainly does not need that many.) But of course, if you don’t mind instant-love (and a love triangle further along the track, apparently), jargon and odd terms, not to mention pretty unlikable characters, go for it.
~Thank you Greenwillow Books for sending me this copy!~
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