cover image Liberty’s Daughter

Liberty’s Daughter

Naomi Kritzer. Fairwood, $18.99 trade paper (262p) ISBN 978-1-958880-16-6

Kritzer (Chaos on CatNet) shows off her worldbuilding chops in this impressive mystery set in a near future world in which a group of “libertarian separatists” have built an archipelago of man-made islands in the Pacific Ocean near the California coast. Each of the six islands is an independent country, with differing approaches to which laws—if any—apply to their citizens. For example, on the least-restrictive, Lib, “it’s legal to kill people,” but the hope is that murder will be deterred by the prospect of an equally permissible revenge killing. Kritzer makes this world plausible through the eyes of her endearing protagonist, 16-year-old Beck Garrison, who earns money tracking down hard-to-find goods for clients across the islands. Her latest job—a request for size eight sandals—leads her to Debbie Miller, an indentured laborer on the island of Amsterdam, who agrees to hand over the footgear only if Beck locates Debbie’s missing sister, Lynn, who hasn’t been heard from for weeks. Beck’s resourcefulness and audacity garner a clue to Lynn’s whereabouts—but chasing this trail also uncovers a sinister plot, places Beck’s life in danger, and reveals secrets about her life and the world that Beck’s powerful father, Paul, has been keeping from her. The political critique is sharp and the mystery is gripping. Admirers of Chris McKinney’s Water City trilogy will be riveted. Agent: Danielle Bukowski, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.)