Author Zetta Elliot’s skill is evident in the deft blending of down-to-earth, empathetic realism with a wholly convincing fantasy plot that draws on certain events in the history of New York, including the recent discovery of an old ship during construction work at Ground Zero. Elliot’s explanation for its being there is so much more enthralling than archaeologists’ suggestions that it was used as eighteenth-century landfill. Elliot also draws on an area of American [Revolutionary] war history that reaches out (quite literally!) across the centuries, via a plaque in Prospect Park commemorating American and German soldiers who fought there together. This thrill of the macabre is tempered with a yearning for reconciliation, for which D turns out to be the catalyst. In fact, the adventures that unfold after D takes an injured bird home from the park take not only D himself but also Nyla and Keem on a journey that could potentially destroy them all.
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