Sunday, December 22, 2013

Book Review: Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Author:  Alexandra Duncan
Publisher:  Greenwillow, 400 pages
Expected Publication Date:  April 1, 2014

From Goodreads:
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.

This is such a wonderful, unusual, heartbreaking and hopeful book about Ava's journey from spaceside to earthside (from a spaceship to a space station to a garbage island to Mumbai, a city of over 175 million people).  From clueless ignorant girl to strong independent woman.  It was not at all what I was expecting, and I absolutely loved it.

Ava has spent her entire life living in space on a ship that has a very patriarchal society.  The women do "women's work" ("cooking, weaving, dyeing, mending, and growing children") and only the men learn how to read and do math.  Ava has always been interested in "fixing" (basically, anything mechanical) and has a natural gift for it, but that's not allowed.  And yes, the men have multiple wives.

Then something happens and Ava is cast out and has to go to Earth.  And continues her journey of hardship, but at the same time, meets incredible people who change her life for the better.  It's the best type of sci-fi story, focused on characters and personal growth but it also has intricate, detailed world-building.  I really don't want to write too much more about it because I think it's better to read it without knowing any more.  Just read it.   This is YA sci-fi done right.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. Such high praise! Happy to hear it was such a great read for you!! I don't read a ton of Sci Fi but I added it to the TBR!

    1. I hope you end up enjoying it, it was just so different and unique. I used to be so anti-sci fi but I love it now. ~Pam

  2. I love your blog! I'm going to add this book to my TBR, and thanks for the great review. :)

  3. Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! I will be reading it soonish and hopefully I will like it as much as you. Who am I kidding? Anything you like I'll like. We have the exact same taste in books. :)

    1. We definitely have the same taste in books. If I see that you love a book, I add it to my TBR list! ~Pam

  4. I have an ARC of this and now I am really, really excited to get to it. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much, great review :)