Everything new is old again in Salvage, Alexandra Duncan’s debut novel; it’s a feminist, sci-fi, YA epic, and while that’s a hell of a genre mash, it works.
Sixteen year-old Ava grew up on the deep space merchant ship Parastrata, on which illiteracy and polygamy are the norm. It’s a misogynistic society where women are married off at thirteen in service of alliances and trade agreements. Ava hopes her betrothed is her childhood crush, Luck.
But Ava makes a mistake, betraying her honor and that of her crew, and must escape to Earth to avoid deadly punishment. She buys her way onto a delivery ship and arrives on Earth totally unprepared: She’s led a sheltered life, she’s illiterate, and she’s weakened by the unfamiliar effects of gravity. Ava must rebuild her life in a climate change-ravaged world where she knows no one and nothing about how to get by. It’s a sweeping coming-of-age story that crash lands on a floating continent of garbage scrap in the middle of the Pacific, and travels to a futuristic Mumbai, revealing a vision of a future that’s strange and familiar all at once.
What Duncan does so well is create a world that’s …read more