Nailer is a teenage boy who lives a hard life. His job is to crawl into the dessicated wrecks of ships and haul out the copper wiring for his crew, in the hopes of earning money. In a community of poverty, everyone dreams of the next Lucky Strike - a find of oil, or a chance to make it rich. When such an opportunity falls right into Nailer's lap, though, nobody might be more surprised at his choices than he is himself. Ship Breaker is a dystopian fantasy, a book that traditionalists might call 'a boy's book', set in a future that's not so hard to imagine. The oceans have risen, drowning whole cities, and everything seems touched with the smudge and stain of oil. So many, many people live in poverty, but still there are the elite, the rich who have wealth beyond everyone else's dreams. Through Nailer's eyes we see a potential future of the Gulf Coast - submerged cities, washed up wrecks, people struggling to eke out a living. One thing I loved about this book was the cast of characters. Within the first few pages were are introduced to an intensely multi-racial world, described deliberately and without hesitation. Having just read another fantasy book set in the region that seemed barely multi-racial at all, I really enjoyed this. The world is fascinating, one where the Earth as we know it has changed. We see genetic tampering at play, and the possible consequences of the very years we're living in right now. It's a story about family - of blood and other types - and adventure, with a hint of romance and a lot about boats. The latter is why I am rating this four stars instead of five - I know that some will love the descriptions of ships and boats and how they work, the sailing - for me it went over my head, so it's lucky that I'm good at skimming bits like that, focusing instead on the characters. The other quibble that I had was the romance - I felt that it was a bit of 'told, not shown' yet again. Nailer starts off resentful of the 'swank' girl who lands in his midst, yet he develops feelings for her - understandable. But I felt the middle part wasn't fleshed out enough. We weren't so much able to see it happen as we were told it happened. I love books that really think and flesh out possible futures, though, and this book does that very well. Nailer is an endearing character - proud and conflicted, greedy when he doesn't want to be, with family issues that I can sympathise with. I'm looking forward to the second book.