First published in 2011 by Black Dog Books
Fermion Quirk and her brother Boson are twins, living in the remote coastal world of Carrick. When Boson sickens and dies ‘face down in a bog of stars’, Fermion is the one to find him. Now she must find a way to adjust to life without him, and help her family function again as a unit. To do so she must take a sea-journey, out to ‘The Other Island’ that is only there according to its whim, as local legend would have it. While she is there she discovers a world of secrets and answers and things unexplained, and above all how to become a whole person now that her brother is gone.
I am a little bit in love with the way Braxton-Smith writes – some passages are just like a revelation with all the beauty and ache they hold. Carrick is a world of spirits and legends and you can feel it haunting every page. The way the characters express themselves is a delight to decipher, and the word-building here is some of the best I’ve read in YA. The characters are compelling, the tension is high, and the language weaves a gentle rhythm through the stark raw world of Carrick. Braxton-Smith also artfully employs two narratives – life with Boson and life after Boson, that enrich and feed off the other.