Paolo Bacigalupi is a new author I have picked up this year. He is a science fiction writer, dealing mostly with dystopian futures or post apocalyptic futures. I just finished his first young adult novel, Ship Breaker. it was simply amazing. I really did enjoy the novel and read it in less than three days I believe. Clocking in at only 323 it is hardly a challenge but a fun read.
The story of Ship Breaker is that of a young man named Nailer. He is a ship breaker in what can only be a horrific outlook on our near future. Nailer breaks down abandoned ships and boats for scrap. He will strip a boat for copper wire,paneling, and any scrap metal or treasures the ship may hold. The world he lives in is highly effected by the climate changes of global warming and the increase in weather. He and his people who live on a coastal town, fear what they call city killers, or class 6 hurricanes. These city killers are what they sound like . Hurricanes of Katrina like proportions hit every month it seems like and destroy whole towns and peoples way of lives.
Nailer has a crew he is loyal to the final days to. he would do anything for them and they would return the favor without question. They are very similar to pirates but much gritter if that can be imagined. There are dog men.,who are genetic experiments by big business in the future. These men are called half men or dog men. They are part man part dog and part tiger even. They are strong and will fight for their masters until death.
Nailer works of light crew which is a stripping and salvage crew. He and his crew mate Pima find what they call a lucky strike one day. It is a small vessel that appears to be down and out. they find the whole crew dead and the contents of the ship are gold and money for the rest for their lives.They find one survivor and it will change the lives a=of everyone involved. The young girl upon the ship could be Nailer’s ticket out of the crap life and into riches or she could be the end of his life ass he knows it.
Paolo Bacigalupi weaves an amazing tale of loyalty and danger in Ship Breaker. His characters were intense and well thought out, but the real star is the well crafted world and decimated landscape that Nailer and his crew live in. I love that he never gives a year in his books so that it is left up to us when it could be. I love the drowned cities and lack of technology. The led paint Nailer wears is ingenious.
I give the book a 4/5 and recommend it to everyone. I hope the sequel The Drowned cities is just as good. Please check this author out. He deserves to be recognized. You will not be disappointing.