Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
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
Publishes in US: April 1st 2014 by Greenwillow
Genre: Harper Teen
Source: Sci Fi
Series? Not as I understand
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I wanted to read Salvage I'll admit, the cover caught my eye. Its pretty and the moon being so close to the water and the girl on the beach. I just want to know what it going on. Then I read the synopsis and saw a chance for the main character to totally stand up for women in general on the male dominated planet, and I also wanted to find out how she would fare with her escape.
Like me and most sci-fi all of the new words, concepts and world was a little overwhelming, but by Chapter 4 I was learning what everything meant and their slightly different word usage and style. I did like the world building even if it took me a while to really understand. They are on a spaceship and it sounds like something happened on the earth but they still long for it. The structure of their ships heirarchy was maddening, but I totally understand that our society used to be similar as well. Women do not have jobs as mechanics or pilots, instead their value comes from kitchens, livestock care, laundry and most importantly having babies.
I didn't connect right away with Ava but by chapter 3, I saw that she did have a spark to fight how things were, learning about the fixes and just the desire to learn more, since women don't learn to read or much math, she learned figuring on her own. We got to see pretty quickly what she was made of when she was set to be a bride for a ship that they hope to negotiate trade with, and she is caught in a compromising situation that broke my heart. Her brother all of the sudden won't talk to her, the Aethers, the other ship kicks her off, and she is going to be exiled.
As for the secondary characters I liked Soli and Luck, but wondered at the beginning why so much time was built building these relationships, but then I figured that is the catalyst for her needing to escape and being on Gyre. Then after she escapes, we meet Perpetue and Miyole. They are so accepting and Miyole is a precious, intelligent little girl. It gives Ava purpose, but also Miyole a role model and someone to help her along.
The part where they end up in Kalina and the Salts was pretty epic. The things that Ava never thought she would have to do and a strength even more than everything she'd already overcome and faced rises up in her and I really admired her and her willingness to do what needed to be done for her and Miyole. Also, how Ava discovers a kindness in strangers, really shows her that humanity can go both ways, they can do horrible things, but then also beautiful.
I am pleased with how the romance was threaded into the book and the resolution. I can't talk much about it, just like I can't talk much about where she ends up after Gyre because I def don't want to give out spoilers, but I saw tremendous character growth in her, as well as surprising twists to the story.
Despite the slow for me start, I ended up tearing through Salvage, connecting with Ava, loving the world set-up, as well as hoping for another book about Ava to release soon. But as I understand it is a standalone, so I think there is lots of potential with the great world building and character development that will be lost.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you go deep space if you had the chance?