Floating effortlessly through time and space we are once again reunited with Perch and Carp along with the indomitable Oscar Flowers, who as always is off on a journey only he can appreciate, in this latest novel from Robert Powers.
Tidetown is tucked securely on the coast and appears to almost exist in a time frame of its own, related and yet not related to reality. The people who inhabit the town certainly march to the beat of their own making, and this time it is no different.
On the return of the sisters who have just been released into the care of the Mayor, after their disastrous episode in In Search of the Blue Tiger, unusual things start to happen once again.
A ship is wrecked on the shores and the measured metre of life in Tidetown in disrupted in the most horrific way. A plague of mysterious origin comes to the town, which causes suspicion to be cast on all who may have some control over the events, most definitely on Perch and Carp.
Perch begins to see what see calls beatific visions of the Archangel Gabriel in the house, which rightly so, confuses Carp, as she cannot see what her twin declares is there.
As the time passes the epidemic worsens and when it is discovered there is a vaccine available but it is not being released to the people who need it, Perch declares all the children of the town should be relocated to a special island off the coast inhabited by Monks.
For some reason the plague affects only the adults of the town. Perch firmly believes she has been given these visions of the Archangel in order to save the children and form a new order called The Remnantics, an order that is only about good!
In a town where the corruption is deep, it may be a good thing to take all the children away from the poison that fills their life and encourage them to learn about life on the Island of Good Hope.
Meanwhile Oscar Flowers is almost returned from his latest life journey and as his ship sails closer to shore, to the town of Tidetown, he views through his binoculars a strange and wondrous event taking place.
As always with Robert Powers works, the journey is incredible, the shift in time, place and moment is confrontational and breaks the forces of life down into simple components of good, bad, pure ,evil, portraying the ebb and flow of life in a whimsical and yet dark manner.