In Anna North‘s gritty dystopian, America Pacifica, eighteen-year-old Darcy lives with her mother on an island of the same name. It’s presumed to be one of the few inhabitable places to live after mainland America has entered a second ice age. The island was the brainchild of a legend named Tyson, who gathered up the first pilgrims from mainland America to restart society in a place where they could go outside again and not freeze to death.
Darcy knows little about America because her mother is sparse with the details of her past. All Darcy really knows is that her mother once lived in a co-op in Seattle before boarding a boat to America Pacifica and that her father is dead. When her mother doesn’t come home from work one night, Darcy sets out on a quest to find her, stopping at nothing and no one to get the answers she seeks. The problem is, for Darcy’s entire life, her mother has been the center of her universe, making her emotionally and socially dependent on her. This leaves Darcy ill-prepared to go out into the grimy, sleaze filled world and also the clean, privileged world of those who knew her mother in the time before the island.