Hundreds of miles off the frozen coast of what was once California is America Pacifica, where those who fled the dawn of the new ice age have tried to recreate their former home . . .
America Pacifica is an island hundreds of miles off the coast of California - the only warm place left in a world in the grip of a new ice age. Darcy Pern is seventeen; her mother has gone missing, and the novel details her quest to find out the truth about her disappearance - a quest which soon becomes an investigation of the disturbing origins of America Pacifica itself, and its sinister and reclusive leader, a man known only as Tyson.
America Pacifica invites comparison with the work of Margaret Atwood and China Mieville, but also with Cormac McCarthy's The Road, for its post-apocalyptic scenario and the touching relationship between Darcy and her mother, and the Stieg Larsson trilogy for its implacable central character who is determined to uncover the truth.
In her dark, page-turning debut, North tells the story of Darcy, an 18-year-old girl in a dystopian future whose mother goes missing. For as long as she can remember, Darcy has lived on America Pacifica, an isolated island nation, home to refugees from a mainland ravaged by drastic climate change. Their government is run by a Big Brother like autocrat named Tyson whose strict social hierarchy allows the richest residents to live in luxury while most citizens live in hovels and can barely afford food. Despite these circumstances, Darcy and her mother, Sarah, are otherwise happy until one day when Sarah doesn't return from work. With no resources or leads, Darcy vows to find her mother, a mission aided by a tip from one of America Pacifica's first arrivals and the help of a dissident named Ansel. As Darcy follows a trail of clues and lands in some tense situations, North cleverly combines elements from other popular modern stories a brave young heroine on an against-all-the-odds quest on a strange island with shocking secrets. Although the narrative and prose don't always excite with originality, the story and the wealth of detail in a vividly imagined world is memorable.