Book Summary

Late in the 21st century, Sage Thompson, a professional Hawaiian surfer, is at a crossroads in her life when she travels to the ocean planet Thalassa to reclaim her fame. To do that she must beat her nemesis, mission leader Milo, who will do anything to beat her by riding the largest wave in the galaxy. At stake are their billion online followers that share in the experience of riding monster waves through the immersive technology of the holoscreen. Surfers on the global VR broadwave look godlike, immortal, and overnight some became famous for their death-defying exploits, while others die trying. The big-wave holoscreen was the Roman Colosseum of the times, and their death-defining mission on the uncharted seas of Thalassa would be the show of the millennia.

But Sage is emotionally distraught from a near-death surfing accident, the fall of her career, and memories of the tragic death of her astronaut father on a previous mission to Thalassa. After he died, professional surfing and the love of her fans was a way out of darkness. To win she embraced a fierce competitive spirit at odds with her traditional Hawaiian upbringing which estranged her from her close Hawaiian family. Feeling lost, with her surfing career on the ropes, the mission to Thalassa was her last chance to regain her fame and the virtual love of her fans. Nonetheless, she is hesitant to confront Milo and holds back from the mission until her grandmother reminds her of her birth name and vision. She challenges her to embrace her inner spirit and reestablish the ancient connections to their ancestors – the mythical whale messengers.

Milo, a mega-media star, brought a high-profile team to beat Sage. He is determined to cement his extreme-sport legacy using his super-fast motoboards and cutting-edge wave models and become rich exploiting the planet. Thalassa is just the first of many strategic colonies he plans to extract a fortune. At great personal risk, he spent his fortune on the mission and can’t go back to earth empty-handed. He is will beat Sage at all costs.

But on the young planet ravaged by asteroids, they encounter something they didn’t expect – an ocean rich with complex lifeforms. As Milo gears up to capture a Thalassa creature, they encounter monster waves on Colossus Bank and Sage challenges him to beat her. Battling in the water on the holoscreen, they take enormous risks in Thalassa’s unpredictable seas. Tragedy strikes and Sage finds herself alone.

As Thalassa experiences a violent climatic cycle, Sage struggles to survive and faces her greatest fears and the fate of her father. In the midst of betrayal, her life-altering experiences with the cetacean-like Nesoi and their melodic songs impel her to face her destiny. But to stop the mindless destruction of her new home she must seek help from the Nesoi clans.

Songs of Thalassa is perfect for fans of Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Martian, and Contact, and features a young woman on a journey of self-discovery struggling to develop a sense of place and connections between herself and the universe on a virgin ocean planet.