For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the giant, genetically engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.
Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup and teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.
Even as the author offers pure speculative fiction, she also gives readers a terrifically believable heroine with Cassandra, who makes some all-too-human decisions to survive... Personal and cultural complexities distinguish this fresh and fascinating look at a lawless future.
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.