Cassandra Leung has grown up in a family that genetically engineers sea creatures/monsters. These sea creatures are trained to safekeep ships from pirate attacks. The earth’s water levels have risen resulting in much less land. Cassandra is thrilled to go out on her first expedition with her beloved sea monster, despite the fact that her monster is experiencing some tremors. When pirates attack, Cassandra does NOT swallow the suicide pill, that all reckoners (or sea monster trainers) are given. Instead she becomes a captive of the pirates and is forced to train a hatchling sea monster that the pirates have somehow acquired.
This is a dark fast paced tale with morally ambiguous characters. All the characters engage in problematic behavior, even if it is for good reasons. I enjoyed the romance, and how natural the protagonist’s sexuality.