Blurb (from Goodreads):
Fourteen-year old Lissa is snatched from her home and finds herself a slave on a trading ship traveling on a waterless ocean of nothing but gray dust. A feisty, curious and intelligent girl, her desire to explore the ship earns her the hatred of the cruel first officer, Farq.
Fascinated by the ocean of dust, Lissa becomes embroiled in its mysteries, sensing things that the crew cannot, while cryptic whispers in her head are leading her toward a destiny linked to the dust itself. Only one man aboard can help her make sense of her new talent, but can she trust him? All is not as it seems, and she must unravel the clues before it’s too late.
When a sinister plot casts her adrift on the barren ocean, her best friend is left in the hands of the treacherous crew. Everything hinges upon her courage, quick wits, and her ability to master her new talent.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Kellie Sheridan and Graeme Ing.)
14-year-old Lissa knows that she will never see her family again when she is kidnapped from the market place near her home and forced to work as a Galley girl aboard a ship on the ocean on dust.
Lissa works hard, but things are not easy for her with another galley girl – Alice seemingly intent on making her suffer, and her own inquisitiveness getting her into trouble.
Mutiny on board then puts Lissa’s life in even more danger, but will the Captain believe her when she says that she knows how to navigate better than the ships navigator? Will anyone ever listen to someone who is ‘just’ a galley girl? And what does the future hold in store for Lissa?
This was an interesting story about a kidnapped girl, and her life as a galley girl on a ship.
This book was obviously set in some sort of fantasy world; they measured time differently to us, they had different foods, and they had the ‘ocean of dust’, which, as it sounds, is a large ocean made of dust rather than water, which people could not swim in (a bit like quicksand), although some strange creatures managed to live in it! I thought that this world was explained quite nicely, and I liked the little touches like the fact that in this world a week was 8 days rather than 7.
Lissa was a likable character, and quite obviously an intelligent girl. She seemed to pick things up really quickly, and had almost a photographic memory when it came to number and maps. She did sometime do things which got her into trouble, but I could understand her frustration when she had something that she desperately needed to tell someone but nobody would listen to her ‘cause she was just a galley girl.
Lissa always tried to do what was right though, and went to great lengths to protect other people, even when it meant putting herself at a disadvantage. It took Lissa a long time to get people to eventually listen to her, and even then she was still looked down upon! So glad I don’t live in this world ‘cause I would get myself in so much trouble!
There were some interesting side characters, and Lissa was particularly fond of another girl who worked in the galley, and tried to look after her a bit. I liked the way that Lissa stuck her neck out at times, but ultimately it seemed that in this world women were only fit for cooking and cleaning.
I liked the storyline in this book, although I kind-of expected there to be more about the actual ocean of dust. The main storyline of the book was concerned with Lissa and her time on-board the ship, there wasn’t a lot of storyline that related to the actual ocean, other than the problems that it caused.
Lissa was special in that she learned things about the way the ship and the ocean worked very quickly, and was also able to sense the ‘flux’ currents that the ship used to move through the ocean of dust.
I did enjoy this book, and it was a little different to everything else that I have read recently, I don’t come across many books about kidnapped girls forced to work on ships!
Overall; an enjoyable fantasy novel about a girl kidnapped and forced to work on a ship, with just a hint of magic.
7 out of 10.