In this sequel to Above World (2012), best friends Aluna and Hoku pursue their quest to prevent power-mad Karl Strand from controlling a futuristic world in which genetically modified races live in the oceans, skies and deserts.
Ocean-dwelling Kampii, Aluna and Hoku travel across the desert to Mirage with winged Calli and Dash, an exiled Equian, to warn Equian High Khan Onggur about Strand. They arrive too late. Onggur has allied with Strand, whose cunning clone daughter, Scorch, is now eager to eliminate Aluna, Hoku, Dash and Calli. Dash is condemned to death for breaching his exile, while Aluna, Calli and Hoku will be delivered to Scorch after the Thunder Trials unless they find a way to save Dash and thwart the alliance. Preparing to compete in the Trials, Aluna secretly worries about her legs, which are fusing into a Kampii tail, threatening her ability to fight on land. Ever resourceful, the companions use their differences to their advantage, allying with the half-snake Serpenti to form their own unique tribe. A strong, seemingly indestructible warrior, Aluna discovers she must rely on her friends to survive as the battle to save Above World continues.
A powerful sequel with sustained themes of friendship and honor. (Science fiction. 10-14)