An alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the US Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of superadvanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders and a peace that cannot last.
A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witness and victim to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.
Several residents of St. Thomas weather the storms of life before and after the occupation of the alien species Ynaa in Turnbull's rich debut novel about family, love, and loyalty in turbulent times. The story centers on Mera, Ynaa ambassador to the human residents of the Virgin Islands, who has hidden among humans for centuries, and Derrick Reed, her human assistant, who persists despite accusations of betraying his kind. Neither is a perfect fit for the worlds they come from, and the closer they grow to each other, the more adversity they face. When a Ynaa kills a young man and his grieving brother responds by assassinating one of the aliens, a terrible cycle of violent retribution begins, and Mera and Derrick must choose sides. Turnbull uses a beautifully drawn cast of black characters to convey the complexity of ordinary hardship in extraordinary times. This is an ideal story for fans of Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven and other literary science fiction novels.