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THE SEA KNOWS MY NAME by Laura Brooke Robson Kirkus Star


by Laura Brooke Robson

Pub Date: June 14th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-525-55406-6
Publisher: Dial Books

Amid the ruins of Astoria, a coastal country shaped by both mythology and natural disasters, a pirate’s daughter blazes her own path.

Thea’s mother, Clementine, was a scientist until her research indicating the threat of an impending volcanic eruption in their island region was dismissed by male peers—with devastating consequences. Rather than risk becoming a “reproductive commodity” for the survivors who fled to ancient Astorian ruins along the coast of a nearby continent, Clementine built herself and Thea a new home and legacy at sea. Three years later, 17-year-old Thea struggles to be more like her namesake, the goddess of cleverness and rationality, and to embody the brutal, pragmatic strength Clementine considers necessary for survival. After an opportunity to leave Clementine’s fleet swiftly turns nightmarish, Thea seeks peace and solitude near the settlement where childhood friend Wes now lives. Amid the slowly building tension and visceral immediacy of trauma and its aftermath, moments of adventure and discovery shine, reflecting the transformative potency of being seen and believed. Lyrical and wry by turns, Thea’s first-person narration deftly draws sophisticated connections between masterfully plotted past and present timelines and interstitial excerpts of myths as she finds her own ways to survive and slowly rejects patriarchal definitions of strength, control, and credibility. Most major characters are presumed White and straight; Wes is described as having darker skin and is cued as bi.

A perceptive, kaleidoscopic, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful meditation on what it means to survive.

(Fantasy. 12-18)