Read El cementerio de barcos by Paolo Bacigalupi Manuel de los Reyes Online


Cable de cobre. Planchas de hierro. Chatarra. A veces aceite o incluso un bidón de petróleo, un recurso de otra época. Estos son los tesoros que el joven Nailer rescata de los barcos varados en la playa.En la costa de lo que una vez fue el golfo de México, la gente sobrevive desguazando antiguos petroleros y buques mercantes, y malvendiendo a las grandes empresas. Nailer yCable de cobre. Planchas de hierro. Chatarra. A veces aceite o incluso un bidón de petróleo, un recurso de otra época. Estos son los tesoros que el joven Nailer rescata de los barcos varados en la playa.En la costa de lo que una vez fue el golfo de México, la gente sobrevive desguazando antiguos petroleros y buques mercantes, y malvendiendo a las grandes empresas. Nailer y sus compañeros, la «cuadrilla ligera», afrontan el trabajo más arriesgado: meterse en las entrañas de los barcos. Es una profesión dura en un mundo duro, en el que nadie cuida de nadie y gana quien es más rápido. Solo hay una manera de escapar: con un golpe de suerte.Y la suerte sonríe a Nailer el día que descubre un hermoso velero, uno de los clíperes con los que siempre ha soñado, encallado en las rocas. Con lo que saque del naufragio, podría abandonar la playa. Aunque dentro también hay una chica prisionera: si la mata, será rico; si la ayuda a regresar con los suyos... empezará la aventura....

Title : El cementerio de barcos
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788401352546
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 348 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

El cementerio de barcos Reviews

  • Tatiana
    2019-03-16 22:13

    As seen on The ReadventurerSo, a reread after a dystopia-overstaffed year, and Ship Breaker still stands out. Actually, this novel has by far the best conceived vision of our future in terms of realism. Nothing much far-fetched or impossible here. This future is grim and rusty. The planet's natural resources are exhausted, the global warming is happening, Antarctica is gone, cities drowned. Nailer, the main character, makes his living stripping old ships off of their metals which will be then sold to big corporations to be recycled over and over again. His life takes a turn when he comes across a wrecked ship whose only survivor is a girl who is the heir to one of the biggest corporation in the world. Nailor has to decide what to do about this girl - to help her or take advantage of her strained circumstances... However, the reread highlighted the fact that, compared to Bacigalupi's adult works (pretty much all of which I devoured after reading Ship Breaker), this book is a tad juvenile, middle grade almost, and it touches only the surface of the issues the author explores so well and so thoughtfully in his adult fiction. Reading Ship Breaker for the second time, I just wanted more, because I knew how much more there was to this world Bacigalupi imagined. I am not trying to dismiss Ship Breaker's accomplishments. Judged on its own, this novel is one of the strongest in the genre of dystopian YA. But if you are first a fan of Bacigalupi's adult work, I am afraid this book might just not be enough. If you are new to Bacigalupi, go ahead, take a gentle dip into his dark imagination, Ship Breaker is a good primer. What he offers in his adult fiction is much uglier and more terrifying.

  • Maggie Stiefvater
    2019-02-22 21:04

    Ten Reasons to Read SHIP BREAKER. 1. The packaging is fantastic. I know this is shallow of me, but the rusty, oily cover effects on the hardcover? Completely won me over. And after reading the book? Loved it even more. The only way it could’ve matched the mood of the book any better was if there had been some gross water damage on the pages. Also, I thought I understood the title when I began, and then I thought it stopped being relevant, and then suddenly it was much more relevant than it was to start. 2. It has effortless world-building. How effortless? In 326 pages, I felt like I knew exactly how this incredibly different future America worked and what it looked like, and it felt horrifyingly plausible. That sort of world building should’ve taken twice as long. Somehow this book has done the literary equivalent of getting your husband to bring the groceries in from the car for you, and I’m not entirely sure how. But I like it. 3. Boys who act like boys who aren’t dicks. 4. Girls everywhere. Doing everything. Being a girl gets you no favors in this world, but that’s just the way it is. Equal opportunity crap. 5. A plot tighter than Richard Simmon’s abs. When our dear Paolo places a smoking gun in chapter one, you can be darn sure that he’s going to use that gun in a surprising and satisfying place later. And I’m not just talking one smoking gun. I’m talking five or six smoking plot points that “I went, huh, that is Interesting, I wonder if he’ll . . . “ at, and guess what. He did. 6. Invisible prose. With the exception of “blossoms of pain” which seemed everywhere in the last few chapters, the prose is fantastic in the way that Hunger Games’ is. It gets in and gets out and nobody even knew it was there. Just what this sort of story neded.7. This world is subtle and scary. It looks plausible -- and the attitudes are recognizable even from this side of the printed page. I’m going to go recycle everything in my house right now.8. Hope. I love reading dystopic fiction, but I hate hopelessness. This is a subtle, scary world where people are trying and there’s hope for the characters. My mom might read it. She’d give me squinty eyes afterward, but she might read it.9. Tool. Just read it and find out.10. Just a neat and satisfying package, all in one. Incredibly well written. Do yourself a favor and read it . . . slowly. This isn’t a book to be eaten in a night, though it could be done. ****yes, all my reviews on Goodreads are 5 stars -- I only put books on here that I highly recommend*****

  • karen
    2019-03-10 20:46

    this book is fine. it had a good amount of violence and intrigue, it had a well-developed sense of atmosphere, i liked the beginning 1/3 of it very much, but then... i don't know. i'm not sure whether my mediocre response is justified or if i had just read too many books right before this that i enjoyed a whole bunch more. this one just kind of beigely occurred. it just felt like something i would put on the tv while i fold the laundry - the book equivalent of NCIS or without a trace.i do think boys would like this. it has a male protagonist, there is a crush situation, but it's not all languid gazing and sparkling kisses, and there is bloodshed and growth and a pretty good father-son showdown. i think it is better written than a lot of fiction targeted towards boys, so i give it a thumbs-up in that department. there are a couple of squitchy moments where a little agenda may have slipped in in the form of global warming schooling, but it skirted by just this side of preachy. that and the very conscious inclusion of every racial group, ("yes, one of those and yes, one of those, and oh - let's have two of those...") was kind of off-putting just because i could sense there was a PC checklist somewhere, and it made me blarg a little. haha this review is going to get me a republican reputation!! dana - come tell me how to be a good republican!! i just felt like i was in some educational pamphlet at times, is all. it's like - today, i was reading a book of essays and stories and poems about queens. the borough. and there was this poem which i think is bad because it sounds like something the chamber of commerce would put on a mural or something to promote queens. here is a portion. this is part of a poem:Queens Museum and Colden Center are communitylandmarks to frequent with family and friends.Queens Theatre erupts with vitality and emerald treeswith concerts by Ugandan children and more to excite us.Hall of Science for budding scientists and curious. InQueensthere's so much to do, or relax and stare at a rainbowor invite black, white, red, yellow and brown for rainbow gatherings. Play a little music for your community of neighbors. A little Billy Joel, Lena, Cyndi Lauper withQueensties, or toss on a bit of Sinatra and Ella for friends to enjoy.They know thoughtful or buoyant talk aboundswith us.They leave admiring the breeze and the trees.sorry, that is just terrible. this woman has 6 published books of poetry.i don't know why i am talking about this here, except to note that her poems were so self-consciously diverse, it makes me want to hide. i hate overenthusiastic inclusion poetry. i mean - rainbow gatherings?? if those are anything like rainbow parties, count me right out.hmm - i feel like i have strayed from the matter at hand. alas. blame it on the theraflu, my friends...

  • Nancy
    2019-03-14 00:49

    Posted at Shelf InflictedI’m gonna heap a Whole Lotta Love on this story, just because it deserves it. It was fun, gripping, violent, tense, bleak and there was even a little sweetness at its core.Now that I’ve quit my job, I thought my nightmares about work would be over. As soon as I started reading this story, I had a dream I was salvaging copper wire from grounded ships. My boss reprimanded me because I was not making quota and also because I was rapidly gaining weight, which made it difficult to fit into small places. My fingers were like sausages, unable to retrieve the copper wire, and I was soooo hungry…I woke up, made myself some scrambled eggs and sausage, and continued reading.Thank the Fates it was not me who was performing this dangerous, back-breaking labor, but Nailer, an uneducated teenage boy. He works with a crew of kids his own age who face a similarly grim future. I liked the diversity of the cast, even though at times I felt color was added just to “cover all the bases.” One of my favorite aspects of this story is the setting. Violent storms have devastated the Gulf Coast region and rising seas have submerged entire cities. Unlucky ships often get caught in “the teeth” if they are not familiar with the area. I love how this story explores poverty and class differences, friendship, family and survival. It does not shy away from violence or death. “Getting over something like this takes time. It won’t be better today. Not tomorrow, either. Maybe in a year, though, it won’t be like this. Maybe in a year you’ll have mostly forgotten. But it will still be there. You’ve got blood on your hands.” She shrugged. It always costs. It never goes away.”Nailer learns the importance of family, even though his own father set a bad example.“The blood bond was nothing. It was the people that mattered. If they covered your back, and you covered theirs, then maybe that was worth calling family. Everything else was just so much smoke and lies.”I finished this story in two nights and now have the sequel in hand. Sure, there are a few flaws. I wish some of the secondary characters had been explored more deeply, particularly Nailer’s father. He’s rather one-note and I would have liked to see a glimpse of his humanity, before his addictions took over his life. This is an exciting, well-written, and highly imaginative story. What are you waiting for?

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-02-24 00:04

    In a dystopian future wracked with environmental disaster, a young salvager named Nailer's world is turned upside down when he stumbles upon the find of a lifetime, a magnificent clipper ship, and and its beautiful owner, a rich girl named Nita...Paolo Baciglupi crafted quite a tale in Ship Breaker. You've got familial conflict, ecological disaster, young love, dystopia, what's not to like?Not a lot, frankly. The world Bacigalupi has created is quite something. The cultures are very believable, especially in today's uncertain economic and ecological times. Nailer, Nita, and the others are three dimensional characters and Ship Breaker easily rises above just being another young adult novel.Did I mention I loved the cultures depicted within? The scavengers had a rough yet believable life and Nita's transformation from swank to pseudo-scavenger was very well-done. One thing that was foremost in my mind was Paolo Bacigalupi's skills as a writer. When Nailer was in danger of drowning in oil, I found myself getting more and more frantic, even though, rationally, I knew that since 300 pages were left, he'd probably survive.While a lot of people mention the budding romance between Nailer and Nita, by far my favorite part was the filial showdown between Nailer and his father. Yeah, I'm way past the point in my life where I feel like kicking my dad's ass but I remember those days.Actually, the plot is my least favorite part of the book. The world-building easily super-cedes it. The characters and the world take center stage. Yeah, it wouldn't have been as good if it had ended differently but what are you going to do.Four easy stars. Don't let the YA label sway you.

  • Maggie Boehme
    2019-02-17 17:49

    I read this in early summer looking forward to seeing it live up to all the awesome reviews I read. I was totally disappointed.To sum things up, I think it shouldn't have been published. Yet. He has a great world and a great story -- the whole idea of ship breakers is AMAZING and his world building is solid -- but three things really bugged me the whole time I was reading:1. His actual writing. (I thought) he needs editing, big time. His sentences didn't flow for me and he re-used the same words about a hundred times, until I was ready to personally mail him a dictionary. Like the word 'feral'. I've never known a writer to use the word 'feral' so many times.2. I think the MC was the wrong person. I felt like the main story was about this girl that he rescues. I would have preferred to be in her head, since she was the one with all the secrets and the excitement and the danger at her heels. The MC just felt -- to me -- like he was useless to the story.3. One of the villains (and a pretty main villain) didn't really have motivation for what he did. He just killed and killed and killed like a destructive machine. There was nothing to make us feel sorry for him or get into his phsychie. I like complex villains, and even better ones that are slightly slightly sympathetic. Or at least have a MOTIVATION for what they do. He had none. At least none I ever picked up on.That being said, you should go read it and tell me what you think. These things tend to bother me in whatever book I read. I'm kinda amazed Ship Breaker won an award. /endrant

  • Melki
    2019-02-24 20:54

    The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children. ~Dietrich BonhoefferIn the speculative future proposed by this book, children will be highly valued...because they are small enough to crawl into the pitch black recesses of abandoned ships and retrieve copper wire.Yay for children! Somewhere, Newt Gingrich will be beaming.Meet a generation of Lost Boys and Girls. They don't wanna grow up because getting bigger means they can no longer squeeze into those narrow passageways. No job. No food. Might as well sell your body for medical experiments, or in this case, organ harvesting. Creepy and fascinating stuff, and if the whole book had carried on in this vein, it would have been an instant 5-star read.BUT...Nailer, our hero, finds a clipper ship, wrecked in a recent storm. Boarding this veritable gold mine, he discovers "Princess" Nila, and THIS is where the story hits a wall, then limps off in the wrong direction. Nila is not technically "a princess", but she is a rich girl. And of course, she's BEAUTIFUL. Had Nailer not been smitten by her loveliness, perhaps he would have cut her fingers off, stolen her rings, and started his own, "kinder, gentler" ship breaking company. But, instead we descend into "Rescue the Princess" mode, and pfffftt... Sorry if my disappointment is showing. The first 90 pages held SUCH promise...

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-03-13 16:54

    So what happens to old ships when they die? And what will happen to the thousands of ships as the oil runs out and we return to sailing clippers, as the cities drown and the poor scramble for their small share of the diminishing resources? Ship Breaker is a YA dystopian novel about a time in the not too distant future when the coasts are significantly diminished, when the oil is gone, when category 6 hurricanes—city killers—have finally destroyed key coastal cities like New Orleans. The rich—the swanks--go inland; you don’t have to worry too much about them, they will take care of themselves. But what do the poor do?Ship Breaker features a number of economically disadvantaged—let’s call them the underclass—young people, almost all of them people of color, who break beached and abandoned ships down, strip them of whatever is marketable for a small profit, making a huge profit for whom they sell the scrap. It is a brutal life, violent, with people scrambling close to starvation. Our hero is (maybe) 15 year-old Nailer, whose abusive Dad is a drug addict; they live in a hut on the beach. He is protected somewhat by Pima and her Mom, Sadna. He belongs to a scavenge crew, just barely surviving, but tenacious, and resourceful. One day a city killer wipes out everything on the beach, as it sometimes does, and Pima and Nailer travel down the beach to find a broken clipper with one swank survivor, Nita, and unbelievable riches on the boat. They get there first, but soon they are not alone. Nita could be traded back to her swank family, she could be harvested for her organs; what is she worth to these folks she refers to as “savages?” A lot, potentially. Nailer has a chance to kill Nita, but doesn’t. Why not? Something to do with ethics in the face of disaster, and the nature of family. What will we cling to, what matters to us as we fearfully face each other? This is a good book, a winner of the Printz Book Award, a nominee for the National Book Award for YA, though I was a little surprised by that. It is not really special in some respects; it’s typically YA coming-of-age, but it does tackle aspects of issues few YA novels—or any literary fiction—address, issues of climate change, and the disproportionate impact this already has on the poorest people on the planet. “Spending money on the poor is like throwing money in a fire. They’ll consume it and never thank you.”This is a good, not great book, that I might rate 3/3.5 for the overall writing, but because it addresses global issues, and climate change, I bump it to 4 stars. It speaks of ethics and belief systems that support ethical actions. But it is better at world-building by far than story. That world will stay in my head for a while. It’s the first volume of a trilogy, setting up the second volume, Drowned Cities.Atlantic Monthly article on Ship Breaking: Geographic article on Ship Breaking in Bangladesh: YouTube video copy of a documentary on Ship Breakers.

  • Carol.
    2019-03-17 01:16

    Four and a half stars of young adult goodness.I’m slightly ambivalent about Bacigalupi’s writing, but Ship Breaker has strengthened my affection. His short stories are hard for me, as in hard-edged, hard-hitting, hard-healing. I liked The Wind-Up Girl, mostly, though I was troubled by the lack of feminism and the bleakness of the dystopia. Young adult might be the area where Bacigalupi and I best intersect; Ship Breaker is full of his evocative prose, great world-building, and is generally more hopeful, more identifiable, and more empowering.***********************************************8For full review, on a site that doesn't censor writers or demand that the review be 'on topic' according to nebulous terms of 'topical,' please go to:

  • Patrick
    2019-02-27 00:04

    I read this earlier this year and really, really dug it. Very tight and well-written. Gritty without being bleak, and sometimes dark without being depressing. Good stuff.

  • Stephen
    2019-03-17 19:51

    4.o to 4.5 stars. While his catalog is not yet extensive, I have yet to read a novel or short story by Paolo Bacigalupi with which I have not been impressed. He is a terrific writer and his first novel, The Windup Girl, is on my list of "All Time Favorite" novels. This is another great book with sharp, well written dialogue, a fast-paced story and an interesting main character. As a YA book it is a home run. The only reason is does not get the full 5 stars from me is that, as a YA novel, the detailed world-building that was so incredible in The Windup Girl is less prevalent in this story in order to keep the narrative moving and the page count manageable. I only hope that there is a sequel that will allow the author to expand and fill in some of interesting "hints" that were made about the state of the world. Highly Recommended!!!

  • Emily May
    2019-03-04 17:00

    A good read but not, I eventually realised, for me.The story is about a boy called Nailer who works hard gathering copper wiring from old oil tankers in order to make quota and keep his pitiful job. The setting? A bleak and miserable future 100 years from now. One day he finds something on board a wrecked clipper ship that is destined to change his life forever in ways he could never have imagined... sounds suitably ominous and intriguing. But, ah, there was a bit too much oil and ships and copper wiring for me.There were some great fast-paced action scenes, some real gritty nastiness and the author had a tendency to describe the gory details very accurately. I thought some parts were better written and more interesting than others but, on the whole, the story failed to grab me and, thereby, failed to hold my interest.One of my favourite parts of this book were the constant moral battles the characters faced of self-preservation vs doing the right thing. Getting rich or saving a life? Helping your colleague out of a sticky situation or using their misfortune to further your own career prospects? The tagline of the book is:Oil is scarce. But loyalty is scarcer.And that couldn't be a better summarisation of what the novel is about. I was thankful that, even though a lot of the story is built around trust (or lack of) and relationships, there was no birds-singing, cupids-flying, starry-eyed romance; it seems to be an almost unavoidable component in modern dystopian fiction and it made a nice, refreshing change.

  • j
    2019-03-10 18:06

    This book is a really good example of why I almost always find YA literature unsatisfying: I am, sadly, no longer a YA (though my A status might be called into question from time to time).See, I just finished this book called The Windup Girl, which is about a post-oil society in which man's unchecked manipulation of the environment - from drilling into the ground to extract oil to drilling into the very DNA (see what I did there?) of plants, animals and even people to create "better" (more profitable) food, more "productive" (profitable) sources of meat, more "perfect" (controllable) humans - has devastating results. It's an ambitious, harrowing, difficult book, with an expertly drawn cast of characters, none of whom you'd want to call a hero or even a friend, but you ache for them because you know exactly why they do, and are forced to do, the sometimes terrible things they do to survive in a world we might be making right now.Ship Breaker, which happens to be by the same very talented guy, Paolo Bacigalupi, takes all those big ideas and crams them into a wholly pedestrian YA template, sketches the interesting details, and concentrates too hard on a simplistic, predictable plot. Don't get me wrong: there are some cool details. The notion that in a society strapped for resources, the remains of the excessive waste of our era - including huge oil tankers - would be stripped for resources by bands of glorified slave laborers (many of them children, because they can slip their soft, supple bodies into tight ducts and tubes and such) is a pretty good one, and from what we see of it, not at all far-fetched, since its a condition that basically already exists in much of the third world, where children literally live in the dumps they scavenge for scrap they sell to survive. Then there are the other amusements, like hey, genetically bred creatures that are half-man, half-dog, which is obviously a commentary on, um, our modern day exploitation of... MacGruff? I had fun debating whether this one takes place in the same world as Windup Girl, and if so, if it's the same era.But an interesting world doesn't make an interesting book, and the plot really didn't do it for me, mostly because once it finally gets going, it's a lot of waiting around, then a lot of traveling, then a big action scene, and it all goes exactly how you think it will, right down to the rather lame and poorly justified romantic angle. The people who expect to be good are good, the ones you think are secretly eviiiil are evil, etc. I know it's for teenagers, but I am writing this review for other adults (if not, sorry about any swearing), and I was bored.Credit where it's due: Bacigalupi lets his main character do some nasty stuff, like contemplate muder and even kill a few people. In this respect, at least, he has more balls (um) than Suzanne Collins, who never quite lets Katniss be totally badass in Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset (you know what I mean: she's about to brutally kill someone when oh no! he slips and falls on a landmine!). I think she only murders for sport once in the series to date, and it's not a very cold-blooded killing at that. Not to rag on that series, because I like it a lot more than Ship Breaker, and Katniss would totally annihilate whoever the nondescript main character of Ship Breaker is (name?). Provided, you know, he wasn't first unexpectedly attacked by genetically modified bees.

  • Arlene
    2019-03-16 18:53

    Let me point out upfront that Ship Breaker is an award winner of the 2011 Michael L. Printz Award and a National Book Award Finalist. So, don’t let my three stars fool you. I’m not arguing the fact that this gritty, post apocalyptic, dystopic novel hasn’t earned its spot among the widely acclaimed books in its class. It just wasn’t a story that captivated or enthralled me the way The Hunger Games, Divergent, or even Blood Red Road did.First off, I didn’t know what to expect from this book going in other than its wide acclaim and highly decorated award shelf. The only element I was aware of was that it is told in a male’s POV, which for YA is a rare treat and one I like to experience every now and again.Ship Breaker portrays life in the distant future when petrol has pretty much run out and the oil ships off the coast are being scavenged by “ship breakers” for valuable scraps of copper, steel and other precious metals. It clearly takes place in the coastal regions of the US where “city killer” hurricanes ravage the area and subject the inhabitants to a constant state of minimal survival. Nailer, the protagonist, is a light crew ship scavenger who like everyone else dreams of one day finding a “lucky strike.” Well, as with all dreams, they are free therefore can be enjoyed in abundance. However, all that changes when Nailer is faced with a life changing decision as he stumbles upon his “lucky strike” in the form of a wealthy girl and her destroyed Clipper ship in desperate need of his help.This novel does a good job of setting the stage to portray the struggles of loyalty, integrity and ethics. It begs the questions of: How far will someone go to rise above their desperate means in search of something better? Is there hope to accomplish more than what you’ve been raised to be? How much of a motivator is wealth and riches when all you’ve had in life is a meager existence and constant struggle for survival? All harrowing and deep considerations that if you’re not in the right frame of mind, it will just drag you down at accelerated speeds. Overall though, the plot is compelling, the writing is solid and the cast has a good balance of good versus evil. So what was my hang up? I guess all I can say is that I just didn’t get lost in the story, nor did I feel I was chasing the ending with any sort of hunger or excitement. It was more like being navigated through bleak events as a complicit bystander with no real vested interest in any of the characters or outcome. That just goes to show you that mood, perspective and timing is everything in the reading experience. So that’s what I’m chalking this up to. :/ Will I check out the next installment of The Drowned Cities? Possibly… on audio, but I’m in no hurry to see what happens next. I guess I needed something a bit more uplifting at the moment. But Ship Breaker is a good story with a definite intended audience, it’s just not me.

  • Stephanie
    2019-02-22 20:55

    Please tell me this is the first in a series! I really liked this and I hope to read more about Nailer, Pima and Nita and the world they live in.I live along the Gulf Coast and this world captured my imagination. The story is set on the oil slicked Gulf Coast in a world where everything has fallen apart and the cities of today are now under water. Nailer and Pima work the "light crew", stripping valuable copper and aluminum from the hulking wrecks of old freighters and oil tankers. The crews that work this stretch of beach are divided into light crew and heavy crew and once you get too large for light crew, you have to fight for a spot on a heavy crew. Life on Bright Sands Beach is full of back-breaking labor, dangerous conditions, and near-starvation. If the job doesn't kill you, the polluted environment will.Things take a radical turn for Nailer and Pima after a "city-killer", a massive hurricane, sweeps through their beach, nearly killing Nailer's father, the evil Richard Lopez. Only due to the efforts of Pima's mother, does Lopez survive. In the aftermath of the storm, Nailer and Pima decide to scavenge through the debris far up the beach, to an area that is an island during high-tide but accessible by a strip of sand during low-tide. What they find there could change their lives. It's a clipper ship, beached and broken, and one lone survivor, a beautiful "swank" girl, with more riches on her fingers than Pima and Nailer could hope to earn in their entire lives. Could she be their ticket out of Bright Sands? Maybe, but they would have to keep alive and safe until her people come for her. And Bright Sands is full of predators, including Richard Lopez, who will stop at nothing to get his "lucky strike", even if it means killing his only child to get it.Love this book, can't wait to read more!

  • Clouds
    2019-02-22 17:16

    Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my LOCUS Y-A list.I think I’ll always have a soft-spot for imaginative young-adult speculative fiction and as the good people at Locus did such a grand job with picking their Sci-Fi winners, I’ll trust them to single out some special y-a books too.Was it good?It was amazing!That’s what a 5-star review means, right?It took my 5 days to read Ship Breaker, because real life kept getting the way. Left to myself, I would have easily blitzed through this puppy in a single sitting – not even stopping to eat.Cards on the table – I’m a Bacigalupi fan and The Windup Girl was an instant hit with me – so I was all primed and excited to enjoy this one. But hell, if you’ve never read The Windup Girl and you’re coming to Ship Breaker fresh, you’re in for a treat.It’s set in a near future, post-oil dystopia. The world as we know it has gone to wrack and ruin. There’s a boy, our hero, Nailer Lopez, who’s in his early teens but small and skinny for his age. He works for the Light Crew, scavenging copper wiring from the beached hulks of oil tankers. It’s a rough life on Bright Sands Beach, living in a shanty town with his abusive, alcoholic father. It’s not a setting that pulls any punches – this is poverty. There’s camaraderie amongst the crew, and Nailer has the tinies smidgeon of security with his friend and crew boss, Pima and her mother, Sadna. Everyone’s desperate for a ‘Lucky Strike’, that stroke of fortune that will turn their lives around – make them into something. Likewise, everyone’s desperate to hold onto what little they’ve got, because there’s always someone with less looking to take it from you. Like I said, it’s a hard life.After narrowly surviving a scavenging accident (Nailer gets dropped into an oil reserve, abandoned by an ambitious crew mate and impaled by rusty shrapnel), and surviving a hurricane which levels their shanty town (wiping out whole families) – Nailer’s luck seems to turn for the better. He and Pima discover a crashed clipper ship – the fabulously expensive, modern, beautiful wave skimmers that fly across the world’s oceans. It’s crashed, it’s fit for scavenging – this is it, their lucky strike!But there’s a survivor – sure they could kill her and take the loot – but Nailor’s conscience is getting pesky with the squeamishness. He insists on saving her life, and the Nailor’s Dad catches up to the crash and seizes it, and the survivor for his own. That’s (nearly) as far as I’m going to divulge with the premise – it all gets pretty gnarly as Nailor defies his Da’ and throws in his lot with the survivor, who’s in the midst of her own corporate war.This is gritty, likeable, fast paced and enthralling reading. It’s a compelling, convincing world, sketched out in broad brush strokes and tied together with fine, visual details.I’ve just read seven award winning scifi/fantasy YA books in quick succession; three Tiffany Aching novels, Pay the Piper, Leviathan, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland – and Ship Breaker. Guess which was my favourite? It’s the only one I gave five-stars to. It doesn’t dumb anything down or ‘nice’ things up. The fantastic elements aren’t cute or clever. This is about great human qualities – loyalty, trust, faith, determination, self belief, resourcefulness, and never-say-die attitude. The characters have depth and flaws – I cared about them.Also – I’m a sucker for some of them steampunk flavours.I keep promising myself – "no more series until you’ve finished the ones you’ve already got on your plate" – and then I meet one that’s just too good, and I have to put the sequel on my list.I couldn’t quite figure out if this is set in the same world as The Windup Girl – and if it is, if it’s the same era. There are definitely elements in common, but not enough to be sure. My instinct said same world, but earlier in the timeline. I’m hoping that will be clarified in future books.The plot itself is a little predictable in places (eg, no real doubt that it will all work out alright in the end) – which is in marked contrast to The Windup Girl – but I’m not sure the YA market is ready for quite that much bleak and gritty just yet!I loved Ship Breaker. You might not love it as much as me, but you’ll never know unless you give it a try. Highly recommended!After this I read: Pay the Piper

  • Michael
    2019-03-16 01:15

    In Michael Springer's review of Ship Breaker, he uses a narrative account of his experience working at Rally's Hamburgers as a parallel to the type of work the book's characters are engaged in, and follows this lengthy digression with a political rant that goes on in one seemingly endless sentence for several hundred words. The actual time invested in discussing characters or events from the book come in a brief paragraph at the end, almost as an afterthought to the rants that have come before. This is fairly typical for the reviewer's style, although it's a vast improvement over his review of the children's book, In the Night Kitchen: in that review, he entirely avoids the book itself, the author of the book, and any themes contained in the book. That said, what can we say about the quality of this review of Ship Breaker? If one were interested in deciding whether or not they'd enjoy the book, it's hard to imagine how the reviewer's multiple experiences wounding himself while cooking hamburgers will help us determine whether we ought to read it or not. Likewise, the reviewer's ravings about the madness of the political system in the United States, and his accusations that "all of us, every one of us on this website, all of my goodreader friends, are just pawns to the American Empire, forever blinded by the superficial bickering of political hacks while those with the money lurk behind the scenes, pushing an agenda that subjugates those in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and all of the middle east, those most of us would rather embrace than marginalize..." and he continues in that vein for quite a while. It seems that overstatement is the rule of the day, considering the reviewer chooses to portray his own mediocre job at a fast food restaurant (which he admits he only worked at for two months) with the slavery-like conditions experienced by the children in the book. At their jobs extracting copper from abandoned ships, they ran the risk of death on a daily basis, whereas Michael's worst experience involves a fairly mild burn on his finger. Similarly, he portrays the United States government as filled with conspiracies to systematically take all the money from all of those who aren't in the wealthiest 1%. In one of the few evaluative statements in the entire review, Michael states that, in comparison to Paolo Bacigalupi's previous novel, The Windup Girl, "This book gargles donkey cum." If anyone was inclined to take Michael's views on this book seriously before reading that statement, this crass overstatement most likely changed their minds.When attempting to actually review the book in his final paragraph, Michael proves himself inept: he relies on blanket statements, such as "The book was, overall, okay." Thank you for that amazing insight, Michael. He mentions the book is part of the science fiction movement known as "biopunk," but quickly moves on to other territory without defining this term, or explaining why this term matters in our understanding of the book. Perhaps, if the reviewer were to view this "review" as a rough draft, or a brainstorm for ideas, he might eventually develop something worth reading. However, the review seems to have happened as a stream-of-consciousness rant that only tangentially has any connection with the novel in question, and then attempts to flesh out a review at the last minute before fizzling out ambivalently. If one is inclined to read a review of Ship Breaker on the website, one would be much better off reading the reviews written by Eric or Kathleen. In comparison to these reviews that actually contain substance, Michael's review clearly gargles donkey cum.

  • Morgan F
    2019-03-03 21:53

    Ship Breaker takes places in a gritty, grim future, where the divide between the rich and the poor is deeper than ever. The poor grow up like Nailer, a youth who lives in a little shack on a beach off the Gulf Coast with his abusive, drugged-up father. Like everyone else on the beach, Nailer must work hard to survive, stripping washed-up oil rigs for the raw materials, but even hard work is not enough to guarantee survival in his dog-eat-dog world. Nailer can rely on hardly anyone, besides his crew boss Pima and her mother. His father doesn't care, and even his own crewmates, blood-sworn to have his back, will betray him if it means being rewarded by the Fates with their own "lucky strike". Nailer's beach has people from a hodgepodge of cultures and ethnic backgrounds. One thing I loved about this book was that the people came in all shades of colors, and none of the characterizations resorted to stereotypes. Unlike most books, white is not the default. Such a mix of characters also paved the way for an interesting culture, one that thrives on luck and "the Fates", with gods and deities from all religions, as well as some made-up ones like the Rust god. I just found this interesting because it emphasized the fact that everyone was poor, no matter their color or beliefs. Everyone had to struggle, with no one being that much better off than another.One theme that this novel explores pretty well is how some people lose their sense of humanity in the face of adversity. No one in this book is nice. They are all willing to kill if they have to, but with each person having a different way of determining when they "have to". Nailer has more humanity than most. When a city-killer storm ravages the beach, it leaves behind the wreck of a clipper ship, a vessel for rich people. Nailer and his best friend, Pima, are the first to discover the ship, and are determined to scavenge all they can from it. In one of the rooms they discover a beautiful "swank" girl, who appears to have been crushed by toppled furniture. Noticing the girl's gold jewelry, Nailer and Pima have no qualms about taking it from her, perhaps cutting off her fingers in the process in order to get her gold rings. Things become complicated when the girl turns out to be alive. Pima is all for cutting the girls throat and taking the loot. Pima is not a bad character. She is fiercely loyal to Nailer and the rest of her crew and family, but she has no sympathy for characters outside her circle of loyalty. Nailer is more conflicted, convincing Pima that the girl is worth more alive than dead, for people are certain to come looking for her. Through out the novel, Nailer is torn between being "smart" (aka doing what he can to survive and get ahead), or doing what is right. He constantly finds himself doing what he can to save the swank girl, Nita, and returning her to her family, although that is difficult because they are being pursued by enemies of Nita's father, who want to use Nita as leverage, as well as Nailer's own father, a killer who wants revenge. The world that Ship Breaker is set in is one of YA distopia's best, as it is well-concieved and imaginative, while remaining plausible. The plot was extremely fast-paced, violent, and action-packed, and the writing had moments of insightfulness. But one thing that was missing from the novel was empathy. I felt it lacked heart and an emotional punch. The characters felt more like roles than actual people. There was potential for some extremely heart-wrenching moments that was ignored, and the small romance between Nailer and Nita could have been fleshed-out more. I don't intend to be sexist, but I just believe this is because the author is male and this book is geared towards a male audience. Not that females can't enjoy it too, its just if they are hoping for some intense romance, they will be disappointed.One more small quirk I had with this book was how Nailer learned to read so fast. I just found that highly unbelievable, and it took me out of the story. But overall, it was quite a good novel. It wrapped-up nicely, leaving room for a sequel (I understand it's to be a trilogy), but no cliff-hanger. Nonetheless, I am eager for the next installment.

  • Catie
    2019-02-24 18:47

    This is a quick but fascinating read set in a compelling futuristic world where climate change has plunged most of the world's coastal cities into the ocean and the majority of humans live in extreme poverty (with a lucky few living the "swank" life). The main character, Nailer, is a starving, scarred, and hardened young man eking out a living as a ship breaker. Due to malnutrition, he's still small enough to fit inside the tight claustrophobic wreckages of oil tankers where he scavenges for copper wiring and other metals. When a massive hurricane (a now common event) sweeps through the small shanty town where he lives, a large wealthy clipper ship is wrecked. Nailer and his crew mate are the first to stumble upon it and are shocked to find one survivor aboard - a girl about their age. This book is a gripping adventure that kept my heart beating and my eyes riveted the whole way through. It is also a moving story about navigating life - trying to stay smart and survive but also not lose your humanity to the harsh practicalities. I loved this one and I eagerly await the next installment; although, I have to say that for the short length of this book and the fact that it is #1 in a series, there was a satisfying amount of closure at the end.

  • David
    2019-03-08 01:07

    Paolo Bacigalupi is destined to be one of the Grand Old Masters of science fiction in another couple of decades. His books are uniformly excellent and capture perfectly the aesthetic of modern SF. His pet theme is environmental and economic catastrophe creating an impoverished, post-oil world. Ship Breaker reads very much like a YA version of his Hugo and Nebula-winning The Windup Girl. Although it's never explicitly stated that Ship Breaker takes place in the same world, it is similar enough that it very well could.The main character, Nailer, is a ship breaker, a teenager who lives his life crawling around in old vessels trying to salvage anything that will earn a little coin. It's a dirty, dangerous job, yet he considers himself lucky to have it, because the alternative is worse. The dystopian element is not an oppressive government, but a nonexistent government, in a world of drowned cities.When a storm washes an expensive ship and a pretty girl ashore, Nailer and his friends have to decide whether to help the girl or strip her ship (and her) for parts. Obviously we know which way Nailer must choose for the story to go further. The rich girl turns out to have been fleeing from enemies of her wealthy and powerful family, and so Nailer is dragged along on an adventure that will take him far beyond any horizons he'd previously imagined.You can tell this is a YA novel by the fact that Bacigalupi tones down the violence a little (but there are still some pretty gruesome deaths), and sex is only implied. The story is kept fast-paced and adventurous, with Nailer going from one close call to another. I'd compare Ship Breaker favorably to one of Heinlein's juveniles; its science and worldbuilding is (of course) more contemporary, but the story is very much a boy's adventure, with a pretty girl (who has plenty of will of her own) as a motivating factor.Highly recommended: if you liked The Windup Girl, you should like this somewhat lighter story told in a similar vein, and it's better than a lot of adult SF.

  • Thomas
    2019-02-17 17:57

    More like 3.5 stars.Okay, I know. I'm a guy. I'm supposed to like science fiction books about violence, nonstop action, piracy, you name it. Right?Wrong. I liked this book for entirely different reasons.The world building amazed me. This book's initial setting is in a trashy town on America's Gulf Coast, a region I know practically nothing about. It turns out I didn't need to know anything, as this story takes place in the future - with the Gulf Coast wrecked and parts set aside for ship-breaking, the profession of our protagonist, Nailer. Paolo Bacigalupi's descriptions are vivid and intense, drawing upon the jagged, rough concepts of ship-breaking and scavenging themselves.I thought a lot about the themes of Ship Breaker. Certain characters experienced a loss of humanity as they were forced to hurt or kill others, and others had to put their loyalty to the test when desperate decisions had to be made. In fact, it was the effects of the action on the characters, particularly Nailer, that made me like this book so much - rather than the actual action sequences.That being said, I still felt a lack of connection with most of the characters. Nita reminded me of the archetypal girl who starts out as prim and proper but isn't afraid to get her feet dirty, and although Nailer showed more thought than other male protagonists, I just didn't empathize with him. Tool interested me, but he left the story ambiguously, which aggravated me a little bit. I wonder if Bacigalupi intends to write a sequel to Ship Breaker.I felt as if some of the action could have been replaced with deepening the meaning behind the book, but overall a good read. Despite my reluctance to recommend this book to a specific gender, I admit that males might like this more than females (you wouldn't think that based on Goodreads statistics, however).Want to read more of my reviews? Follow me here.

  • Skylar Phelps
    2019-03-19 01:10

    My first by Bacigalupi.For the most part, the prose and general writing was the best part of the experience. Obviously the author is highly praised and heavily awarded, so my expectations were fairly high and I thought he delivered a quality product.The setting is quite bleak and the story itself is pretty simple. There is lots of character driven conflict with alternating high and low points giving the reader an emotional ride. Much of the content reminded me of the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness, which is a good thing IMO.I was annoyed by some of the weaker dialogue moments, some bits were very unnatural and others didn't seem realistic during the dramatic or action scenes. There were also several predictable events, the foreshadowing was a little heavy handed. But really I'm being nit-picky. The book was good and I'm interested in what comes next.

  • Stefan
    2019-03-14 00:10

    Nailer, a teenager, is one of many people who live in shantytowns along the US Gulf Coast, trying to eke out a dangerous living by working on disassembling crews, taking apart abandoned — and now obsolete — oil tankers. The work is dangerous, and taking risks is almost a necessity, because if the young workers don't make quota, there are always other starving kids ready to take their jobs. Once the children get too big to crawl down the narrow ship ducts in search of copper wiring and other recyclable metals, there aren't many options left to them... and if they're not strong enough to do the heavier work, prostitution, crime or starvation are almost inevitable.At the start of Ship Breaker, Nailer finds an undiscovered oil reservoir in the ship he is exploring — a lucky strike that would be sufficient to feed him and possibly provide escape from his abusive father. However, when he almost drowns in the oil, and one of his young crew mates finds him, she decides not to rescue him and leaves him to die so she can take advantage of his find. Even though Nailer manages to escape, this incident, set early in the novel, is a perfect introduction to the competing themes of "loyalty in the face of adversity" vs. "everyone for themselves" that run through Ship Breaker. After all, when Nailer finds a gorgeous clipper ship run aground during a hurricane, he faces the same choice: should he rescue the rich "swank" girl trapped inside, or let her die so the ship's salvage can make him wealthy?YA novels have changed just a tad, haven't they? Yep, although you maybe wouldn't guess so from the paragraphs above, Ship Breaker is actually the first Young Adult novel by Paolo Bacigalupi. You can draw a straight line right from the author's excellent SF novel The Windup Girl, which also focused on the disastrous consequences of environmental change, to Ship Breaker. Even though the reading level is YA, and most of the main characters are teenagers, the grimness (not to mention the violence) is definitely straddling the border between adult and YA.Be that as it may, Ship Breaker is a well-written, gripping SF novel. The story's scope continually broadens, from Nailer's initial find, to the arrival of the clipper, and ultimately to everything the ship's owner stands for. Likewise, the dystopian future gradually becomes clearer as Nailer becomes more aware of, and eventually ventures into, the world outside his beach shantytown. As mentioned before, the theme of loyalty is approached from different directions. Just to name a few: Nailer's relationship with his abusive and addicted father; the connections with and between his crew's members; and maybe most interestingly, the concept of "halfmen," genetically engineered to be loyal to their owners.While I enjoyed Ship Breaker, and would recommend it to mature YA readers, I can't help but wonder if this story wouldn't have worked better as a regular, non-YA novel. Some of the darker concepts, situated on the periphery of Nailer's story, are only broadly hinted at rather than described outright, which left me feeling frustrated and wanting to read more. If you told me there was a 600-page adult version of this 340-page YA novel, in which Paolo Bacigalupi really embraced the story's darkness and delved more deeply into the world's history and set-up, I'd be first in line to read it.Still, armchair-quarterbacking aside, Ship Breaker is a good novel with a likable protagonist, a gripping story, and a vision of the future that's sadly becoming more probable by the day. If the grim realism of the environmentally ruined future described in The Windup Girl didn't bother you, and you're in the mood for something in the same vein but at a slightly easier reading level, definitely check out Ship Breaker.(This review was also published at the Fantasy Literature website: --- come check us out!)

  • Mary ♥
    2019-02-28 20:13

    5/5 starsI'm a chess piece. A pawn. I can get sacrificed but I can't get captured. To be captured would mean the end of the gameAbsolutely amazing and exactly what I wantedI didn't know I was in a mood for dystopian when I picked up this book. I didn't know I was in the mood for ruined futures, destroyed cities, riots, and a main character who was stronger than he expected. But apparently I was. I was in the mood for blood, and guns, and sweat, and tears, and deaths, and rust and love, despite everything. So I absolutely adored Ship Breaker from the moment I picked it up.I loved absolutely everything. The fascinating and compelling plot that made it a must to read the next page, the characters who were complex, diverse and lovable (well, most of them actually), the dystopian world that was so frightening that made my heart beat faster, the romance that was cute, blooming in a world full of bloodshed and unfairness and also the friendships and the meaning of family.It made me cry tears of sorrow and joy, made me grit my teeth in anger, made me shake my head in disgust or bite my lip in anticipation. Bile rose in my throat from fear and worry, butterflies were let loose in my stomach with the warmth of feels and it made me see the world with a different eye. It made me see how unfair some things are, and how sometimes people have to struggle with forces more powerful than they could ever imagine, for the sake of love, and a better place to live.It made me admire the reckless, the brave and the different. Those who have free will, and their heart beats for freedom and justice. Those who love, and live, and fight, no matter the cost.And it made me believe that it's not luck, or wits that makes a person survive. It's them, also combined with love, and a desire for freedom.What bothered me a little and I hope that it will be explained in the next book, is the fact that they did not explain how exactly the world ended like that. The author gave hints that it was probably due to the greediness that people have and their power to gain more and more, but it was never mentioned clearly.What I have to say is READ ITRead it if you want something gripping and breathtakingRead it if you want something with lots of characters of colorRead it if you want a cute coupleRead it if you want to get out of a reading slumpJust read it ♥~Mary

  • Sonja Arlow
    2019-03-05 17:49

    2 1/2 stars100 years into the future and the world has been ravaged by climate change, flooding some parts and making deserts out of others. The story takes place in an informal community make a living scavenging off old ships stranded off the US Gulf Coast. This is a lawless community where violence reigns supreme. A place where booze and drugs are bountiful and eating more than once a day is just a fantasy. This community of ship breakers almost had a Mad Max feel to it.I loved the atmosphere created by this future dystopian world and the first 30% was a fantastic 4-star surprise. I found myself literally holding my breath at times. The writing was vivid, the pace was break neck and the story showed a lot of potential.Nailer, our protagonist, works on a light crew, whose job it is to crawl through the ship ducts and hidey holes to strip copper wire and other small items. He is small for his age but knows at some point he will get too big for this work. And then he is stuck. Too big for light crew but much too small for heavy crew.Unfortunately, the story lost steam after the 30% mark when it started focusing more on constant run-chase rather than world building. I think if Nita was also a narrator perhaps an additional dimension of knowledge of the rich could have added balance to the story.And then there was the complete overuse of the word Lucky. It bothered me so much I had to find out how many times this was used. And the final tally stands at 260.Although this was a great premise and potentially wonderful world it never quite achieved lift-off for me. I don’t think I will be reading book 2 of this series but will try one of the author’s adult books so have added The Windup Girl to my reading list.

  • Natalie
    2019-03-07 19:12

    This book wears a whirling cloak of action and brings to life a unique speculative setting, while underneath it offers readers an introduction/exposure to all the main existentialist concepts. I am going to miss being able to turn to this story during my daily drives. I'll miss how it conjures up ways to examine ideas of destiny, decision, fate, present and past, belonging and angst. How many YA books/audiobooks really offer that opportunity? How many books of any kind offer so much to the reader?______________So, now you're wondering "Why not five stars"?Two root words:blossomexplodeAll the variations on the above root words: blossomed, blossoming, exploding, exploded. 'nuf said?Lazy editor esp of the last several pages?NO MORE blossoming pain please.

  • J.
    2019-03-06 00:50

    I really liked the writing in this tremendously dark YA novel of a post-oil, climate-crashed world. The vision of the future is convincing and compelling, the protagonists and villains vivid, and the story had a lot of momentum. Very, very solid.addendum: ...and it's still sticking with me a couple months later, and I bought the hardcover.

  • Whitley Birks
    2019-02-24 18:51

    Ship Breaker is one of those books that suffers a lot from how close it came to being something spectacular. I started reading, encountered all these marvelous characters and concepts, and I got my hopes up. I got my hopes way up. And my hopes crashed and burned. My hopes are a stripper in LA still claiming “I’ll be an actress someday!”THE GOODThe first 50 pages, and everything therein, were really good. And I mean really, really good. The idea of the world, as kind of a half-pocalypse, where things go to shit but we’ve still got the same bureaucracy, it was at once very believable and very fresh. The idea of the titular ship breakers, people tearing apart pre-apocalypse tankers and (we assume) various other structures, the shanty-town that built up around these ships and the jobs they provided, all of it was excellent.Even the harshness of it was so marvelous. This was a very hard book to read just in how stark and desperate the people in it are on a daily basis. There were points in this first 50 pages where I hurt, and I was supposed to, because I felt the loss and frustration of the characters so clearly. This book was so good at putting the reader in the mind and situation of its desperately poor main characters. The details were excellent. It felt like a fully-realized new world. It wasn’t one half-baked concept that got a plot attached to it somehow; no, this author really put in the time to think about how everything would have changed, and how things should work now, and then he brought that new world to light for us. THE BADAnd then Nita showed up. And everything went to shit. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying Nita is a bad character. She’s not a good one, either, but overall she’s just sort of…bland. The reason I hate her is not for her character as written, but for what she does to the plot. She’s basically a Disney Princess, with her utter perfection and her incessant pleasantness and her…just…Disney Princess-ness. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s like the book wanted so hard to make her perfect for the sake of justifying how people are literally dying left and right for her. Oh, and also for why the main character falls in love with her, I guess. There was nothing particularly objectionable about Nita, but she always felt more like a MacGuffin than an actual character.Another thing is the lost potential with Nita. A person as a MacGuffin? Totally doable if you play it right. But this book didn’t; this book played like it had no idea it was even doing that. And having one person be uber important for the sake of leverage/machinations? Yes, possible, and can even be really fun. But don’t on top of that also make her a Princess and then have everyone go on about how they’ll die for her because she’s awesome/for the sake of heavy-handed “loyalty.”There’s a number of inconsistencies. Like…what happened to Captain Sung? Nita hid a bunch of gold rings early on; why didn’t they come back when they needed money halfway through the novel? (view spoiler)[And Nailer’s dad at the end, why didn’t the gears turn him into salsa chunks, when it was stated that even smaller gears would have done that trick? (hide spoiler)]The plot was so…straightforward once they got off the beach. For something that promised such complexity at the start, it boiled down to your basic “Save the Princess” kind of story.Want to know what the messages are, but can’t quite figure them out? Don’t worry, the characters will straight-up tell you what you’re supposed to learn. Not even kidding. These uneducated teenagers will sit down for six straight pages and deliver very eloquent philosophical banter, just in case you missed what the book was trying to teach you. And then they’ll do it again, and again, and again. I guess they don’t want you to strain your brain figuring things out on your own.THE UGLY “Even bruised and dead, she was pretty[…]” -pg 90. No, book. No. Just a million times no. Nita is described as pretty far too often in this book, no matter the situation, no matter if she’s crushed, presumed dead, starved, half drowned, doesn’t matter NITA IS ALWAYS PRETTY BECAUSE THE PERFECT PRINCESS MUST ALWAYS BE PRETTY. SHE CAN’T BE A LOVE INTEREST OR HAVE PEOPLE DIE TO RESCUE HER IF SHE’S NOT PRETTY, ALRIGHT?No, not alright, and it pissed me off.And, really, in isolation the book’s not that bad on this front, but when I compare it to what I thought the book was going to be at the start…I’m really pissed off at the poor/rich comparisons in this book. It could have been such a wonderful look at the disparity between the poor and rich, at the way those at the top view those at the bottom, at the desperate decisions that some people have to make which seem so incongruous to those of us living in comfort. But it dropped all of that like a hot potato as soon as one rich girl showed up, so that she could be the center of whole fucking universe. Suddenly it wasn’t about “hard decisions” or “poverty vs wealth,” no, it was “the rich girl is now the most important person by virtue of being virtuous, therefore Nailer is going to give us some half-assed excuse that will be dropped soon and risk his life repeatedly to save hers. Because I guess rich people really are more important in the end.”Seriously, I bear Nita no ill will as a character, but I wanted her to die, just so that this book would at least do something new and harsh. In the end, this was just your basic YA adventure story. Everything that made it a challenging read got abandoned so that the plucky poor farm boy could go save the pretty-pretty princess.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-18 22:09

    The future is a bleak and brutal place . . . so what else is new? I almost couldn't read this book right now, because between the bees dying and the coral reefs and the election MADNESS happening right now . . . but I did, and I'm glad I did.The narrowness of Nailer's world is what made this real. Nailer can't read, because he doesn't need to, and who would teach him? He only knows what he needs to know. The wider world around him is meaningless, because it doesn't put food in his belly. Nita, a "swank" who washes up on shore after a storm doesn't know anything about what it's like to be a scavenger. It's all very well plotted and hung together. The characters are gritty and real. The world is bleak and believable. I can see why this garnered awards and so much buzz, I'm just sorry I waited so long to read it!

  • Buggy
    2019-03-10 01:12

    Opening Line: “Nailer clambered through a service duct, tugging at copper wire and yanking it free.”Wow what a world Paolo Bacigalupi has created here with Ship Breaker. I won’t say this is the best dystopian book I’ve read but it’s definitely up there as the freakiest in terms of a plausible or even inevitable future -should global warming cripple the earth, the ice caps melt and all of our natural resources disappear. Initially I’d been drawn to this book because it reminded me of a documentary I’d seen about families in India who lived and worked on the beach, eking out a living by breaking down oil tankers for parts (which is the exact scenario here) The extreme poverty, danger, expendability and daily fight for survival stuck with me and I suppose that’s why for several chapters here I assumed this took place in a third world country, it does but that country is now on the US Gulf coast. For me this is where Ship Breaker shines; the world building here is simply awesome. Anyways this was a great read, well written, unique and action filled. There are morality choices (love books that make me think, what would I do?) some romance (a hint of) pirates, hurricanes, knife fights, train chases, treasure hunting and a drug addicted antagonist who also just happens to be the hero’s father. Yeah he was a very bad man. Come to think of it there is quite a bit of violence in this story. I also enjoyed the distinctions presented here in class discrepancy and fell in love with a character named Tool (a DNA altered or manufactured half man/dog/tiger who could really do with his own book. I struggled a bit with the weird names (reminding me of (The Hunger Games) in their anonymity) Pima, Bapi, Sloth, Tick-Tock. And lastly I just need to mention a scene that will haunt me for a long time –when our hero gets lost and stuck deep within the bowls of the tanker, its pitch dark and he’s fallen into an oil reservoir. This made me frantic, claustrophobic, terrified and a real fan of Bacigalupi.Nailer works the “light crew” scavenging through the wrecks of ancient oil tankers that now litter the coast. His job is to crawl deep inside these iron beasts and strip them of their copper wire, turning it over to his violent crew boss. It’s very important the Nailer make quota as there are many other kids starving in the shanty town who would kill for his job. It’s a brutal existence but all he knows. The other problem that is fast approaching is that Nailer is quite simply getting too big for his work, struggling to fit into the rusty pipelines. And then what? With no way of earing his keep and only so many viable organs to sell how will he live?As luck would have it a “city killer” hurricane strikes the coast and in its aftermath Nailer and his friend Pima stumble upon the wreck of a luxurious clipper ship. Smashed against the rocks the ship is filled with more valuables then either of them could dream about in a lifetime. Nailer has hit the “lucky strike” now if he can find a way to claim and cash in the bounty before the other scavengers discover them. He hadn’t counted on any survivors amidst the wreckage however and now he’s faced with the choice of killing this half drowned “swank” girl or saving her in the hopes that her wealthy family will reward him. Cheers330jb4