A wide-sweeping story of a marine biologist fighting for ocean ecosystems.
A luminous, encouraging, touching novel…
A short novel of sweeping proportions… pictures the world primarily from the ocean.
A quick, riveting read … a delightful, relatable main character, even as a child.
Humans have devised filaments thin enough to capture even the smallest marine creatures. Maybe it was jealousy of her species’ superior jaws that drove them to destroy so many of her kind. They built a giant facsimile, ringed with the baleens pulled from their victims’ jaws to filter the water, leaving no living creature behind. That must be why they stopped hunting: they’ve gathered enough baleens to empty the entire ocean. She fears this terrifying apparatus that swallows everything in its path, leaving behind only clear, lifeless water.
I care about the environment as much as the next person, but I don’t have a death wish. And my compact car would probably have left me stuck in a giant mud puddle. They’d fish my preserved corpse out of the peat a few thousand years from now. Scientists would study my hair to ascertain my diet. They’d determine just how much I loved fried chicken and deduce that I occupied a relatively low position in my civilization’s hierarchy, had never carried a child, and didn’t work with hand tools.
Now, I couldn’t exactly show up at Budget Rent A Car and pick up a vehicle for a one-way trip to the middle of nowhere. Nor could I just borrow a car from some generous soul. And the self-driving car that can find its way home over thousands of kilometres of logging roads once its mission is complete has yet to be invented. And no one would install a sophisticated guidance system on a filthy gasoline vehicle. So I was left with two choices: turn outlaw and steal a car – I mean, who’d come after me north of the eighty-third parallel? – or crack open my piggy bank and buy a new one.
On April 15, 1815, the Mount Tambora volcano erupts. For days on end, the volcano spews out millions of tons of lava, ash, and stone over the island of Sumbawa in the Indonesian Archipelago. The rare survivors’ accounts describe a cloud of debris so dense it completely blocks out the light of the sun for three days. Those not killed instantly perish slowly of hunger. For the next five years, within a three-hundred-mile radius, the earth is barren.
The blast has repercussions far beyond the region. In many parts of the northern hemisphere, 1816 is the “year with no summer.” The rains of ash released by Mount Tambora block out the sun. A cold, hard rain falls over Europe relentlessly.
Also in 1816, Leonas is born.
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