Sunday, 5 October 2014

Review || Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker #1) by Paolo Bacigalupi ★★☆☆☆
In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life...

I'm torn between 2 and 3 stars again. It's not as though I didn't like the book, but I'm not totally sure if it was really beyond "okay".

2.5 stars?

I don't want to undersell this book. It's definitely not a bad one. The writing style is tight, the story is gripping and fast paced. I read 60% of the book in one sitting without really trying. It definitely embodies the descriptor "page-turner".

But it wasn't that great. The world was interesting. The conflict compelling. But I felt this sort of detachment from the characters. Nailer was a decent protagonist, but I never really loved him. The other characters existed mostly two-dimensionally in the background. Even the one's Nailer has strong feelings about. I don't know, I was interested in the story but never invested.

That doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend it, though. It's an interesting and highly plausible take on dystopia. I'm glad to have read it, but I don't think it's one I'd probably ever come back to again.