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Tool of War

By: Paolo Bacigalupi

Tool, a half-man/half-beast designed for combathas found the way to resist his genetically ingrained impulses of submission and loyalty toward his masters.

ISBN: 9780316220835

JLG Release: Feb 2018


Series: Ship Breaker
Sensitive Areas: Violence: Gun Violence, Language: Mild Language, Violence: Mild Violence, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
The 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 material—human, dog, tiger. Augments are designed to be the ultimate
[STARRED REVIEW]
The 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 material—human, 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 boys—human child soldiers—to 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 pack—a band of teen merchant sailors—and old allies, Tool resumes his destructive 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 tension—from 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 him—is 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

Horn Book

As The Drowned Cities (rev. 5/12) concluded, half-man Tool vowed to bring order to the battle- and climate change–ravaged former Washington, DC, in Bacigalupi’s dystopian future America. Here, just as Tool is claiming victory, Mercier Corporation (his former owner) and General Caroa (his creator) launch a surprise airstrike that obli As The Drowned Cities (rev. 5/12) concluded, half-man Tool vowed to bring order to the battle- and climate change–ravaged former Washington, DC, in Bacigalupi’s dystopian future America. Here, just as Tool is claiming victory, Mercier Corporation (his former owner) and General Caroa (his creator) launch a surprise airstrike that obliterates most of the Drowned Cities. Remarkably, a severely wounded Tool escapes and rejoins Mahlia, along with Ocho and his “soldier boys,” who all nurse Tool back to health until they arrive in the Seascape (a.k.a. Boston) . . . where Mercier’s kill squads find them. Mercier and Caroa relentlessly pursue Tool, afraid of his uncanny ability to persuade and command others—and potentially turn their own bioengineered augments (like Tool) against them. Tool’s complex characterization is center stage here: Bacigalupi slowly reveals how this once-obedient slave now seeks war for justice. Tool also reunites with Nailer and Nita from Ship Breaker (rev. 7/10), requesting their help with his plan (“diplomacy is war by other means”). From the Drowned Cities to the Seascape to Mercier’s dirigible, frenetic action sequences allow readers to vividly experience combat’s brutality and finality. Multiple alternating viewpoints let Bacigalupi masterfully examine larger questions about humanity, genetic engineering, loyalty, freedom, violence, and survival. This striking novel, which is an all-too-timely reminder that humans’ actions have the power to change the world for better or worse, has a satisfyingly hopeful, yet realistic, conclusion. cynthia k. ritter

Book Details

ISBN

9780316220835

First Release

February 2018

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

336

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.2; Points: 12;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.3; Points: 19;

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Little, Brown

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: Gun Violence, Language: Mild Language, Violence: Mild Violence, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use

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