Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review: Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Title: Salvage
Author: Alexandra Duncan
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: 1 April, 2014
Source: Greenwillow Books via Edelweiss

Average Goodreads rating: 3.93 out of 5.00 (240+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

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.
Review by Nara

Salvage was quite the pleasant surprise! With incredible world building, awesome characters and an engaging plot, this book is certainly one that all sci-fi fans should be looking out for.

If we start off with the flaws, I do have to admit, some bits were just a littttttle bit too convenient for my liking. For example, our protagonist Ava is sentenced to death (not a spoiler, in the blurb), but is conveniently rescued by a random charitable ship captain. She arrives on Earth and is conveniently helped by a charitable local. She goes to work and is conveniently told by a random charitable worker about a place where what she is looking for could be found (how's that for non-spoilery ambiguity haha). CONVENIENCE EVERYWHERE.

I guess the only really big problem I had with the book was that the conclusion felt very rushed and incomplete. Well, clearly, it wasn't THAT big a problem since I still gave the book 5 stars, but I think the ending was probably what barred be from also giving it an incredible. The ending was just I want more, dammit. AND this is a standalone, so I know I'm not going to get more. Why :( Gimme more. Or give me a spin-off or something haha. This world is too well built to waste.

Which brings me to my next point: the world building is quite amazing. Especially the language- I feel like the way each population spoke (shipbound people, people in Mumbai, people in the Gyre) was well thought out and it did seem as if they could be actual ways that people would speak in the future. Also very well done was the development of the cultures. The environment of the Parastrata was incredibly interesting to read about- it's sort of reverted into a medieval style caste system/women-can-go-nowhere-but-the-kitchens type of society, and man, I really wish we could've spent a bit more time on the ship before Ava fled to Earth.

Well, basically, if you like sci-fi books, get Salvage. If you like reading about interesting cultures, get this book. I didn't really talk about the characters, but they're quite well developed too- especially the main character Ava, so...if you like excellent character development, get this book. Don't know what else I can say haha.

Really liked it

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5