Title: The Abyss Surrounds Us
Author: Emily Skrutskie
Originally Published: February 8, 2016
Format: Kindle ebook
Synopsis: 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 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.
There’s no time to mourn. 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, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.
But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she’s not about to stop.
DIVERSITY DIVERSITY DIVERSITY
This book is everything I’ve ever asked for. Very strong leading ladies. PIRATES. Lesbians. Huge freaking turtles. Characters of color. Did I mention the pirates?
All the women in this book – meaning most of the characters to be honest – were just amazing. The main character herself is a woman of color. She’s a trainer for Reckoners, which are the huge turtle things. She struggles with having to help the pirates even though she’s lived her whole life knowing they’re the enemies. It was refreshing to see a main character who wasn’t necessarily the “good guy”.
Emily Skrutskie writes an amazingly believable LGBT story. Cas is a lesbian (or maybe bi, pan, something else.. all I know is she likes girls). And yet, unlike so many other stories about queer characters, her storyline wasn’t revolved around it.
The world was a little hard to get into at first, but once I did get into it I didn’t want to leave. This is one of the very best sci-fi books I’ve read and possibly my favorite book of 2016 already. I also may have a countdown for book #2 because I’m that excited.