While Ava thinks that she is forced to decide either between life and death after being caught with someone who was not after all her intended, it seems that the fates are in favor of Ava choosing life, but not without sacrifices. Born as the daughter of the ship's captain, Ava knows nothing of life outside the ship, and ergo, definitely nothing of life in another planet. Ava must learn to navigate the intricacies of daily life and understand the nuances of all that she's missing, if she wants to prove to others, but most especially to herself, her inner strength and worth.
Suffice to say, I really enjoyed Duncan's Salvage. It has ships, interplanetary galaxies, a heroine who despite being backhanded by life, struggles to find herself and her place in the world. Ava initially can't care much for others because life on the ship didn't exactly train her to know what to do, but she gradually learns and heals, and I just wanted to give her a hug for getting through all that.
I found myself surprised at a lot of points in the book, because I really didn't quite know what to expect. Last that I read the advance reader's copy summary of Salvage, it was just a paragraph with a lot of blanks and spaces to fill up. I really thought that there would be some revolutions here and there (It's the cover, you see) but you won't find any of that in here, which makes it kind of cleansing to the palate of the reader who's already way in over his/her head with government vs the people scenarios typically found in recent YA books. Salvage is just about a girl, who even if she appears to be in the most fortunate circumstances, is unfortunate enough to be treated as a pawn in a game of money and power. World-building is pretty great, and I had no problem reading this one as it did provide a lot of surmising and surprising.
If you're in the mood for intergalactic revolutions and stuff, Salvage is not it. It's like a contemporary novel, except that it takes place in a very sci-fi environment, which is pretty cool like that. If you've had too much dystopian novels with conspiracies going on and fancy taking a break but still want to linger in the sci-fi environment (or if you want to check out Mumbai after the apocalypse and everything), pick this one and cheer on Ava who proves that we all learn and grow from our mistakes.