Monday, November 7, 2011

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi Review

Set initially in a future shanty town in America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being dissembled for parts by a rag tag group of workers, we meet Nailer, a teenage boy working the light crew, searching for copper wiring to make quota and live another day. The harsh realities of this life, from his abusive father, to his hand to mouth existence, echo the worst poverty in the present day third world. When an accident leads Nailer to discover an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, and the lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl, Nailer finds himself at a crossroads. Should he strip the ship and live a life of relative wealth, or rescue the girl, Nita, at great risk to himself and hope she'll lead him to a better life. This is a novel that illuminates a world where oil has been replaced by necessity, and where the gap between the haves and have-nots is now an abyss. Yet amidst the shadows of degradation, hope lies ahead.
Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1)Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book through the lenses of a latency child boy. I am certain it is due to the amount of time I have been spending with my oldest son but I wondered if he would like this book. I did see the cover as I was reading it and it appealed to his senses. The book is action-packed and includes enough detail to envision the world at this time period and in this place. I liked story. I liked the conflict and theme of loyalty. I also found the augmented humans interesting.

I haven't decided if this book would be appropriate for my 11 year son. Although not abundant nor harsh, there is swearing. Nothing you wouldn't hear in a junior high but he's not in junior high. Also, there is a lot of violence, blood and gore. I don't know if it would be disturbing to him or something he could skim over. I couldn't skim over it but I'd like to keep it for him for a book report in a couple of years. If he still wants to read it, that is.

For an older child, especially a teenage boy, I think it would be excellent.

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