Scientists hide a secret aboard a ship headed for the farthest reaches of the Earth in the hopes of saving a remnant of modern technology and knowledge from the Anti-Machinists, a group of zealots determined to throw the world into another Dark Age.
The crew of the Oyster is entrusted with guarding the hidden treasure until the crisis is over. But after 300 years and a shipboard civil war that has destroyed all record of their original mission, the only memory of their charge is a vague hope that a sleeping captain will awake and save them when their need is great. Time and war have divided the crew into reluctantly interdependent factions, but the 12-year-old orphan Petrel belongs to no tribe. When she sees a boy stranded on the ice, her loneliness prompts her to seek his rescue. Unfortunately the boy is not the innocent he seems. This new trilogy will bait readers with its intriguing premise, hook them with its starkly beautiful setting, and reel them in with its fascinating characters. While others look toward the revival of technology to save them, Petrel’s humanity in the face of brutal ideology makes her the perfect heroine. Two talking ship’s rats make splendid companions for Petrel; Tanner’s knack with vivid names and textured dialect help to complete the intriguing worldbuilding.
An artfully crafted adventure that’s equal parts thought-provoking and thrilling. (character list) (Science fiction. 9-12)