YA Sci-Fi Mystery
As children, best friends Sadie and Brandt invented a treasure-hunting game to train for positions on their city’s reconnaissance force. But when the game went wrong and Brandt drowned outside their floating ocean home, the trail of clues he’d hidden — and the treasure at its end — were lost. Plagued by guilt, Sadie has spent years searching for the trail, but when she stumbles upon it on her sixteenth birthday, she realizes this wasn't one of Brandt’s usual games.
His cryptic riddles lead Sadie to Emery, a visiting official who suspects the clues could lead to information about his sister's disappearance. They work together to solve Brandt’s paper puzzles, but his clues reveal two startling government secrets: The citizens of their floating nation aren't the only ones who survived Earth's rising seas. And Brandt’s death was no accident.
When Sadie discovers that Emery lied and is from the very land she believed was lost, she realizes the conspiracy runs deeper than the ocean itself. With the government determined to silence them both, she must make a choice. Can she live with the lies of her home? Or should she put her faith in the boy who deceived her and escape into a world she thought had drowned?
FIRST 150 WORDS:
Drowned remnants of leaves and bark are all that remain of Earth's trees. They’ve been reduced to soggy bits of pine and oak that travel the world on ocean currents like pulpy puzzle pieces waiting to be put back together. But I know all too well that some puzzles can't be solved.
Thanks to Mom’s book, I at least know the trees' names. I'm the only one who does.
As I turn its pages now in the quiet of my bedroom, it's easy to get lost in the faded photographs of long-dead species. Mom said nothing is ever truly gone as long as you remember it, and I think that's why she gave me this book—to learn names I'll never speak and preserve memories that aren't my own.
The biochip buzzes in my wrist and I jump, dropping the book and spilling forbidden words across the floor. Above me, the alarm blares and the lights flash their insistence.