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Biologists devised a simple experiment to test the chickens' preferences of where to be: they picked up individual animals, relocated them randomly within their houses, and monitored what the chickens did next. What they found was that most chickens moved closer to other chickens, not farther away, even when there was open space available. Given the option of space to spread their wings This is not to say that chickens thus like being smushed against other birds in a cage, or find it a perfectly agreeable life.

It is inhumane to pen chickens so tightly they cannot move. But it is to say that assuming resemblance between chicken preferences and our preferences is not the way to insight about what the chicken actually does like. Not coincidentally, these broiler chickens are killed before they reach six weeks of age; domestic chicks are still being brooded by their mothers at that age. Deprived of the ability to run under her wings, the broiler chickens run closer to other chickens.

Do our anthropomorphic tendencies ever miss so fabulously with dogs? Without a doubt they do. Take raincoats. There are some interesting assumptions involved in the creation and purchase of tiny, stylish, four-armed rain slickers for dogs. Let's put aside the question of whether dogs prefer a bright yellow slicker, a tartan pattern, or a raining-cats-and-dogs motif clearly they prefer the cats and dogs.

Many dog owners who dress their dogs in coats have the best intentions: they have noticed, perhaps, that their dog resists going outside when it rains. It seems reasonable to extrapolate from that observation to the conclusion that he dislikes the rain. View all New York Times newsletters. He dislikes the rain. What is meant by that? It is that he must dislike getting the rain on his body, the way many of us do.

But is that a sound leap? In this case, there is plenty of seeming evidence from the dog himself. Is he excited and wagging when you get the raincoat out? That seems to support the leap Does he flee from the coat? Curl his tail under his body and duck his head? Undermines the leap - though does not discredit it outright.

Does he look bedraggled when wet? Does he shake the water off excitedly? Neither confirmatory nor disconfirming. The dog is being a little opaque. Here the natural behavior of related, wild canines proves the most informative about what the dog might think about a raincoat. Both dogs and wolves have, clearly, their own coats permanently affixed. One coat is enough: when it rains, wolves may seek shelter, but they do not cover themselves with natural materials. That does not argue for the need for or interest in raincoats. And besides being a jacket, the raincoat is also one distinctive thing: a close, even pressing, covering of the back, chest, and sometimes the head.

There are occasions when wolves get pressed upon the back or head: it is when they are being dominated by another wolf, or scolded by an older wolf or relative. Dominants often pin subordinates down by the snout. This is called muzzle biting, and accounts, perhaps, for why muzzled dogs sometimes seem preternaturally subdued. And a dog who "stands over" another dog is being dominant. The subordinate dog in that arrangement would feel the pressure of the dominant animal on his body.

The raincoat might well reproduce that feeling. So the principal experience of wearing a coat is not the experience of feeling protected from wetness; rather, the coat produces the discomfiting feeling that someone higher ranking than you is nearby. This interpretation is borne out by most dogs' behavior when getting put into a raincoat: they may freeze in place as they are "dominated.

The be-jacketed dog may cooperate in going out, but not because he has shown he likes the coat; it is because he has been subdued. And he will wind up being less wet, but it is we who care about the planning for that, not the dog. The way around this kind of misstep is to replace our anthropomorphizing instinct with a behavior-reading instinct. In most cases, this is simple: we must ask the dog what he wants.

You need only know how to translate his answer. Here is our first tool to getting that answer: imagining the point of view of the dog. What he proposed was revolutionary: anyone who wants to understand the life of an animal must begin by considering what he called their umwelt OOM-velt : their subjective or "self-world.

Consider, for instance, the lowly deer tick. Those of you who have spent long minutes hesitatingly petting the body of a dog for the telltale pinhead that indicates a tick swollen with blood may have already considered the tick. And you probably consider the tick as a pest, period.

Barely even an animal. A little background: ticks are parasites. Members of the family arachnid, a class that includes spiders and insects, they have four pairs of legs, a simple body type, and powerful jaws. Thousands of generations of evolution have pared their life to the straightforward: birth, mating, eating, and dying. Born legless and without sex organs, they soon grow these parts, mate, and climb to a high perch - say, a blade of grass.

Here's where their tale gets striking. Of all the sights, sounds, and odors of the world, the adult tick is waiting for just one. It is not looking around: ticks are blind. No sound bothers the tick: sounds are irrelevant to its goal. It only awaits the approach of a single smell: a whiff of butyric acid, a fatty acid emitted by warm-blooded creatures we sometimes smell it in sweat.

It might wait here for a day, a month, or a dozen years. But as soon as it smells the odor it is fixed on, it drops from its perch. Then a second sensory ability kicks in. Its skin is photosensitive, and can detect warmth.

Alexandra Horowitz

The tick directs itself toward warmth. If it's lucky, the warm, sweaty smell is an animal, and the tick grasps on and drinks a meal of blood. After feeding once, it drops, lays eggs, and dies. The point of this tale of the tick is that the tick's self-world is different than ours in unimagined ways: what it senses or wants; what its goals are. To the tick, the complexity of persons is reduced to two stimuli: smell and warmth - and it is very intent on those two things.


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If we want to understand the life of any animal, we need to know what things are meaningful to it. The first way to discover this is to determine what the animal can perceive: what it can see, hear, smell, or otherwise sense. Only objects that are perceived can have meaning to the animal; the rest are not even noticed, or all look the same. The wind that whisks through the grasses? Irrelevant to the tick. The sounds of a childhood birthday party? Doesn't appear on its radar. The delicious cake crumbs on the ground?

Leave the tick cold. Second, how does the animal act on the world? The tick mates, waits, drops, and feeds. So the objects of the universe, for the tick, are divided into ticks and non-ticks; things one can or cannot wait upon; surfaces one might or might not drop onto; and substances one may or may not want to feed on. Thus, these two components - perception and action - largely define and circumscribe the world for every living thing. We humans are enclosed in our own soap bubbles, too.

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In each of our self-worlds, for instance, we are very attentive to where other people are and what they are doing or saying. By contrast, imagine the tick's indifference to even our most moving monologues. We see in the visual range of light, we hear audible noises, and we smell strong odors placed in front of our noses. Luckily I liked it, so it wasn't a looooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnggggg damn book. Feminist dystopian SF as a category description doesn't have me in a lather of urgency to read a book.

It might be more likely to lather me up now, since Duncan's gift for poetical description is deployed to create such a series of parallel worlds. The Crewe of Parastrata, Ava's birthplace and homeland, are misogynistic patriarchal violence addicts. The strange society of the Gyre, where Ava finds lovingkindness, is worthy of an entire book of its own. The horrifying megamega-megalopolis of Mumbai, MILLION strong, made me claustrophobic, and the modren tecknowledgee was more like what we'll have in than futuristic But listen, if your Firefly love was at least partly rooted in its unique linguistic take on the future if you DIDN'T love Firefly you wouldn't be my friend and therefore shouldn't be bothered by reading this review , this book will scratch the bump left by its short life.

Like Firefly as well is the more-or-less libertarian bent of this book's worlds. It's completely impossible to closely govern a dense population the size of Mumbai, no matter how high your tech. The pleasures of reading lovely sentences are sometimes lessened by those sentences serving a slow-paced story. For my part I found the leisurely pace of the novel added to my sense of getting to know the worlds Duncan was giving me in some depth.

Some things still managed to get sprung on me. But in the end, it was a small cavil in the larger picture of empowerment and growth. In my quest never to ossify above the neck, I choose a genre to read a book in that I normally avoid like it gots the cooties. YA is one of those genres for me. This YA novel was a pleasant surprise, and it contained a message that I would very much like any teenaged girl in today's world to receive. No one will empower you.

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Empower yourself and refuse to listen to "no. View 2 comments. Book, you are awesome. Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. Well, Salvage shows us not the bright, chromed future of Star Trek, but a gritty one minus the aliens.

Small nomadic tribes of hunter-gatherers, marked by powerful kinship bonds, fixed status and rigidly Book, you are awesome. Small nomadic tribes of hunter-gatherers, marked by powerful kinship bonds, fixed status and rigidly defined social expectations tumble on their patched-up ships through space.

The future of humanity in space is shaped by a preindustrial, heavily patriarchal society with predominant roles for custom and habit, polygynous households, strict gender roles where the division of labor is influenced by age, gender, and status. Those tribes have powerful collective memories sanctioned by rituals, songs and legends. Sounds like a interesting premise, right? It is. I was utterly engrossed in the intense description of this life.

Ava is illiterate as are all women on this ship. Every once in a while the ship on which her father is the captain returns to Earth and meets up with other tribes the nearby trade space station. At sixteen, she learns she has to go through with the arranged marriage to someone on a different ship.

Ava escapes her fate. Now on Earth Ava has to come to terms with not only what happened to her but also an overpopulated, technological advanced earth suffering from environmental issues, weather conditions and pollution. This is young adult science fiction done right. Ava is a survivor and she grows beyond the limiting confines of the circumstances in which she was born. She crept through the bowels of hell and came out free. One other thing: I was relieved by the lack of silly romances or stupid love triangles. There is romance, there even are two young men, but it is just the way it is, not overdone.

This book feels very much like a stand-alone but I hope this is not the last we have heard of Ava and her friends. View all 4 comments. Sep 25, Melanie added it Shelves: sci-fi , f-a-i-l , romance , could-have-been-so-much-better , books-i-own , dnf , love-triangle , dystopian-utopian , e-arc , take-your-instant-love-and-get-lost.

So after just a little over a fifth in, I decided that there is probably no point. And by the looks of my friend's reviews, I am correct. Duncan is by no means a bad author. In fact, I quite enjoyed her writing--it's very sophisticated yet easy to read through. Nonetheless, a series of major turn-offs in the first few chapters cemented my decision of DNFing this. The names. This was like my warning bell. A little quibble that resulted in more and more as the story progressed. It miiight be possible but c'mon, that's getting unbelievable and WTF-ery. The jargon. Imagine painting a house but you've never seen one before.

There is someone telling you to draw a roof, walls and windows etc but you have no idea what roofs and walls and windows are and how to draw those, either. You are lost and frustrated. And finally, they explain: draw a triangle and two small squares in the large square. In Salvage, there's immediately jargon and weird terminology coming into play which felt suffocating. It took quite some time to work out what the characters were referring to and made it even harder to get "into" the book.


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  • Stating the obvious. This has happened quite a few times when I was reading Salvage. The characters really loved stating obvious things or things that pretty much everyone on Earth already knows. Here's just an example: "Your hair looks darker when it's wet," Luck says. No SHIT. Everyone's hair looks darker when it's wet. So the book opens up with our main character, Ava, who is going to get married. She believes it will be to her friend's brother, Luck--she's only met Luck once, but has grown a crush on him. So one night before the marriage, she bumps into Luck and after just a few minutes Like what.

    I do not compute. I do not recommend this book as I found it a waste of time--especially since it's a whooping pages and certainly does not need that many. But of course, if you don't mind instant-love and a love triangle further along the track, apparently , jargon and odd terms, not to mention pretty unlikable characters, go for it. Sep 29, Keertana rated it liked it Shelves: why-the-hype , arc-galley-and-first-reads.

    If there's anything I hate more than a love triangle, it's an unexpected love triangle. And today is Valentine's Day too. I see what you did to me there, World. I see it. Ava, our protagonist, starts her journey on the space ship where she lives in a dominant patriarchal society.

    So dominant, in fact, that the women are kept illiterate and expected to perform household duties. Um, try prehistoric. While I appreciated that this divide was starkly outlined, evident even in mythology that told of women misbehaving and causing disaster when given too much freedom, the feminist growth arc Ava undergoes after leaving her home behind left much to be desired.

    On her home ship, Ava is told that she is to be a bride soon. Ava hopes - desperately - that it is Luck, the brother of her friend, Soli, who she has only met once. When they meet again, Ava and Luck's feelings for each other are strongly existent, despite the time they've spent apart. Unfortunately, however, a tragic series of accidents leads to Ava being thrown off her space ship and back down to a polluted, dying Earth. If you couldn't already tell from my description of Romance 1, it's little more than insta-love.

    Yet, Luck does see Ava as a woman capable of learning the tasks of men and Ava, after living a sheltered life submissive to men, is naturally drawn to Luck who sees her as more than a mere child-bearer. On Earth, however, Ava must attempt to survive and her primary objective to find her aunt who resides in Mumbai.

    Once on Earth, the narrative of this novel drags, becoming increasingly boring. In fact, I am almost positive I spaced no pun intended! As such, I can only be While the evidence of its decline is glaringly obvious, I remain puzzled about the nascence of the communities aboard space ships, not to mention why there is such a large population still on Earth when they could be living in space. Moreover, what made the communities aboard these space ships believe that they needed to go backwards in time after making so much modern-day progress in the women's movement?

    I wish Duncan had spent more time exploring these corrupt politics aboard these ships instead of focusing on the romance story line. After Amy Kathleen Ryan's Sky Chasers Trilogy, I've realized that the scope to be explored aboard a space ship is far more than most authors would lead their readers to be believe and, on that front, I was disappointed by Salvage.

    Nevertheless, on Earth Ava does come to recognize the inconsistencies with her previous life. While her transition into a bad-ass feminist is rushed, it is still present which is a relief. Ava forges many strong bonds with characters she meets on her journey to find her aunt in Mumbai, but I wish those secondary characters could have come into their own a little more instead of the focus remaining solely on Ava's characterization. Once in Mumbai, though, my issues began to arise with Duncan's setting itself.

    I've been to Mumbai and though the landmarks mentioned are accurate, as are the mention of elephants, I found that the rich atmosphere of Indian culture that pervades every part of India to be missing. In The Lost Girl, Sangu Mandanna does a brilliant job of capturing the essence of Bangalore, the city where part of her novel takes place. Sadly, the essence of Mumbai isn't portrayed the way I'd have liked it to be in Salvage and instead of connecting to a setting I'd been to, I felt distanced from it instead. Of course, this is a personal qualm I have as I've been to India many times, so I'm sure most readers will not struggle with this.

    Of course, Mumbai brings us to Love Interest 2 and, honestly, I just did not see this coming. I don't know why. I figured that since this novel is a stand-alone and Ava was so hung up on Luck throughout the novel, there couldn't be anyone else for her. It's a sweet romance, but one I found rather unnecessary to the plot line as it is given such minimal screen time. Instead, it is the friendship that is developed well and I wish this novel could have remained that way.

    I enjoyed the conclusive ending of this novel, though, and am thankful the love triangle is wrapped up quite neatly and very tastefully, actually empowering Ava. Ultimately, though, Salvage is a character-driven novel where I didn't feel much for the characters. I love the world Duncan has created and I wish she had spent more time detailing this universe to the reader and exploring intriguing plot devices within the different nooks and crannies of her richly imagined future.

    Instead, I found myself flipping these pages rather dully, looking up with excitement from time to time but mostly reading this as a disengaged individual. Salvage isn't a spectacular debut and for fans of science-fiction, I wouldn't recommend this. On the other hand, though, if you're just looking for an innovative new read, this novel does the trick. View all 10 comments. Jul 29, Beth rated it it was amazing Shelves: ya , sci-fi. Salvage 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. Aug 16, Saniya marked it as to-read. With one life-altering decision, a sixteen-year-old girl from an isolated community in space is exiled to the over-populated and crumbling Earth. Thats it? Thats the blurb? LOL, I might read this just to figure the story out. How could I have resisted a gorgeous, intriguing cover like that? Of course, the cover had lured me to give this book a shot. I didn't finish this book. That doesn't mean this was a bad book! It just wasn't a book for me. With its elegant, descriptive and poetic writing , it was no wonder Salvage had not really interested me.

    I do appreciate and love how authors can write this beautifully, but I much prefer simple writing to get me into How could I have resisted a gorgeous, intriguing cover like that? I do appreciate and love how authors can write this beautifully, but I much prefer simple writing to get me into the story and the characters. Other people might find this type of writing to be the book's asset , even. In addition to this writing, Salvage also had some odd terms and names.

    They're not your ordinary, odd-spelled names--they're practically sentences in themselves. To sum it up, it was the writing style that led this book to my DNF shelf. I also find the heroine to be quite immature. She made decisions too quickly and never bothered to think of the consequences. I guess this is also why the romance moved on a bit too fast for my liking. If you're a fan of this type of writing, you can go on and find more redeeming qualities from this novel.

    I don't think I got far enough to find any of Salvage 's better aspects. I did like where the plot was going by the time I stopped --things were heating up and were getting exciting--but I just couldn't go on with this type of writing. View all 5 comments. Jun 05, Giselle rated it really liked it Shelves: from-edelweiss , genre-dystopia , , arc-electronic , genre-space , arc-physical , requested-for-review , 4-star , age-young-adult , genre-apocalyptic. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

    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. Seeing her childhood crush, Luck was a mistake because does something that is scandalized and has her cast a An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review. 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. Oct 11, Katie Walton rated it really liked it Shelves: out-of-this-world , young-adult , dystopian-reads , into-the-future , thanks-edelweiss , big-social-issues , books-for-girls.

    I didn't realize I had preconceived notions about what to expect from a society confined to a space ship, but then Alexandra Duncan started ripping them away and instead she gives me polygamists- in space. Ava has lived her entire life in deep space, traveling along merchant routes with her Crewe. The women of the ship must all work constantly to be virtuous, productive and demure. Ava's pretty good at living by the rules, and almost as good at breaking them wi Polygamists.

    Ava's pretty good at living by the rules, and almost as good at breaking them without getting caught. When Ava eventually does get caught it brings an abrupt end to life as she knows it. This one is for the junior anthropologists, the sociologists and the space cadets. Sci-fi fans will eat this up and come back begging for seconds!! This isn't just a book, this is a journey through hardship and love and personal growth.

    This book stands out in part because it stands alone, the whole complex and sordid plot fits into one volume. Oh but I hope there's more to come. I yearn to discover Miyole's story and after you read this, I'm betting you will too!! View 1 comment. Mar 04, Tina added it Shelves: favorites. From the very first pages I was intrigued because she was haughty about being so girl and I knew that wasn't going to last. I was also intrigued by her curiosity, her boldness despite the harsh society in which she lived. And this determination carries throughout the book.

    I said something similar of the main character in Tin Star, but I'll say it again: It's hard not to respect and admire a character who goes through such tough circumstances and comes out alive and well and able to take care of not only herself, but another dependent. From the rigid gender-oriented decks of the Parastrata and some of the less rigid decks of other ships to the floating, kind community of the Gyre to futuristic Mumbai, this book is like no other YA novel that I've read in terms of the scope of its settings.

    It's also very easy to imagine the different jobs that someone could have in the various societies. And if Duncan ever chose to expand on this universe, I certainly wouldn't complain. There's a lot of world-building here, and a lot more that could still come too because it's so well-developed. It was always about choice, despite others trying to strip that from Ava. Even when the book does focus on romance, it doesn't take long for us to know the consequences - to feel that underlying tension - or realize what's looming on the horizon This book has a beautiful empowering feel and plenty to discuss on the above topics Duncan expertly points out the differences in class among all the societies that she's created and it's all so very real.

    Of course Ava's character was not in much of a position to know this information, but that doesn't mean that I as a reader wouldn't crave it. Especially with such a highly advanced world colonies? The Earthen technology and well developed settings. Also is there no governing society with laws to ensure that these kind of infringements happen? I mean, all the merchant ships - if they are transporting goods to colonies, wouldn't there be some regulation? And the other crewes recognize how strange Parastrata's very rigid patriarchal society is. Anyway, none of this took away my enjoyment of the novel.

    And despite the fact that it's about Ava growing from her starting point in a severely male-dominated society, very rigid gender roles and all, it is the female characters that rule the day in this book. For me at least and I loved the different strengths Duncan portrayed in them. Alexandra Duncan does a fantastic job at incorporating sensual details. She's also invented some brilliant slang for the futuristic world that never seemed too much to me and was easy to understand from the get-go.

    Readers who are wary of dialects ought to try an excerpt of the novel to see if it works for them too. There's always something happening, to be sure, like world-building and character building and etc. But since so much happens to Ava in the course of the novel, and with many different societies to explore, I felt the page weight as I was reading. Very eye-catching, some sci-fi, and a tagline that works to show the book as a whole. Such unique settings Parastrata the ship, the Gyre, and futuristic Mumbai!

    This is the sort of novel that I wish I'd read in high school.

    A Conspiracy of Truths | Book by Alexandra Rowland | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

    I'm definitely going to look out for more from this author. Wonderful literary science fiction that I'd recommend to fans of Matched, Tin Star, and Across the Universe among others. On the audience: The feel of this book - literary, personal growth, empowering, mostly focused on MC - reminds me of the feel in Not a Drop to Drink - there might be some crossover crowd there, despite the different topics.

    The epic scope of the world, plus the multiple plot threads, reminds me of Tin Star. Ava's character growth - the emphasis on choice and free will too - and some bits of the romance reminds me of that freeing feel in Matched. Ava's struggle to learn how to fit in Earthen society, compared to the sheltered world she'd known, might appeal to fans of Under the Never Sky , with Aria's character arc.

    There are also the obvious comparisons to Across the Universe and Starglass. The Edelweiss page also suggested that Salvage fit fans of The Handmaid's Tale - which I count myself among - and I would mostly agree with that assertion Still the comparison rings true. Jan 20, Elena rated it liked it. Jun 20, Olga Kowalska WielkiBuk rated it liked it. It is not an easy task to create a young adult novel, in dystopian future with feminist ideas in it. Yet, Alexandra Duncan managed to do so pretty well. It is a fascination story, symbolic and full of interesting concepts, too chaotic at times, but still exciting for younger readers.

    Jun 26, Ben Babcock rated it it was ok Shelves: read , from-library , young-adult , science-fiction. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There is something to be said for aspirational science fiction. I singled out The Martian as such. And despite its beginnings, there is definitely much that is inspirational about Salvage.

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    It took a while for that to come into focus. At the start of the book, I was intrigued but not impressed. Alexandra Duncan manages to portray a believable world aboard a spaceship where the patriarchy has gone into overdrive. Still, like I said: not impressed. Why read another book about how the Earth has gone to shit and men are treating women even more poorly than they do now?

    Why not read a book where women are even more kickass than they already are and are sorting things out like they can totally do? Science fiction can give that to us. When I look at what this novel actually is, and the story Duncan actually tells, there is a lot to like about it. Ava is a complex protagonist, likeable and unlikeable in turns as she grows and comes out of the shell erected around her by the cult of her upbringing.

    The characters who surround her are not always as complicated, nor is the worldbuilding much to remark upon; however, Duncan makes up for this in a richness of language, description, and emotional beats. Once I realized the Parastrata is a cult, rather than an example of the wider society, Salvage got much, much better. Essentially it means we need to look at Ava like someone who needs deprogramming from intensive brainwashing—all the more so because she grew up in this atmosphere. Her flaws suddenly have this additional layer to them: she is hesitant not just because she is unsure of herself but because she has been raised that women should act a certain way.

    In each of these cases, Ava apprehends a new way of looking at the world. She also learns more about herself, for as each character challenges her ingrained worldview, she must decide which aspects of their philosophy to make her own, and which ones to reject. We all do this every day of our lives, of course, but in Ava the process is much more obvious, for she is in constant flux and crisis as a result of her flight from the Parastrata. I wish the characters had felt like more than mentors and examples, though. Miyole is an exception, and with good reason. Rushil probably annoys me the most.

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    He seems shoehorned in as a love interest and alternative to Luck. That climactic moment when Ava must choose, after spending much of the book pining after, then searching for, her once-beloved, is very powerful. Similarly, Soraya basically functions as another mother figure for Ava, or maybe a kind of older sister: a responsible guardian, wise enough to give Ava some space and some leeway but also to impose a few rules.

    The wider world of Salvage , too, suffers from this kind of glistening indistinctness. Parastrata has exaggerated the toxic nature of the planet, especially for women, and Mumbai seems like a thriving urban centre. In particular, Duncan does little to outline the state of technology. There are apparently colonies elsewhere … in the solar system? Other systems? Similarly, there are spaceships capable of traversing such distances, as well as smaller ships capable of suborbital flight. But we get little sense of technological progress beyond that.

    Nevertheless, Duncan errs too much in favour of such reserve. There are some moments in this I just love. Ava rising to the occasion to take care of Miyole. The feeling of betrayal when Ava discovers that her grandfather joined the Parastrata crew as an anthropologist and fathered her mother essentially as a way to stick around rather than through any attachment. The corresponding feeling of relief when she discovers Soraya nevertheless feels responsible and even warm to Ava. So there are many feelings simmering beneath the surface of Salvage , and I have many feelings as a result.

    For all these great aspects, Salvage strikes me as quite rough. Update: Sound review Salvage was one of the toughest books to read, the beginning was what I struggled with the most. I could understand why these two characters would assume that they were going to be married to one another and why they would d Salvage was one of the toughest books to read, the beginning was what I struggled with the most.

    Despite not liking this world that Ava was bought up in Upside, I was glad to see Ava was given the chance to make the most out of her life away from Space side. But thankfully Ava did manage to grow into her own character and fully grasp and take advantage of what was available to her. Also this is when we were introduced to two fantastic characters in Perpetue and Miyole. Perpetue and Miyole were exactly what Ava needed, they both took her on no questions asked and when she was still suffering from what had happened above.

    I was too still kind of freaking out about it. But for me this is also when the book picked up for me incredibly, we got to experience Ava on an incredible journey trying to make a life for herself, but being able to through help in unexpected places such as Rushil. Rushil was the sweetest person ever, he took Ava in when she was a complete stranger and helped her when things were tight for him too.

    But then slowly Rushil started winning me over, that I was like Luck who? But then when Ava went on to try and find Luck I wanted her to find him and be with him all over again. But at the end of the day I think Ava made the best decision possible. Despite this love triangle I was relatively able to enjoy Salvage; I enjoyed the chapters that Duncan wrote in Mumbai and the culture that Ava was able to take in. This review can be found on The Readers Den Oct 01, Kelly rated it really liked it.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. At first i was confused by the author's writing but then after a while I got used to it and found it really original. The world building was pretty good and I liked getting to know these "crewes" even though the one she lived in was really unfair to women. At least, there were some great characters i enjoyed getting to know and the storyline was interesting. I wasn't bored. The thing i didn't like though was view spoiler [the fact that Luke got married to Lel I really enjoyed reading this book.

    The thing i didn't like though was view spoiler [the fact that Luke got married to Lell -or whatever her name was- and got her pregnant so quickly while Ava was strugling to heal from her travel in space. Yes, I'm glad he's okay and I loved him in the beginning of the book, but now I'm just glad she has Rushil to herself.

    He's such a sweet and funny guy. And he has tattoos, so that's just a bonus. May 10, J. Johansson rated it it was amazing. I felt like I was reading something totally new and I don't get to experience that very often. She learns and grows and goes through SO much! It was a wild ride and I loved every minute of it! Jul 01, Soumi added it Shelves: books-i-reviewed , young-adult , space-fiction , to-review. It has its merits and demerits. The author did an laudable chore in describing futuristic Mumbai, but the story was dragged more than it required, causing me to die several times in boredom.

    Review to come. Dec 22, Dark Faerie Tales rated it liked it Shelves: reviewed-by-kaitlin. Opening Sentence: The morning before our ship, Parastrata, docks at the skyport, I rise early. The Review: Salvage is the story of a girl ostracized from her ship in space. Forced away from her love interest and onto the harsh earth, she must learn to survive the gravity of the planet, take care of an orphaned girl, and learn to love again.

    It was hard to get into any of the first chapters because I understood nothing — although I began to see what was happening by page thirty something, before that I was not really getting it. In my opinion they fell for each other way to fast. Now they are meeting again, and somehow both of them are still starstuck? Their parents, both captains, have supposedly bethrothed them, but still. At least their relationship takes more than a few pages to develop!

    He also has flaws, secrets in his past, and in my eyes it works in his favor: Luck was to perfect, not a very believable character. Yes, there is space travel. Yes, earth is different from present earth. My feelings for this book were in no way bad — just eh, the whole way through. The ending was slightly more entertaining but moved rather fast.

    Altogether Salvage was an okay novel, but nothing I would reread later on. I had such high hopes starting this one and I felt a little let down by the end. Worse comes to worse, you have a beautiful book cover to display from your shelf! Notable Scene: 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. Mar 20, Sarah Louise rated it liked it. I'm quite torn by this book. Despite my three star rating, I really did enjoy this futuristic exploration of survival on Earth. Salvage follows the escape of Ava, a young woman aboard the merchant spaceship, Parastrata, who is sentenced to death by her crew.

    In a male-dominated environment, the Parastrata women are treated as unfit, obedient housemaids, with the sole purpose of performing chores and providing children. Although Ava harbours the natural ability of a mechanic, such tasks are restr I'm quite torn by this book. Although Ava harbours the natural ability of a mechanic, such tasks are restricted to men, forcing her to suppress her knowledge and, instead, tend to farm animals. Aside from being a story of survival in a corrupted society, Salvage is also a story about a young teenager learning and embracing her choices as a female, despite the messages ingrained from birth.

    But, here's the thing: The world was utterly confusing. Salvage immediately introduces a variety of terminology with zero explanation, which even after reading paragraphs multiple times, I could not comprehend. After reading the language used in different contexts, I was better able to understand the parallel to modern day words, but because of this, the beginning of the story was extremely confusing. And while some phrases resembled poorly written English, others were overly simplified to the point that was equally as confusing. And then it'll come out someone's taught me fixes.

    Aside from accepting trades, association with Earth is frowned upon, especially by women, and I'm not quite sure how, or why, this started. With this being a futuristic setting, I'm confused as to what caused society to travel to space and revert back to archaic customs by obliterating the opportunity for women to use their brain.

    Thankfully, although the romance features a love triangle, both love interests were respectable. The relationship between Ava and Luck, a neighbouring crew member, was a completely unrealistic representation of love, however. In fact, I enjoyed all the characters met on Earth. Each, in their own way, lead Ava in a more positive direction, one that allows her to strengthen her self-worth. The moments on Earth, which make a large portion of Salvage , were my personal favourite, especially the descriptive scenery of Mumbai.

    I do think more explanation could have been provided of Earth, though, as I am still confused about the living conditions of certain areas. But, even after all that, I'd still recommend Salvage. Despite being a long book, I was continually interested in the story and characters. I thought the ending contained a perfect message, as well, and I am definitely looking forward to the companion novel, Sound. Jun 17, Jen Ryland added it Shelves: debut-challenge I'm not a big reader of sci-fi, so I went into this book with some trepidation, but I really enjoyed it.

    It's a beautifully written coming-of-age story set first in space, then on an floating island of flotsam in the Pacific, then in a futuristic Mumbai. The first ten chapters or so take place aboard the Parastrata, a space merchant ship that houses an oppressive, patriarchal little community, complete with arranged polygamous marriage. I wasn't really sure I was up for reading pages of that, I'm not a big reader of sci-fi, so I went into this book with some trepidation, but I really enjoyed it.

    I wasn't really sure I was up for reading pages of that, but then -- BAM! Alone and undereducated, Ava will have to make her way in an unfamilar world, deal with her shame at being cast out by her community, unravel some family secrets, and learn that she can be strong and also accept help from others.