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Cuttlefish Hardcover – July 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Pyr (July 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616146257
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616146252
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #778,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Cuttlefish is Dave Freer at his best-and he's always good. It combines fascinating alternate history, superb and comprehensible science, and a propulsive plot that will entertain people of all ages, not just young adults."
-Eric Flint, Bestselling author of the 1632 series

"Filled with coal-fired submarines, scientific secrets, and two young people who fight injustice, work to bring down an evil empire, and quite literally save the world, Cuttlefish is a book to dream upon. Freer's clean style and vivid descriptions, his complex characters and his clear vision make this a book all ages can enjoy."
-Sarah A. Hoyt, author of Darkship Thieves

"Dave Freer always delivers compelling, fast-moving, and addictive fantasy adventures. Write more, Dave."
-Garth Nix, New York Times-bestselling author of the Abhorsen trilogy and the Keys to the Kingdom series

"David Freer is an imaginative author who tells great stories."
-Rebecca Moesta, New York Times-bestselling coauthor of Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights

About the Author

Dave Freer is an ichthyologist turned author. He lives on Flinders Island, between Australia and Tasmania, with his wife, Barbara; four dogs; four cats; and two sons, Paddy and James. His first book, The Forlorn, came out in 1999. He has coauthored novels with Eric Flint and with Mercedes Lackey, as well as written A Mankind Witch and Dragons Ring and various shorter works. Besides working as a fisheries scientist for the Western Cape shark fishery, he has worked as a commercial diver and as a relief chef at several luxury game lodges. His other interests are rock climbing, diving, fly-fishing, fly tying, wine tasting, and the smoking and salting of food. Visit him online at coalfiredcuttlefish.wordpress.com, at www.facebook.com/Freer.Dave, and on Twitter @davefreersf.

More About the Author

Dave Freer is a former Marine Biologist who specialized in fish (an Ichthyologist), proving that you can end up as an academic even if you did win a sports bursary (for rock-climbing) to take you through college. At seventeen was a conscripted Medic during the Angolan/South African conflict. Politically from a liberal anti-apartheid family this was quite an experience. He lived through it and came out as a 45 year old in a nineteen year old body, which may explain his frequent confusion. He is still deciding just what do when he grows up. His first postgraduate job was as Chief Scientific Officer for the Western Cape Commercial Shark fishery. As a biologist he's spent a lot of time working in water no sane person would go near, having encounters (both in small boats and in the water) with sharks, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, electric rays and a number of other toxic/lethal creatures. He has worked as a salvage diver, run two major fish farms (he's a very good plumber), as well as doing some steeplejack work. Additionally he has worked as the relief chef for a group of exclusive luxury game/ ecotourism/ whitewater-rafting lodges. He has an obsession with food, recreating traditional fare, something he uses in his books. He's a top mountaineer and rock-climber, opening many of his country's best rock routes. He's a fanatical spiny-lobster diver and flyfisherman and the author of a number of articles on both. If it is dangerous and a little crazy -- he's done it. Besides writing some amazingly boring but fundamental papers on shark age and growth and reproductive biology, he has authored or co-authored eight sf/fantasy novels, with number nine and ten in press, and further four contracted. He's also written a lot of shorter fiction, appearing in various collections.
He lives on a wonderful remote Island off the coast of Tasmania, Australia, a ten hour ferry trip to anywhere, with 3 dogs to do his thinking, 3 cats to be waited on, two sons to lead him astray, and a wonderful wife to be patient with him and them, although it is a task that would tax a saint. Sometimes he wonders why he does this. Other times he just wonders. See his webpage if you really want more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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He proves to be brave, trustworthy to Clara and his superiors and an excellent submariner.
Lovey Dovey Books
Bright, brave and adventurous, her story, and the story of all those who sail in the Cuttlefish, is exciting and charming.
John W. Casey
This is a young adult, alternate history, steampunk book, but I think all ages would enjoy it.
Alisa Russell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By PCKing on August 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The best science fiction is based on believable technology.

David Freer has created an alternate history based on believable environmental events. There's a little Jules Verne in the story of the Cuttlefish.

A coal fired submarine that sails on hydrofoils and outwits the British Empire. It works for me.

It's a good read. I'm looking forward to the next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lovey Dovey Books on January 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Dave Freer's Cuttlefish is absolutely astonishing! It's 1953 and the world is severely altered by the effects of the Melt. Parts of London are underwater, where old tunnels are inhabited by the Underpeople, and the western part of Australia is dry and sandy. The novel will entertain readers of all ages with it's underwater adventure, humor, and intriguing alternate history. The friendships forged over the course of the novel will no doubt extend to the readers who won't help but become fascinated by the variety of characters and backgrounds.

Clara Calland, the bookish outcast of St. Margaret's School for the Children of Officers and Gentleman, embarks on a terrifying journey that takes her and her mother, Dr. Calland, from Ireland to the dry country of Westralia. She finds a place with the crew of an illegal submarine, learning navigation and doing certain chores as if she were a cabin boy herself. While aboard the Cuttlefish, Clara becomes fast friends with cabin boy, Tim Barnabas. Tim grew up in London's underwater tunnels, taking on a submariner job at the urging of his mother so that he would always have food. He proves to be brave, trustworthy to Clara and his superiors and an excellent submariner. Freer takes a very interesting turn when it comes to this character. Tim is persecuted and called "darkie" because of his mixed heritage. Though he was born in London, his father came from Jamaica and the fact that Tim is darker than the other crew members causes a few incidents of racism and prejudice. Tim's character and his friendship with Clara is another layer added to Cuttlefish's deeply layered plot.

Tim and Clara's friendship is the most steadily constant during a tremulous time. Clara and Dr.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John W. Casey on August 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a sucker for the Hermione Grangers of fiction, and Clara Calland is one of those. Bright, brave and adventurous, her story, and the story of all those who sail in the Cuttlefish, is exciting and charming.

There is much too much world here for this to be a one off. I hope Mr. Freer will soon favor us with more tales of the Cuttlefish, Clara, and Tim.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LaughingLion on July 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Simply put Dave Freer's best work to date. The characters are nuanced, the plot runs on rails and the world is breathtakingly large. Clara and Tim are both very real people of the type we've all met and known. The crew of the Cuttlefish isn't one of those awful Star Trek casts of perfect people, it is a crew with slackers, backstabbers, gallantry and people who are very good at their jobs.

I can't wait for more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Manga Maniac Cafe on November 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Cuttlefish has been on my radar since I first saw the cover on Amazon. When I received a review copy, I could hardly wait to start reading it. Between the covers, I found a compelling adventure, one that was enhanced by the two extremely likable protagonists. Tim and Clara made the book for me, and it was on the strength of their personalities that I eagerly journeyed to the end. The pacing could be a little slow as the Cuttlefish journeyed across the ocean, and without these protagonists, who demand that you pay attention to them, I don't know if I would have found the book as enjoyable. Sometimes the journey holds your attention, and sometimes, it's your companions who make the trip worth taking.

Clara is the daughter of a chemist, and when her mother arrives at her school, frantically demanding that Clara follow her with no questions asked, the girl is bewildered. What is going on? Why are these scary guys chasing after them? Clara is a clever girl, and after overcoming her initial fear, she quickly starts to question everything that's going on around her. The Russians are determined to capture them, as are the British, all to gain possession of her mother's research. And here Clara thought her mother was dull and boring, and overly engrossed in her research! In reality, she's the object of a dangerous manhunt that will take them all over the world!

The two end up on the Cuttlefish, a submarine at smuggles goods from around the world back to London. In the years after the Big Melt, life is difficult for all. There isn't enough food being harvested, nations are bickering over limited resources, and the super powers are battling for control of shipping lanes, overland trade routes, and mining facilities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on July 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Cuttlefish (2012) is a standalone SF Alternate History novel. It is set in 1953 within a world where an environmental disaster has raised the average temperature seven degrees. In the resulting chaos, England has reverted to a ruling monarch and a worldwide empire.

In this novel, Tim Barnabus is a young mixed breed Underperson, dwelling in the tunnels under flooded London. He has left home to become a submariner and is now serving as a cabin boy on the Cuttlefish.

Clara Callan is a young student in St. Margaret's School for the Children of Officers and Gentlemen in Fermoy, Cork, Ireland. She is not very popular due to her mother's divorce and her grades in mathematics.

Mary Callan is Clara's mother. She had a PhD in Chemistry, as did her mother.

Malkis is the Captain of the Cuttlefish, an illegal submarine smuggling goods around the world. He is a good captain and maintains a tight boat.

In this story, Russian Mensheviks abduct Clara and her mother and fly them to London. They escape from the airship and manage to contact the Underpeople. They are then passed on to the Cuttlefish.

The Cuttlefish is sailing within the flooded streets of London. The Royal Navy and Air Service are hunting her, but she evades the pursuers. Despite a few brushes with tangles and airships, she makes it to the channel and turns toward the North Sea.

Imperial Intelligence believes that the Cuttlefish is headed toward Russia. They send a dreadnought and escorts to intercept the submarine, but the Cuttlefish is headed for America. Malkis decides to refuel in the Feroes.

Clara is bored on the submarine and pokes her nose into anything interesting. Malkis grows to like the intelligent girl.
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