The Abyss Surrounds Us

Emily Skrutskie. Flux, $11.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-7387-4691-3
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Leung has been preparing her whole life to train Reckoners, genetically altered beasts raised to defend the Southern Republic of California's fleet against pirate vessels. Cas's first mission to guard the cruise ship Nereid sounds easy enough, but it quickly turns into a disaster. Her Reckoner, "a big dumb turtle four times the weight of a blue whale," dies, leaving their ship vulnerable, and Cas is taken captive on the pirate ship Minnow. While onboard, she is forced to raise a stolen Reckoner to do the pirates' bidding while learning how to survive among corrupt crewmembers and the merciless captain, Santa Elena. In her debut novel, Skrutskie creates an intriguing fantasy world full of floating cities, ruthless monsters, betrayals, and unlikely friendships. Her dynamic characters come from a slew of ethnic backgrounds, further contributing to a rich landscape. Cas's descent into pirate life is as unexpected as it is full of action, and her journey to find her place on the ship should keep readers riveted. Ages 12–up. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/08/2016
Release date: 02/01/2016
Prebound-Glued - 288 pages - 978-0-606-38499-5
Open Ebook - 264 pages - 978-0-7387-4761-3
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