Tool of War
Tool of War

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Series: Ship Breaker Vol. 3   

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Annotation: In a war-torn future ruled by a ruthless corporate government, a bioengineered half-man/half-beast super-soldier breaks his conditioning, overcoming his genetically enhanced sense of loyalty to seek revenge on his old masters.
Catalog Number: #151267
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 377 pages
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-22083-3 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99747-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-22083-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99747-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016051846
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Five years after The Drowned Cities (2012), Bacigalupi returns to his award-winning Ship Breaker series. This opens with a rare moment of peace in the Drowned Cities. Moments later, Havoc missiles rain down death on Tool and his young army, turning humans and city into ash. The Mercier Corporation and General Carora have finally located the DNA-enhanced Tool and are desperate to annihilate their renegade augment. The action is nonstop as Tool is marched through a series of brutal battles, meeting main characters from the earlier books along the way. The number of plot conveniences and narrow escapes is almost as high as the body count as Tool seeks revenge on his corporate makers. The central issue of Tool's humanity is burdened by plot contradictions that overwhelm character development, and the searing passion of the earlier books seems missing. Still, Bacigalupi's action scenes are brilliantly cinematic, powering the pacing with breathtaking superhero stunts. Tool, as ever, is a character impossible to forget, and all loose ends are tied up in an epilogue.
Horn Book
Mahlia, Ocho, and the soldier boys nurse severely wounded half-man Tool (Ship Breaker; The Drowned Cities) back to health. Mercier Corporation (his former owner) pursues Tool to the Seascape (dystopian future Boston), where the once-obedient slave finally confronts his creator. Frenetic action sequences vividly depict combat's brutality and finality, while Bacigalupi masterfully employs multiple alternating viewpoints to examine larger philosophical questions.
Publishers Weekly
Bacigalupi-s intense and violent follow-up to Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities finds Tool-a powerful -augment- made from animal and human DNA-finally in control of the Drowned Cities (the onetime District of Columbia) after years of battle. Before he can take in his victory, he-s attacked by a missile strike and barely survives. He makes his way to the small ship that belongs to Mahlia, who-along with former soldier boy Ocho and his crew-is running her own operation, smuggling art and other artifacts out of the Drowned Cities. Meanwhile, Tool-s creator, General Caroa, is determined to end his existence-after all, Tool has found a way to overcome his programming, and he answers to no master. Bacigalupi-s environmentally ravaged world remains both richly described and terrifying, his characters diverse and complex. Through Tool, he explores free will and the consequences of humans playing at being gods. Not unlike the previous books, this amounts to a bloody, brutal race to survive, and is well worth the wait. Ages 15-up. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Oct.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 10 UpThe third entry in his award-winning dystopian series, following Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities , tells the story of Tool the "augment," a genetically engineered "half-man" made up of a cocktail of genetic materialhuman, dog, tiger. Augments are designed to be the ultimate killing machines while remaining fiercely loyal to his creators. However, once Tool discovers that he can suppress his submissive instincts, he rebels against his creators and splinters off from his augment pack to lead an army of soldier boyshuman child soldiersto capture the Drowned Cities. Tool's creators find him and wipe out his army, which forces him back into hiding. With the help of a new packa band of teen merchant sailorsand old allies, Tool resumes his desrtructive mission. Bacigalupi proves once again that he is a master of world-building; the world he created in the previous two books is just as desolate, violent, and intriguing in this installment. The tensionfrom the time Tool's creators rain fire down upon him in the Drowned Cities, to when Tool finally comes face-to-face with the man who built himis relentless throughout the narrative, and the lack of primary character development (perhaps a result of expecting readers to have plowed through the first two books) allows for the introduction and development of supporting characters, such as Jones, a junior analyst and young prodigy for Mercier Corporation who is helping track Tool down. The amount of violence and bloodshed makes this more suitable for an older audience. VERDICT A strong, entertaining continuation of Bacigalupi's postapocalyptic series; teens will be hoping for future installments. Hand to those who devoured the first two books.Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn Public Library
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Bacigalupi returns to probe his brutal, post-apocalyptic American landscape and darkly provocative characters in this third installment of the series begun in Ship Breaker (2010) and continued in The Drowned Cities (2012). Following the pattern of existential fracture found in its predecessors' narratives, this latest novel further explores the consequences of war and corruption with a focus on the DNA-spliced "augment" called Tool. Tool (also called Blood, Blade, and Karta-Kul the Slaughter-Bringer) is a finely honed weapon, bred for massacre, survival, and loyalty. But after breaking free of his conditioned servitude, Tool represents a serious threat to his former masters, who attack with everything available in their considerable arsenal to destroy him lest they be forced to face the terrifying question of what happens when a weapon turns on its creators. For Tool was uniquely designed for more than just the tactical strategy and lethal bloodlust of most augments—he has a power that, now unleashed, could spell the end for a violently factionalized, inhumanly cruel humanity. Told in third person, the novel alternates among the perspectives of several new as well as familiar characters, none of whom shy away from the constant gore and near-paralyzing moral complexities of their war-torn existence. After playing fascinating, catalyzing roles the first two books, Tool is at center stage at last as readers move through Bacigalupi's exploration of the intricate relationships connecting hunter and prey, master and enslaved, human and monster. Masterful. (Dystopian. 14-adult)
Voice of Youth Advocates
Tool, a genetically augmented, bio-engineered war beast made specifically for combat, was created by combining animal and human DNA. He is a perfect killing machine with extreme endurance and strength, and has human characteristics, too. Tool has found a way to circumvent his programming and avoid the directive to have unwavering loyalty to his creator. As a result, the man who made Tool is relentlessly searching for him so that he can destroy him. In turn, Tool seeks revenge on his creator even as he flees from him. Tool has a crew of humans and his old friend, Mahlia, at his side but even those closest to him sometimes fear his pure violence and power. The third volume in the Ship Breaker trilogy features two of the highest profile characters from the first (Tool) and second (Mahlia) books. Readers familiar with at least the second book, The Drowned Cities (Little, Brown, 2012/VOYA April 2012) will find this dystopian world easier to navigate, but for those eager to leap in without the benefit of backstory, there is sufficient worldbuilding to thoroughly enjoy this rollercoaster ride. The level of violence and bleakness is remarkable; however, it is perfectly counterbalanced by the beautiful, expressive prose. Despite the darkness of the dystopian landscape, there is some shred of hope and a thread running through the book about the importance of “kin” and “the pack.” This book is highly recommended for fans of dystopian fiction.—Sherrie Williams.
Word Count: 77,170
Reading Level: 5.2
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.2 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 192416 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:19.0 / quiz:Q72334
Lexile: HL690L

Set in a dark future devastated by climate change, Tool of War is the third book in a major adventure series by a bestselling and award-winning science fiction author and starring the most provocative character from the acclaimed novels Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities.

In this gripping, eerily prescient sci-fi thriller that Kirkus described as "masterful," Tool--a half-man/half-beast designed for combat--proves himself capable of so much more than his creators had ever dreamed. He has gone rogue from his pack of bioengineered "augments" and emerged a victorious leader of a pack of human soldier boys. But he is hunted relentlessly by someone determined to destroy him, who knows an alarming secret: Tool has found the way to resist his genetically ingrained impulses of submission and loyalty toward his masters... The time is coming when Tool will embark on an all-out war against those who have enslaved him.

From one of science fiction's undisputed masters comes a riveting and all-too-timely page-turner that explores the intricate relationships connecting hunter and prey, master and enslaved, human and monster.

"Suzanne Collins may have put dystopian literature on the YA map with 'The Hunger Games'...but Bacigalupi is one of the genre's masters, employing inventively terrifying details in equally imaginative story lines." --Los Angeles Times

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