April 2, 2014
Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
Release date: April 1, 2014
This ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: From the get-go, this book confused me. We're thrown into an unfamiliar environment immediately with strange terms and phrases that are never fully explained. What is a "modrie"? Why is it used for both Ava's stepmother and her biological aunt? What is a "so missus," or "so girl," or "so doctor"? The unfamiliar ways of speaking kept interrupting the flow of reading so I never really connected with the characters or the plotline. Eventually, Ava ends up in India (which I thought was cool, since it's an underused setting and that meant the majority of the characters were diverse), and many Hindi words and phrases are never translated. I felt so disconnected from this book. A secondary character dies at one point, and I didn't even care. There ended up being two love interests (but not in a love triangle way; it reminded me more of Frozen, in that Ava seems to fall instantly in love with one guy but it doesn't work out and there's a slow burn with another guy), and I didn't root for either one because they both felt so blah. Ava got on my nerves. When she reaches Earth, she worries that she's pregnant (let me note that she's been with a guy ONCE). I was hoping she wasn't pregnant because how unrealistic is that? I'm not sure what I expected out of this book, but I think a bit more action would've helped. Where was the tension once Ava reached Earth? Why didn't I worry for her safety at all? Additionally, the society aboard the spaceships is so strict and limiting that I wanted to punch several of the men. I found it to be almost a bit unrealistic. How the heck did all those people arrive at the ideas they had when everyone else down on Earth is still living normal lives? How is it benefiting anyone to treat the women like dogs in a puppy mill?
On the plus side, I barely caught any foul language. There is a lot of stuff implied in the romance department that I was uncomfortable with, and those on the spaceships practice polygamy.
The Verdict: Salvage is 520 pages long. I read it through, but I honestly didn't enjoy a single moment. Well, okay, there were some high points (mostly Miyole; she is a cutie). But, honestly, I don't think this book is worth your time.