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Publisher's Summary

Perhaps I would be too late to save them. The last dozen had been spotted on a remote island in the North Atlantic, on a bare ledge of rock, but it was already rumoured the final breeding pair had been killed - their skins sold to private collectors - and the single egg between them needlessly crushed. These were only rumours, I kept telling myself. But as I set out for the Liverpool docks, on that breezy April morning in 1845, I couldn't help hoping that I might be able to reach them in time, the last of the birds. I pictured myself surrounded by an inlet of seawater, listening to their strange and deep murmurs. An empty ocean in front of us, crisscrossed with the lines of migration that only they could sense, the fluxes in magnetism that has flowed through them for countless years. I would stand there, in awe, and I would be a barrier for them, beyond which there was only one thing: extinction.

©2013 Jeremy Page (P)2013 Isis Publishing Ltd

What members say

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  • Nick Corbett
  • 03-18-16

High adventure and an extraordinary ending.

I loved this gripping adventure story with its captivating descriptions of the Arctic, its fascinating creatures and eccentric inhabitants. I felt I was sailing with the dishevelled crew and repressed passengers aboard the Amethyst, on their perilous expedition to find the last great auk, and much more. Although its set in the 1840s there are powerful messages relevant to our time. The ending was one of the most satisfying I have come across.

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  • Ruby Gloom
  • 02-03-15

Not for me

I wanted to love this the story outline spoke to me it sounded just like the kind of thing that I would like but it was slow plodding and I just couldn't listen I tried 3 times incase I wasn't in the mood or something. But I guess it's not for me