Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I didn't even stop to eat dinner last night, as I had to see what would happen. Nailer, the protagonist in the story, who has the soul of a Gladiator, must fight to stay alive on the shores of Bright Sands Beach where he disembowels old ships for sheet metal in order to eat. Sustaining himself on a mere starvation diet and avoiding his abusive father are his two daily challenges until he finds a clipper ship worth enough to buy his freedom from the slave-like life he leads.
While scavenging the ship with his friend Pima, Nailer stumbles across a remotely alive young woman who he and Pima decide to save; albeit against what their own best interests and common sense tell them to do.
The story really begins to gain steam as Nailer and "Lucky Girl" (the saved young woman), disembark on a journey to return her to the now underwater city of New Orleans. They must fight half-man, hop trains, swim through oil infested waters, and go against Nailer's drug addled father in order to save Lucky Girl and reclaim her position in the commercial world at large.
This book is fast paced and contains all of the elements of a good story: adventure, broken familial ties, friendships, and even a bit of romance. Mature teenage boys will particularly enjoy this great book (Bacigalupi's first YA novel), but females will also identify with the themes and characters and find themselves salivating to find out what happens next.
Although some of the characters could have been rounded out more, on the whole, "Ship Breaker" is a book that aims to please---and does.