Dark Blue Rising by Teri Terry

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The Circle Trilogy book 1. Hachette Children's Books, 2020. 9781444957105.
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Fans of suspense will be sure to enjoy this thriller from the acclaimed author of Contagion and other exciting stories. Our heroine is Tabby, a teenager living with her mother Cate, moving from place to place hiding from an unknown threat. Then one day Tabby finds that her whole life has been a lie. Cate is not her real mother, instead she is arrested for kidnapping her as a child. She finds herself with a whole new family and finding it difficult to adjust, turns to swimming and the ocean where she feels at home. Spending the summer at a swim school, she uncovers some startling facts about the Penrose Academy which has been treating her since she was a baby. Totally isolated and locked inside the training compound, Tabby desperately seeks answers to the mysterious DNA found in her blood.
Told in Tabby's voice, a high level of suspense is maintained right through the book. Tabby is a self-contained, intelligent young woman, who is not prepared to blindly accept what she is told and always attempts to work out things for herself. Readers will empathise with her search for friends and people she can trust and be prepared to avidly follow her quest for answers about the mysterious Circle that Cate had warned her to beware. The mixture of the genres of fantasy and science fiction will also intrigue as Tabby dreams of beings in the ocean, and grapples with the knowledge that her DNA is different.
I am a fan of Teri Terry's character driven suspenseful stories and enjoyed trying to work out the mystery of was happening to Tabby, her relationship with the ocean and dolphins and the sinister Penrose Academy. The subtle theme of climate change in the background also kept me guessing and I look forward to the next book in the series.
Themes: Genetics, Ocean, Climate Change, Science Fiction, Fantasy.
Pat Pledger