3.68 (3,002 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated 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, in this 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. Internationally bestselling author Stephanie Perkins called it "brilliant, feminist science fiction."

Ava is the captain's daughter. This allows her limited freedom and a certain status in the Parastrata's rigid society--but it doesn't mean she can read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. When Ava learns she is to be traded in marriage to another merchant ship, she hopes for the best. After all, she is the captain's daughter. But instead, betrayal, banishment, and a brush with love and death are her destiny, and Ava stows away on a mail sloop bound for Earth in order to escape both her past and her future. The gravity almost kills her. Gradually recuperating in a stranger's floating cabin on the Gyre, a huge mass of scrap and garbage in the Pacific Ocean, Ava begins to learn the true meaning of family and home and trust--and she begins to nourish her own strength and soul. This sweeping and harrowing novel explores themes of choice, agency, rebellion, and family, and after a tidal wave destroys the Gyre and all those who live there, ultimately sends its main character on a thrilling journey to Mumbai, the beating heart of Alexandra Duncan's post-climate change Earth. An Andre Norton Award nominee.
show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 528 pages
  • 142 x 213 x 46mm | 567g
  • English
  • 0062220144
  • 9780062220141
  • 582,669

Back cover copy

Her life is a shadow of a life. Her future is not her own to fashion.

Her family is a tangle of secrets. She cannot read. She cannot write.

But she is Parastrata Ava, the Captain's eldest daughter, the so girl of a long-range crewe--her obligations are grave and many.

And when she makes a mistake, in a fragrant orchard of lemons, the consequences are deadly.

There are some who would say, there but for the Mercies go I.

There are some who would say Parastrata Ava is just a silly earthstruck girl who got what was coming to her.

But they don't know the half of it.
show more

Review quote

"Debut author Alexandra Duncan portrays a patriarchal civilization eerily reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale....Duncan's fast-paced narrative and original settings--from the Parastrata to the Gyre (a floating garbage mass in the Pacific) to Mumbai--will keep readers riveted."--Shelf Awareness for Readers
show more

Rating details

3,002 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 27% (824)
4 32% (963)
3 26% (789)
2 9% (284)
1 5% (142)

Our customer reviews

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 more
by Giselle SM
I wanted to read Salvage I'll admit, the cover caught my eye. Its pretty and the moon being so close to the water and the girl on the beach. I just want to know what it going on. Then I read the synopsis and saw a chance for the main character to totally stand up for women in general on the male dominated planet, and I also wanted to find out how she would fare with her escape. Like me and most sci-fi all of the new words, concepts and world was a little overwhelming, but by Chapter 4 I was learning what everything meant and their slightly different word usage and style. I did like the world building even if it took me a while to really understand. They are on a spaceship and it sounds like something happened on the earth but they still long for it. The structure of their ships heirarchy was maddening, but I totally understand that our society used to be similar as well. Women do not have jobs as mechanics or pilots, instead their value comes from kitchens, livestock care, laundry and most importantly having babies. I didn't connect right away with Ava but by chapter 3, I saw that she did have a spark to fight how things were, learning about the fixes and just the desire to learn more, since women don't learn to read or much math, she learned figuring on her own. We got to see pretty quickly what she was made of when she was set to be a bride for a ship that they hope to negotiate trade with, and she is caught in a compromising situation that broke my heart. Her brother all of the sudden won't talk to her, the Aethers, the other ship kicks her off, and she is going to be exiled. As for the secondary characters I liked Soli and Luck, but wondered at the beginning why so much time was built building these relationships, but then I figured that is the catalyst for her needing to escape and being on Gyre. Then after she escapes, we meet Perpetue and Miyole. They are so accepting and Miyole is a precious, intelligent little girl. It gives Ava purpose, but also Miyole a role model and someone to help her along. The part where they end up in Kalina and the Salts was pretty epic. The things that Ava never thought she would have to do and a strength even more than everything she'd already overcome and faced rises up in her and I really admired her and her willingness to do what needed to be done for her and Miyole. Also, how Ava discovers a kindness in strangers, really shows her that humanity can go both ways, they can do horrible things, but then also beautiful. I am pleased with how the romance was threaded into the book and the resolution. I can't talk much about it, just like I can't talk much about where she ends up after Gyre because I def don't want to give out spoilers, but I saw tremendous character growth in her, as well as surprising twists to the story. Despite the slow for me start, I ended up tearing through Salvage, connecting with Ava, loving the world set-up, as well as hoping for another book about Ava to release soon. But as I understand it is a standalone, so I think there is lots of potential with the great world building and character development that will be lost. Bottom Line: For me, took until Ch. 3-4 to get fully into the story then it carried me more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X