by Alexandra Duncan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062220158
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/01/2015
Series: Salvage Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 481,195
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Alexandra Duncan is an author and librarian. She lives in the mountains of western North Carolina with her husband and two monstrous, furry cats.

Customer Reviews

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Salvage 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) 16-year-old Ava is the eldest daughter of the captain of the space ship on which her people live, and is a little nervous when she is told that she will soon be a bride. When it becomes clear that she will be wed to a member of another ship – the ¿ther, she begins to hope that she will be wed to Luck – a boy who she met a long time ago, who she has always dreamed of marrying. A mistake based on an assumption leads Ava to be disowned by her own father though, and if not for the help of one woman on the ship, her father would have killed her. Instead, alone on earth, Ava must learn to live in the higher gravity that she is not used to, and find a way to make a life for herself, without her family, and without Luck. Can Ava survive? What has become of Luck? And is there any hope for the future for Ava? I really liked the beginning of this book, but it lost its way a bit in the middle. Ava was at heart a girl who did what she was told, and didn’t like to question authority. When she did feel that there was something she could do, she tried to do her best to do it, whilst also trying to hide the fact that she might be going against the rules. The storyline in this was okay, although I did find the middle of the book to be quite slow and not as captivating as the beginning of the story. The beginning held much more intrigue and excitement, and I loved every minute of it, but the middle was quite dull in comparison, and didn’t pick up again until the 90% mark for me. While the pace was quite slow all the way through, I only found myself getting distracted during the middle part, whilst the first ~35% was un-put-down-able! The world building in this was very good, and we learned a lot at the beginning about the world that Ava lived in, and the traditions and expectations of her people. I really liked the part of the story that took part on the ship, and thought that this part was done really well. I really liked the romance in this book, and this was one of the best parts for me. I liked the emotion between Ava and Luck, and they were so sweet together. It was such a shame that they weren’t allowed to be together, and their respective father’s ideas of punishment were extremely harsh. The ending of this was okay, but was a little bittersweet. It was good in terms of the fact that Ava was in a very good position and was happy, and that things were looking up for her, but was slightly bitter because Ava’s actual future was very different from her childhood dreams of her future. Overall; an interesting sci-fi/dystopian with some really good world building. 7 out of 10.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So you have already read the other reviews and the synopsis. I am not going to repeat that. What I am going to do is tell you what I liked about this book without spoilers. First: Solid wold building. A strong framework leads to a rich and varied world ripe for adventue, drama and comedy. Ms. Duncan has done an excellent job of that. Second: Character. A rich world will fall flat without equally rich characters. Ms. Duncan brought her characters to life for me, giving them depth and pathos. Third: Story. Enough said. I have already read the next book and look forward to more beyond that.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
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. Bottom Line: For me, took until Ch. 3-4 to get fully into the story then it carried me away.
C_Taylor More than 1 year ago
SALVAGE is my new favorite book of the year.  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 other reviewers 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.  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.  Yes the book is on the long side for typical YA. And yes some of Ava's dialect/jargon can be difficult to understand at first. This is not an easy beach read. But do not let this deter you!! SALVAGE is a stunning, thought-provoking story that will linger with you long after you finish the last page. 
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Salvage by Alexandra Duncan Publisher: Greenwillow Publication Date: April 1, 2014 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss Official Summary: Salvage is a 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. This is literary science fiction with a feminist twist, and it explores themes of choice, agency, rebellion, and family. 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. This is a sweeping and harrowing novel about a girl who can't read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. What choices will she make? How will she build a future on an earth ravaged by climate change? Named by the American Booksellers Association as a Spring 2014 Indies Introduce Pick. What I Liked: I honestly was not sure if I would enjoy this book for several reasons, but I am really glad that I ended up really liking it! At first, while reading the beginning, I was like, there is NO WAY this book and I are going to get along. But Duncan has constructed a really beautiful novel! There are several parts to this book. The first part is spent on the Parastrata, a merchant ship that flies in space. There is a society living on this ship - in fact, Ava has never NOT been on the ship. But trouble brews when she is given away as a bride, to a male on the Æther ship. She hoped it would be her childhood friend Luck (and he hoped so as well). They do something unforgivable, and everything falls apart. They are separated, and both are to die. But Ava escapes, and ends up on Earth. The next part deals with Ava's adjustment to Earth, away from her ship, from her lost love Luck. She is taken in by a lovely woman and her daughter (the daughter's name is Miyole). She meets a boy named Rushil. She searches for her mother's sister. She learns to read and write (poorly, but she learns somewhat). But where does she belong? At first, I HATED the first part, the beginning, on the ship. I hate the society on the Parastrata! It's sexist and totally debilitating for women. Women can't learn to read or write or be anything except laundresses and farmers. They are married off to the man of their father's choosing. Oh, and it's a polygamist society. No no no. So, I really did NOT like the society. I thought I would hate this book. BUT, that's just it: Duncan does an AMAZING job of building and creating the society on the Parastrata. It's obvious that readers are supposed to hate the sexist society (unless you're a sexist, then I suppose you'll enjoy the first part - disgusting). I even thought I hated Ava, because she has no spine or backbone or willpower. BUT, then I realized: this is just how brilliant Duncan's writing is. Ava can't see fault in her society. She can't see how women have no rights in her society. She can't understand, because she doesn't know better. Ava doesn't have that seed of rebellion that many dystopia novels feature (not that this book is a dystopia). She only comes to change her way of thinking because she is forced out of her ship, and she goes to Earth (which was literally the LAST thing she wanted to do). So, yeah. I loved the worldbuilding and the writing style. Duncan does a really good job of creating the world on the Parastrata, as well as life on Earth. It's polluted, dirty, garbage-filled, and there are definitely environmental themes in this book. YAY for that! And Duncan's writing style is really flowing and lovely. Sometimes it seems a little dry and boring, but it definitely fits the story. The story is rather long and drags a bit, because you feel like nothing is happening. However, I like the journey - it's Ava journey, her discovery of who she is as a woman, as a real person who is appreciated for her talents (and not her ability to make children). It sounds cliche to say that this book was all about a character's quest to find herself, but in this book's case, it's totally accurate. Sometimes, I can understand the excessive length, because many, many scenes are necessary, to show Ava's changing views and growth as a character. The romance is pretty obvious, in this book. There aren't too many males in this book, especially males around Ava's age, so when you spot this one guy, or this other one, or this other one, it's pretty obvious that he will be a potential love interest. I will say that there are two - I already mentioned Luck and Rushil. But there is NOT a love triangle in this book - not in the physical sense. The romance is important, because it shows that Ava is capable of making her own choice for herself. Feminism is a pretty big thing in this book. Ava comes from a very repressive society, where there aren't many males, and the males that are present have many wives and many children and all of the knowledge, strength, and power. But when Ava goes to Earth, she is shown how awful and messed-up her society is. She learns of choice and empowerment, which is really important. I like the strong presence of feminism in this book, but it's also really subtle.  Overall, I enjoyed the plot of this book, Ava's journey. This book is great as a standalone, so I hope it stays that way. The worldbuiling is probably the best/most well-done part of the book. I hope that if others read this book, they enjoy and appreciate the undertones and themes of the novel!  What I Did Not Like: This book is very long, and sometimes, you really FEEL the length of the book. Meaning, sometimes I felt like this book was unnecessarily long. Length usually doesn't bother me, when the book is really engrossing. AT TIMES, this book was not engrossing enough, so the length was daunting. I think Duncan could have cut this one down by maybe fifty pages (or more), honestly.  Otherwise, overall, I was pretty happy. Make sure you read what I said about the beginning of the book, on the ship. I HATED the society on the Parastrata, but it's that necessary evil that you hate, but at the same time, you totally appreciate it how WELL Duncan builds it and MAKES you hate it. Would I Recommend It: I would recommend this book mostly to science fiction fans. If you're looking for an amazing, heartstopping romance, try something else. If you want constant, nonstop action, try something else. If you want a heroine with a backbone from start to finish, try something else. My point is, this book is NOT for everyone (like every book, but this one definitely is not). Science fictions will appreciate this one, and fans of feminist literature. It's an excellent (debut) novel! Rating: 4 stars. I enjoyed this book! It is truly a remarkable debut novel (though that sounds really cliche), and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read and review it.