There are certain things that amaze me about authors. One of those is how some amazing writers can create worlds so different from the world we live in. Mark Caney is one of those authors that blows me away! He has created an entire society that includes a culture, music, stories and legends, poetry, etiquette and all else that makes up a fully developed society. That this society is underwater in the oceans we all know, and populated by dolphins, makes it all the more amazing to me. He has all the details worked out - right down to the quotes at the start of each chapter that are 'from' ancient dolphin poets, scriptures and other writings. It's a little embarrassing to admit, but about half way through the book I realised I had wandered to a place in my mind where I was accepting the story as true. Had to stop for a reality check.
The descriptive prose pulled me in until I could see the scenes of the book playing out in my mind as I read. Never once did I forget that the characters were dolphins but they were so well developed that I had my favourites and was trying hard to figure out the secrets and mysteries of the plot right along with them.
The issues of the day, in the dolphin world, revolve around the changing ocean and resultant loss of food sources. Something must be done but some dolphins have gone too far in looking for a solution. With members of the Dune Coast clan being murdered and the renegade Guardians living too close for comfort, things start to spiral out of control. Touches the Sky looks for answers and finds betrayal.
Dolphin Way: Rise of the Guardians is a pointed commentary about the state of our world and how our lack of response to environmental issues is affecting other species. But it is also a charming and involved coming of age story set in the sea. This is so far out of the box I usually choose my books from that I had no idea, when I started, that I would be in tears by the end, waiting anxiously for the next instalment (yes there's more!) and adding another book to my favourites list. I am now eagerly awaiting Dolphin Way: Captured.
Character Development 5
A Taste from page 53:
Dusk took a special pleasure in looking at the sky. Of course, like all dolphins she used the stars as her calendar, clock and compass; but she had studied them in much greater detail than most during her apprenticeship as a Starwriter. She enjoyed being able to name almost every point of light she saw. On this perfectly clear night, the most distant cloudy white belt of stars stretched in a band from one horizon to the other, marking the edge of the galaxy in which Ocean floated.