Friday, August 21, 2015

Book review - Icebreaker

Title: Icebreaker
Author: Lian Tanner
Genre: sci-fi/distopia
Similar books: The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
                     The Lost Prince by Matt Myklusch
rather unique
Summary: Ever since her parents committed a serious crime and were cast overboard, Petrel has had to fend for herself aboard the Oyster. None of the three warring tribes aboard ship will accept her. She spends her days hiding from bullies, stealing food, and speaking only to two intelligent grey rats. When a boy is found out on the ice, it upsets the balance of the shipboard culture and might just reveal a secret that has been concealed for three hundred years.

My opinion: This may well be the first dystopian novel I've seen aimed at middle grade readers. The focus is a little different than your standard dystopia. While it does delve somewhat into the way the society works and Petrel's place (or lack thereof) in it, the larger focus is on Petrel and her sense of self and value, her desire to belong somewhere. Like many preteens, she wants just one friend and sees the mysterious boy as her chance. That exploration of value and acceptance is far more typical of middle grade fiction than any other dystopia. The portrayal of the characters is somewhat simplistic but with the complexity of the world that's understandable. Overall, its a solid read for 5th-8th graders.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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