Thursday, 3 July 2014

Review: Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
Publisher: Greenwillow
Publication date: April 1st 2014
My rating: 3 stars 


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?

Salvage was one of the toughest books to read, the beginning was what I struggled with the most. There was so much detail to get my head around and the way that everyone spoke in Ava’s world just took so much effort to understand. But I’d read a review which mentioned something which happened very early on, so I really wanted to know what the consequences would be next. I could understand why these two characters would assume that they were going to be married to one another and why they would do what they did and for me it wasn’t as if their feelings were insta love, okay we didn’t really know both characters properly but their feelings for each other seemed genuine to me. I didn’t like the way characters had to live in this world taking on wives and making them pregnant and moving on to the next. But I believed that Ava and Luck could have something which was stronger than what everyone else had and that maybe they wouldn’t follow down that same route that was expected of everyone else. 

Despite not liking this world that Ava was bought up in Upside, I was glad to see Ava was given the chance to make the most out of her life away from Space side. It did take some time adjusting to a whole different lifestyle, but when you’ve been instilled ideas from a young age, it’s kind of hard to look past everything else. But thankfully Ava did manage to grow into her own character and fully grasp and take advantage of what was available to her. Also this is when we were introduced to two fantastic characters in Perpetue and Miyole. Perpetue and Miyole were exactly what Ava needed, they both took her on no questions asked and when she was still suffering from what had happened above. I was too still kind of freaking out about it. But for me this is also when the book picked up for me incredibly, we got to experience Ava on an incredible journey trying to make a life for herself, but being able to through help in unexpected places such as Rushil. Rushil was the sweetest person ever, he took Ava in when she was a complete stranger and helped her when things were tight for him too. It was easy to see that there could be a possible love triangle looming, and in parts it did confuse me at times, as I wanted Ava to find luck, I believed that there was so much more left to them, and so I didn’t want her wasting time around Rushil. But then slowly Rushil started winning me over, that I was like Luck who? And also I’m easily swayed by a character with tattoo sleeves! But then when Ava went on to try and find Luck I wanted her to find him and be with him all over again. I do believe that some readers would be annoyed by this love triangle, but the two potential love interests weren’t in the picture together at all, it was more pinning for a character who wasn’t there and overlooking the best thing possible right in front of you. But at the end of the day I think Ava made the best decision possible.

Despite this love triangle I was relatively able to enjoy Salvage; I enjoyed the chapters that Duncan wrote in Mumbai and the culture that Ava was able to take in. I also enjoyed the fact that Ava was given this chance to experience it, as otherwise I didn’t think that Ava would have been happy at all. Salvage was a book which could be a hard slog at times, but a book which I’m grateful I did give a go, so that I was able to experience the sisterly relationship emerge between Miyole and Ava and the watch Ava become the better person through sweet gestures that she had never had before.





22 comments:

  1. Ahh, at least you finished it :D Most of the reviews I've seen have been DNF ones O.o Wut? The wives and pregnancy thing seems so.. ugh. I'm glad Ava has great character growth and yay for awesome secondaries. Hahahaha! Luck who? LOL! And tattoo sleeves ftw! I love how different it is with culture and background, but I still don't think this one is for me. Great review though, darlin'!

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  2. I'm interested in the mention of feminist twist in the blurb and from what I take from your review, Ava seems to live in a strict patriarchal society. This book sounds very confusing, but I'm glad you managed to enjoy some parts of it, Jasprit! :) I'm not really science-fiction girl, but I'll keep this in mind when I'm in the mood for one!

    Wonderful review! <3

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  3. I'm glad you still enjoyed the book despite having many reservations. It also seems like Salvage has a lot going for it and it made it quite a difficult read. I don't think this book is for me but thank you for your honest review, Jasprit! :)

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  4. I didn't actually pay much attention to this book because I was never interested in it but a love triangle should take care of my curiosity :P Love triangles and I just aren't friends *sigh*

    I am glad that you could enjoy this book in the end! :) It does seem a little slow but hey you MADE IT THROUGH! :D

    Lovely review, Jasprit! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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  5. Hard to fully enjoy a book when you're not a fan of the world. I don't know if this one is for me, especially since there's a triangle (grr) but I can see the appeal.

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  6. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this overall, Jasprit. I've wanted to read this ever since I heard it would feature Mumbai because how often do you have a YA book that is set in some other country? But I put off reading it once I heard about the love triangle. From your review, it does sound like the resolution to the love triangle was a good one, but I'm not sure I can not be frustrated with two guys being involved. I'll probably give this a try one of these days though.
    Beautiful review, Jasprit!

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  7. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jasprit! I wasn't able to connect with it at all, which wound up being my main issue with this novel. I am curious to see what this author writes next, though, so hopefully that'll work better for me than this did. Lovely review, dearest! :)

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  8. Wow, I'm definitely intrigued by your references to what happens above. I kind of want to know what happens, but at the same time, I'm not sure if this one is for me, given the love triangle. But I'm glad you liked it, Jasprit! Great review! :D

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  9. I have seen this one around but now when I read your review I'm not sure I'll read it. It's not just the love-triangle which doesn't seem to be a big problem here, but I don't have patience for too detailed books right now. I struggle with The Dream Thieves because of that. Still glad you enjoyed this one overall. Great review, Jasprit :)

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  10. I wasn't able to connect to this one at all sadly, but it's great you were! :D The love triangle bothered me as well, so I'm glad to know that I wasn't the only one! I do agree that the premise was fascinating and that the bits featured in Mumbai were really interesting and well-done!

    Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! Glad this one worked for you!

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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  11. I still don't know what to do about this one. I have a copy but so far the reviews are lackluster and I am not convinced from your review either that it is worth it. I can handle slow world building but there are too many other things that would turn me off... thanks for the help.

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  12. I didn't like this one as much as you because I thought it was too much of a slog sometimes for me, but I agree with a lot of your review. I thought what Luck and Ava did made sense, even if I was facepalming because it just felt like one of those really unfortunate decisions that will come back to bite you back later. Also, loved Perpetue!

    Great review. :)

    -P.E.

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  13. I haven't heard of this book, but I'm not surprised because I usually tend of overlook sci-fi books. From your review, the story sounds very confusing though the one thing I did catch on and will agree with you is that guys with tattoo sleeves are hot :) I don't think this would be the book for me but I'm glad that you enjoyed some of it. Thanks for sharing :)

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  14. I enjoyed too, and agree beginning was hard to get the grasp of.

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  15. This one sounds interesting, I own it but haven't read it yet! Great review!
    -Scott Reads It!

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  16. I am glad that you enjoyed this one, Jasprit! I DNFed this one earlier on because I felt like their actions at the start just didn't sit well with me and their names for everyone in this dystopian world are just so ridiculous lol.

    Lovely review, girly! <33

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  17. Great review :D I'm glad you managed to enjoy this book. <3 But I.. I am glad I did not pre-order it :p I would not be able to deal with the love triangle :( Love triangles stinks, lol. Just not for me. But I do think the rest of the book sounds pretty awesome :)

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  18. Like everyone else, I've read reviews where they weren't so good concerning Salvage. Either way, I knew I wanted to read this book no matter what because it just sounds really interesting. I'm glad that I read your review for this book though. I've been convinced to pick up a copy soon :)

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  19. Huh, this book is new to me. Despite it not being one of your favorites, I think I'm still going to have to check it out. Thanks for the review!

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  20. Thanks for the review! I'm definitely one of those people who would be annoyed by the love triangle. I might have to steer clear of this one.

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  21. I actually liked the first part and I hated the second part. I think despite the immersion aspect of this world, I liked it and it flowed really well. I didn't feel the same way about the second part and I hated the love triangle. It just felt completely unnecessary.

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  22. I'm pretty sure the love situation would bug me! Even though the there aren't together, it's all the pining. And I don't switch love interests easily at all. Once my heart is taken, it doesn't move on quickly. However, I'm glad you found things to like about this. A good sister relationship is great and would love to read a book in Mumbai. But the first world sounds strange, and I do find it jarring to switch between such different places. Thanks for the review!

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