Salvage is a YA sci-fi standalone that finds its strength in vulnerability.
Book Review: Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
Title & Author: Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Science Fiction
Release Date: April 1, 2014
How I Got the Book: ARC via NetGalley
Slow But Steady
I went into reading Salvage knowing it wasn’t the typical YA fantasy romance saga. And, so should you.
This book is more about an emotional journey than anything else. There IS, however, some romance, and I think it’s done well on the side.
Ava’s got it rough. She was born and raised on the spaceship Parastrata, where women do all the menial labor and the big decisions (like who you’ll marry) are left up the male leaders.
Salvage is certainly brutal at times. The trials that Ava endures are painful to watch, but her slowly-building strength and sense of survival are beautiful. It was particularly hard for me to see Ava dominated by others over and over again – even very late in the story. She does persevere and stands out to me as a very unique type of YA heroine.
After one major incident in the book, the pace of the story turned glacial. This always seems to happen to me, so I can’t decide if it’s my natural high at reading a new book wearing off OR if the book really did hit a slow point.
Salvage is definitely a strong read, but I did struggle to finish it. It’s not the action and adventure type of story many readers are used it. It’s a steady action that is building up to the final scenes at the end.
I appreciated its stanalone-ness, and I think Duncan achieved more in this one book than many YA series in their entirety.
What really sold me on the story, though, was Ava’s relatable-ness. As she’s piecing out the truth of her existence, she asks tough questions and seeks to find the answers. Her growing awareness that the world is not quite how she imagined was something I could immediately identify with.
If you’re seeking a female empowerment type story with a side of romance, then this is the book for you. The slow journey of self-discovery is both harsh and lovely. It had slow build-up of action, so readers used to plot twists and battles at every turn should be warned. Salvage is a well-written story that lovers of strong female protagonists will heartily enjoy.