Chris's April 2014 Staff Pick: Named by the American Booksellers Association as a Spring 2014 Indies Introduce Pick
Salvage is a great teen sci-fi.
Ava is one of many women aboard the male-dominated, conservative deep space merchant ship Parastrata. When she finds that she is to be married to another captain, she takes things into her own hands (a first for her) and runs away. She finds herself on Gyre, and floating trash heap in the pacific ocean. Ava now has to learn to stand up for herself. And find away to get of the trash heap.
I really loved this book. I thought Alexandra’s characters are wonderful and you just get sucked into the story.— From Chris's Picks
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. Internationally bestselling author Stephanie Perkins called it "brilliant, feminist science fiction."
Ava is the captain's daughter. This allows her limited freedom and a certain status in the Parastrata's rigid society—but it doesn't mean she can read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. When Ava learns she is to be traded in marriage to another merchant ship, she hopes for the best. After all, she is the captain's daughter. But instead, betrayal, banishment, and a brush with love and death are her destiny, and Ava stows away on a mail sloop bound for Earth in order to escape both her past and her future. The gravity almost kills her. Gradually recuperating in a stranger's floating cabin on the Gyre, a huge mass of scrap and garbage in the Pacific Ocean, Ava begins to learn the true meaning of family and home and trust—and she begins to nourish her own strength and soul. This sweeping and harrowing novel explores themes of choice, agency, rebellion, and family, and after a tidal wave destroys the Gyre and all those who live there, ultimately sends its main character on a thrilling journey to Mumbai, the beating heart of Alexandra Duncan's post–climate change Earth. An Andre Norton Award nominee.
“Salvage is the book I’ve been waiting for—kick-ass, brilliant, feminist science fiction. Watch out, world. Alexandra Duncan has arrived.”
“Alexandra Duncan’s debut illustrates a richly detailed world that vividly shows a possible future of Earth where society has both regressed and progressed, where the struggles of humanity have become more dire, but where love still remains. Everything—from the world to the characters—felt viscerally real. Original and memorable.”
“Epic in scope and intimate in execution, Salvage is an astonishing debut. Duncan expertly crafts a story of the journey to claim oneself across the infinite expanses of both space and the human heart.”
“Alexandra Duncan is a stunning new voice. Duncan’s magnificently flawed future world exposes humanity . . . in ways that are ripe for discussion. . . . Ava’s personal journey from oppression to self-actualization—by turns harrowing and heartbreaking, but ultimately triumphant—will keep readers glued to the pages. Highly recommended.”
“Duncan makes an excellent debut . . . A powerfully immersive story that uses its far-future SF premise to thoughtfully explore gender politics.”
“Debut author Alexandra Duncan portrays a patriarchal civilization eerily reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale….Duncan’s fast-paced narrative and original settings—from the Parastrata to the Gyre (a floating garbage mass in the Pacific) to Mumbai—will keep readers riveted.”