Ship Breaker is his young adult debut, about a boy named Nailer who scavenges with a crew among beached oilers of ages past. His abusive father and their poverty make a hard life for him to begin with, but then he discovers a ship that still has a passenger on board... alive. Does he kill her and take the goods, or rescue her and possibly himself in one swoop?
I'm looking forward to this one having a lot of similar shut-up-and-fix-the-Earth-or-we're-all-going-to-die themes.
Also last year, I read Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman. Great characters, a complex society, and some very non-YA themes running through it, among them the intricacies of ancient (and modern) politics. Although knowing the twist kind of spoils a second read, the other elements are enough to enjoy it again.
When Eon was picked out for the store's book club, I rolled my eyes and thought, Ugh, dragons. By the time I got to the end I was saying, Ooh! Dragons! I love the elements-and-nature-protector idea of dragons so much more than the hey-let's-burn-down-that-village idea.
The sequel, Eona, will be out in late April. That's two months away. It's going to be a long two months.