All Alpha Lux has known is Haven Point. Washed up here as a baby, she was raised by a mermaid, and is now one of 42 Wrecklings who reside in this special home: “You see, everyone who finds this place and becomes a Wreckling is disabled. If you’re not, you’re an Outsider, and no Outsider has ever made it past the Boundaries”.

Alpha, her best friend Badger (so named for her “pitch-black Afro with one white streak”), and the other Wrecklings spend their days looting ships like “seafaring Robin Hoods”. Their routine is “ruled by the moon and water” under the watchful eyes of the Cap’n and a clutch of mermaids, away from the feared Outsiders. The sense of having found a loving family is wonderfully evoked, with plenty of wit and mischief alongside the warm sense of community. Then, when Alpha suspects their safe world is about to be infiltrated by Outsiders, the Wrecklings face big questions around who they are, what they want, and what they might have to do to protect themselves.

Through well-plotted adventure and rich symbolism, this speaks to readers on many levels, and is sure to charm fans of Katherine Rundell. “We’re proud to be Wrecklings”, Alpha pronounces, which pretty much sums up this novel’s heart-warming message of inclusion and finding a place to call home.


Author Lisette Auton

What the Shortlist Committee Say...


"Magic, mermaids, friendship and found families ripple through this charming adventure set in a haven for disabled people"