I haven't posted a full-on book review in awhile, but I just had to for this one, you guys, because this:
SALVAGE was one of my favorite reads of 2014, and perhaps of all time.
Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated, conservative 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.
Breathtakingly, achingly beautiful, this is literary science fiction at its best. I said it on twitter, but I'll say it again here: if you are a fan of FIREFLY or THE HANDMAID'S TALE, you should probably drop everything and read this book right now.
As reviewers on both Amazon and Goodreads have noted, Duncan is a master world-builder. From the close, rigid, puritan culture of the spaceship on which Ava is born; to the rag-tag jumble of community adrift on the Gyre; to the gritty, colorful streets of future Mumbai -- each setting was crafted with an attention to detail that is simply astounding. Some people had a hard time with the manner of speaking on the MC's homeship. It is a little hard to get used to, but please, please don't let that deter you from reading this book. It gets easier to understand, I promise!
The characters are complex, each deeply motivated (again, Duncan is a master at this), and endearing. Ava is a heroine to root for from page one. She's plucky despite being born to an oppressive society, and it's beautiful to watch her both grow into and rail against the freedom she suddenly finds herself in.
The book is on the long side for typical YA. The plot meanders, but this serves to leave more room for deep character development and lush worldbuilding. Some of Ava's dialect/jargon can be difficult to understand at first. But like I said, do not let this deter you!!
SALVAGE is a stunning, thought-provoking work of literary sci-fi that will linger with you long after you finish the last page.
Perfect for Fans of:
Crewel by Gennifer Albin, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, and Across the Universe by Beth Revis.