Lucy Christopher, Storm-Wake, Chicken House, July 2018, 310pp., $16.99 (pbk), ISBN: 9781906427733
There is a special place, a hidden island where a Small Thing, a young girl called Moss, lives with Pa. On this island, assisted by the powers of stormflowers, Pa can summon magic, can bring forth that which is Storm Woke. Together, Pa and Moss hope to fix the problems which unmade the world.
Moss tries hard to remember life before the Old World disappeared under the waves, but her memories are few and fragmented. It does not worry her though, as life with Pa and the wild-boy, Cal, is one of lyrical beauty. But the island’s gifts are not always simple, and sometimes they bring darkness and secrets. One wild tempest brings a gift both wonderful and terrifying. A gift that will change everything.
Storm-Wake is an enthralling book which strays from the usual fantasy tropes. It is not unlike reading a dream. As the story progresses, we glean slivers of information about the world Pa has fled. The dream-like and innocent language of Moss allows the reader to imagine the ethereal beauty of the island and to wonder if the promise of land beyond the floods is truly real.
Inspired by The Tempest, Christopher pays homage to The Bard through the construction of the story as a five-act play. As readers, we are invited to acknowledge as we enter and exit from the fictional dream. Storm-Wake is unique storytelling that Shakespeare himself would likely enjoy.
Perfect for fans of Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer, Storm-Wake is recommended for readers aged 13 and over.
Reviewed by Fiona Miller-Stevens