I’m Elsie, from the planet Caelum.
It’s 96% ocean, but that’s okay. Out of all six planets (or seven, if you believe the myths), we’re the only people with gills. I can breathe underwater for minutes at a time, discovering the secrets of the deep-sea. Diving is my first love.
But not everybody understands.
Each year they run a competition—a single black pearl is dropped into the ocean, and graduating students dive to find it. It sounds easy, but it’s not. The ocean is a dark and dangerous place, with caves, crevices, and flesh-eating creatures. Some years, not everybody survives.
It’s how my brother died.
My parents won’t let me compete. At times it seems like the whole island is against me. I don’t care. I will enroll, win, and gain the ultimate prize—a job diving on the head planet of the entire system. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll fight for a better life, out there in the stars.
I will be the Pearl Diver.
Or die trying.
About the Author
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I won't say much more in regards to the plot, but to say Elsie gets more than she bargains for is putting it mildly.
Brandis delivers the goods when it comes to Young Adult dystopian fiction: there is a well-defined and atrocious threat, impossible odds, and a very strong, determined, and capable heroine. Elsie is just a terrific character and honestly written. It's utterly impossible not to root for her, and, frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to hear her name-dropped alongside Katniss Everdeen some day soon.
After having spent the last few days fully submerged in the world of The Pearl Diver, I'm now left eagerly waiting for the next installment in this series. Do yourself a favor and buy a copy of this book ASAP.