• Black phase: a novel of Alaskan alchemy

      Fannin, Addley C. (2016-12)
      Black Phase is a speculative fiction novel for a young adult audience, set in and around a fictional boarding school in modern-day southeast Alaska. Our protagonist is Mara Edenshaw, an ambitious young artist of Tlingit descent who survives a mysterious illness only to find herself the primary suspect in a string of bizarre vandalisms. Her search to clear her name leads her to Alvis Norling, a shy alchemist’s apprentice living on a nearby island with only his own creation for company: a doll-sized homunculus made from a combination his and Mara’s DNA. Thus Mara’s illness and the vandalisms proved to be linked and, as more clues arise connecting these events to the “sacred science” of alchemy, she and Alvis must work together to uncover the truth, which is intimately tied to the boarding school’s history as an assimilation tool under the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the secret atrocities that happened there in the name of science. Rooted in northern history, Alaska Native culture, traditional folklore and the lives of modern teens in the Last Frontier, Black Phase is appropriate for readers ages thirteen and up.