Tool of War

(Ship Breaker: Bk. 3). 8 CDs. 9:54 hrs. Listening Library. Oct. 2017. $60. ISBN 9780804166829. digital download.
Gr 7 Up—Set in a dark and dystopian world that might come to be, given current climate changes, this series installment focuses primarily on Tool, an "Augment." He's a bioengineered creature with human intelligence and genetic material from several animal species. While the civilization in this series has many "Augments," Tool is quite different in that he was created by a higher-up in one of the ruthless corporations running this world. However, the loyalty his creator instilled in him has frayed and is in danger of completely disintegrating. From the moment Tool is nearly incinerated by missiles aimed at him by a brash and smart young woman working for his creator, to the stunning confrontation aboard a giant airship over frigid waters, listeners will be on the edge of their seats. The conclusion is satisfying and leaves room for further adventures featuring Tool and the other characters who have populated the trilogy. Narrator Sunil Malhotra's pacing, inflection, and ability to convey the emotions various characters are experiencing in battle scenes all add to the listener's experience.
VERDICT Not for the faint of heart owing to violence, but a dandy experience for teens and adults who like to be pulled in quickly. It serves as a stand-alone, although those who have read/listened to the prior books will get more from the experience.

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