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On it's own, this is a likable book. The characters in Ship Breaker are fine and appropriately likable/hatable, but Bacigalupi has engaged me more deeply with less time and words in previous work. Also, I'm not a YA reader, for whom this book is intended. There are elements here reminiscent of RLS' Treasure Island (without being derivative), but I picked this up because I wanted to know more about the world I saw in The WindUp Girl. There's too little of that here for me, but if you liked Bacigalupi's The Alchemist, I think you'll be happy with Ship Breaker.
I read WindUp Girl less than a month ago, and then proceeded to DEVOUR everything else published by the author over the last few weeks. I read that Ship Breaker was set in the same dystopian future of WindUp Girl and wanted more of that. If you too are looking for more of that, you're better off reading and re-reading Bacigalupi's short story collection Pump Six. Indeed, shorts like 'Pop Squad', 'The People of Sand and Slag' and 'Pump Six' will stick with me longer than anything in Ship Breaker.
Still, I do leave this book thinking more about its big theme –the ties that bind people together– into families (genetic and impromptu), gangs, corporations, and the nature of loyalty, and what we do with all those things when everything else breaks down.
I'm sad there's no more Bacigalupi to devour at the moment, but interested in reading something like Cormac McCarthy's The Road that may give me what I'm looking for.
* NOTE - While I'm used to Jonathan Davis reading Bacigalupi, Joshua Swanson does a great job handling the voices of men, women, children, and even dog-men.
37 of 38 people found this review helpful
Really fun listen. I wouldn't call this a "teen" book by any means. The main character is teen-aged, but he basically lives an adult life. Well written, well read, good pace.
27 of 28 people found this review helpful