Review: ‘Salvage’ by Alexandra Duncan

I received this book for free from Edelweiss, requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Salvage’ by Alexandra DuncanSalvage by Alexandra Duncan
Published by Harper Collins on April 1st, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 528
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, requested from publisher
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?

Named by the American Booksellers Association as a Spring 2014 Indies Introduce Pick.

About Alexandra Duncan

Alexandra Duncan is a writer and librarian. Her first novel, Salvage, was published April 1, 2014, by Greenwillow Books. Her short fiction has appeared in several Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasyanthologies and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. She loves anything that gets her hands dirty – pie-baking, leatherworking, gardening, drawing, and rolling sushi. She lives with her husband and two monstrous, furry cats in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

The Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


Morgan, a so girl who lives on the ship Parastrata, doing chores that women need to do. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the small ones. When her father arranges a marriage between her and one from the æther ship, she makes a mistake. Seeing her childhood crush, Luck was a mistake because does something that is scandalized and has her cast away from the ship forever. Will she be able to pick up the pieces and move on with her own life? How will she when all she knows is the ship life?

Women are meant to be breeders, to serve the men. They also don’t think or read. But Morgan wants these things. She wants to solve problems and become a fixer. Having a character that is so thoroughly innocent and grows up to be stronger and independent is just wonderful to see. When the Epic Reads ladies said these would be

A renaissance culture set in the deep turn of space, Salvage is one incredible journey. Unique and fulfilling, I thought it was beautifully written.

reading progress



It’s barbaric to marry a stranger, and not even be able to speak together. (19)
Your father loves a princess. There’s nothing he likes more than a woman born royal in his power. (22)
He shines on the surface, he sparkles; but he’s not pure gold. (56)
This is a king driven by fear, and rules by greed. (110)
Who will order a King when he is no longer a prince? Who will command a lion when he has learned he is no longer a cub? (262)
You know, a husband, any husband, is set by God Himself to rule over his wife. (284)
She’s like anchor that he has forgotten, but still it keeps him steady. (329)
This is like a sickness. She does not call to his heart, to his true, loving heart. She calls to his vanity and she feeds it as if it were a monster. (354)
Who would ever have dreamed that a King of England would overthrow the laws of the land and the Church itself to get such a girl into his bed? (376)
The King is using torture? Against a boy? (496)
How can I be King and the most miserable man in the world? (530)
He wants the corpses hanged until they rot. (576)
No wonder that you cannot give your lord a child, for since you have no heart you probably have no womb either. (628)





  1. Jaime Lynn

    November 23, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    I don’t know… that is all that I can think to say. It sounds like an interesting story, but maybe not for me? But maybe definitely for me? I think it is one of those that I will just have to try and see. I will say that I love the cover. it is beautiful!

  2. Maria Pilar Albarran Ruiz

    November 16, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    I’ve had this book for quite a while but I still haven’t started it… hoping to get to read it soon! Glad to hear you enjoyed it and that the main character really grown into a strong woman!

    • giselle

      November 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      It’s definitely a wonderful character arc!

  3. Megan McDade

    November 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Your review soundslike you really enjoyed the book. I love journey stories and it sounds like this character goes on a great journey of self discovery!

  4. Tiffany (AboutToRead)

    November 14, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    I’m excited for this one! Since it’s set in space, I was surprised to here that it has renaissance elements. Glad you liked it!

  5. Cali W.

    November 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Good review. I like that it’s a renaissance culture set in the deep turn of space. 😉

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