'Petrel leaned on
the rail, watching the ice cave and stamping her feet for warmth. The
berg came closer. That's when she saw him. Laid out on the ice like a
dead fish, with a scattering of snow covering his face. A boy, where
there should have been nothing but the memory of winter. A frozen boy.'
Twelve-year-old Petrel is an outcast, the lowest of the low on the Oyster, an ancient icebreaker that has been following the same course for three hundred years. In that time, the ship's crew has forgotten its original purpose and broken into three warring tribes. Everyone has a tribe except Petrel, whose parents committed such a terrible crime that they were thrown overboard, and their daughter ostracised.
But Petrel is a survivor. She lives in the dark corners of the ship, speaking to no one except two large grey rats, Mister Smoke and Missus Slink. Then a boy is discovered, frozen on an iceberg, and Petrel saves him, hoping he'll be her friend. What she doesn't know is that for the last three hundred years, the Oyster has been guarding a secret. A secret that could change the world.
A secret that the boy has been sent to destroy, along with the ship and everyone on it...