Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Genre: dystopian, science fiction
Series and Book #: none
Pages: 323

In America’s Gulf Coast region, grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts by crews of young people. Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota—and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or by chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life….

I didn't really like this one. It was...slow. And though there was some adventure and action, there wasn't as much as I thought there would be. It was somewhat of a disappointment. I liked the setting and Nailer's world. It was gritty and terrifying and dangerous. But that was it. There wasn't a heightened sense of "Oh my gosh, no WAY!" or "That's scary." It had its moments, but they were quickly done with and slowed until the next quick pulse of adventure.
Nailer was a good kid. I liked him. But my favorite character was Richard Lopez. He was the character I felt was best described. He was scary, ruthless, and on the edge of crazy. When he appeared, he sent shivers down my spine, and the way he handled others was a testament to the brutality Paolo described. He never ceased to be murderous. It was always there, like a threat hanging over the novel. Will Richard Lopez find and kill Nailer? Will he be merciful? He was a wild card that added suspense to the novel.
Overall, I'd say this was an okay book. It had its ups but it also had its downs. The action scenes, or the especially suspenseful moments, kept me on the edge of my seat and frantically reading the section, waiting for disaster to strike. I would describe this novel as a city killer*: looming and growing larger until the heavens opened up and I was suddenly hit from all sides. It had its moments but they were brief, exciting, and left me breathless.
The Cover: It's dark, decrepit, and resembles the ships Nailer must take apart. I like it.
*Taken from Ship Breaker. Meaning: a storm so deadly it could wipe out an entire city.

No comments:

Post a Comment