The Gracekeepers by Kristy Logan is a magical realistic novel that addresses rising sea levels--an event that will happen if the climate continues to change.
After the sea levels have risen, colonies of people called "Damplings," permanently reside on ships. They are ostracized by "Landlockers" who trade with them but do not want to socialize with them.
A third more mysterious group of people, the
"Mer" people are forced to hide their existence. Landlockers kill "Mer" babies, who have gills or webbing between their fingers, out of fear.
Logan pits one of these Mer people, Callanish, against the Landlocker culture that wishes to obliterate her kind. Logan also juxtaposes North, the "bear girl" from a dampling circus troupe, with Callanish.
This is a novel that expertly explores how prejudice, fear, and superstition can harm society.
Logan reserves her most biting criticism for her criticism of each group's religious affiliations. The Landlockers worship the World Tree, a kind of pagan worship, that involves processions. The damplings worship gods of the sea.
Logan paints Christian "revivalist" ships, in a particularly gloomy light. She also decries the revivalist's image of a Virgin in blue robes.
Though there are few missteps, her overt distaste of religion, this is a captivating, powerful novel with intriguing characters that should not be missed.