Phantom Universe (Summer Chronicles #1) by Laura Kreitzer
Obsidian Mountain Publishing, February 15, 2011
Summary from Goodreads:
Sold into slavery to pirates at the young age of four, Summer learns to survive the rough seas of subterfuge and thieves through silence. When the boat she’s lived on most of her life is destroyed, Summer finds herself washed up on the shore of a new world, a phantom universe full of the bizarre and extraordinary. She meets Gage, the one boy who understands the girl with no speech. But when their lives are put on the line, will Summer finally call out? Or will all be lost in the fathomless depth of silence?There were aspects of this story that appealed to me when I first heard about it, and others, not so much. Pirates + Dystopia + Dark Story + Time Travel = ?? But Kreitzer actually makes it all work. I was sucked into this story very quickly. A majority of this first story is spent revealing Summer's childhood spent on the pirate ship. These aren't Captain Jack Sparrow pirates (darn) out to pillage jewels and rum, but modern-day pirates out to steal flat-screen TVs and...well, rum. And Summer becomes a slave for this crew when she's four. FOUR. I can barely wrap my head around that.
I felt that the time-travel happened really quickly, and there wasn't enough background information on it for my tastes. I'm still not sure what really happened there, or why. So much of the book was dedicated to Summer's time as a slave on the pirate ship, and then as an Outlander, that I kind of missed the whole Secret Clock Society thing. I'm hoping (and assuming) that subsequent books in the series clear all that up for me.
Of course, as I was reading an uncorrected e-proof, I encountered typos and some flow issues, but I expect they will all be cleared up by publication date (which is February 15, 2011). I was really drawn into this story and this strange world, and am looking forward to learning more about it, and seeing where Summer and her friends wind up.
eGalley received from publisher.
Enjoy your reading!