Review: Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Posted August 7th, 2014 in book review / 18 comments


by Alexandra Duncan

Publisher: Greenwillow (April 2014)
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (528 pages)
Source: Free book from publisher for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: ★★½☆☆ (2.5 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?

At A Glance
Interesting concept but the plot just went down hill.

The Good
Let’s bullet point it out!

The whole girl power thing was great. The ship Ava lives on is extremely sexist. It’s all about the men folk and their domination. But Salvage gave us a story of a girl who got away from her oppression and found how to be an independent, strong woman.

– I loved a lot of the characters. Ava is so naïve but grew into this amazing woman who fought for what she wanted. She also meets great people like Rushil who helped her without a second thought, or Perpetue and her daughter Miyole who cared for her like family.

The Bad
This book was WAAAAAAY too long. And the problem is, not much even happens in those 500 pages. And what made it worse was the long and heavy descriptions.

The plot just fell to the wayside. When Ava escapes from hell-ship, things got super exciting and I thought her horrible family would be chasing her through the whole book and she would have to keep running for her life. Yeah…no. She gets someone to help her recover from the affect of Earth’s atmosphere and then someone who gets her a job. And that’s it. She lives a semi-normal life and nothing exciting happens ever again.

– The writing style was hard to get use to. Duncan changes up the English language in this book which is cool with me, but sometimes it made it hard to understand what I was reading.

– The ending was meh. I felt disappointed.

The Snuggly
First we get this horrible insta-love with a nice but slightly sexist boy, then we get this potentially nice romance with a decent boy that Ava doesn’t seem to give a real chance to.

There is sex but it’s still appropriate for a YA audience.

Final Thoughts
I had high hopes for Salvage but the execution was all wrong. It took me forever to even write this short review because I wasn’t excited about this book. But I can admit, it had a few good parts. Not really recommended, but some people may like it.

“Are we always our mistakes? Does anything we do heal them?”  

“This is different, a slower burn what builds and builds, as if our lips our amplifying the charge between us the longer we stay linked. I never thought anyone would touch me this way again, never thought my heart could carry the charge. I give deeper to the kiss, lost in the unexpected heat of it.”

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18 Responses to “Review: Salvage by Alexandra Duncan”

  1. Braine TS

    I hate skimming books but sometimes its necessary. 500 pages of not much sounds like a chore, I’m surprised you finished it!

  2. Jaclyn Canada

    The writing style being hard to relate with would actually be the hardest thing for me. I quit reading GOT because I really couldn’t get in to the writing style at all. I had high hopes for this one. Sorry it fell flat! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

  3. Giselle

    I DNFed this one after like 50 pages. The writing style is def not for everyone and I could not stand it at all. I also did find it long already so I bet I would have snored by the end haha. It sounds like it did have some positives, but I think my decision to DNF was a good one in the end.

  4. Jillyn

    Awwwww boo. The instalove will bother me, no doubt. I just got this one in the mail this week and I was definitely surprised how thick it was. Great review of a book that wasn’t so much.

  5. Folami

    I know how hard it is to write a book, so I try not to save negative things. But I started reading this one and couldn’t get past the beginning pages. I started looking for reviews to ssee if anyone else had better luck. Guess not.

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