Midnight Sons by Jess Mowry: all rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work by any means except short excerpts for use in reviews. The Kindle edition, to date, is the only legally authorized ebook or web-accessible edition of this work. If you find this book being offered anywhere else, either as a download or to be read online, it is there without the author's permission (aka STOLEN PROPERTY) and in violation of copyright law.
Alaska, one of earth's final frontiers, still mostly unspoiled by human beings who've ravaged much of the rest of the planet. This is the voyage of Arctic Avenger -- formerly the steam tug, Rhinoceros -- and her rag-tag crew of "seal-savers," an unlikely mix of black, white, and Native-Americans, some dedicated to saving the planet at any cost to themselves, others at first reluctant until realizing that it's not a few bad people doing bad things who threaten the world but a lot of good people doing nothing to stop them.
Rowley, black, from Oakland, California, has forged a new life in Alaska as an engineer on a corporate tugboat based in Prince William Sound and saved Russel, his 14-year-old son, who does a man's work as a deckhand, from the gangs, guns, drugs and violence polluting the Lower-forty-right. For a productive and peaceful two years he's been living with Jana, an Aleut woman, in the mountains south of Anchorage. Jana, strong and educated, and an accomplished painter, is nevertheless haunted by ancient ancestral memories and spirits from her childhood.
But, Jana's spiritualism and ever-increasing resolve to protect her land and its animals conflicts with Rowley's realism, which, though not wholly materialistic, seems a lot more earthly. And there is Russel's apparent mistrust of Jana as a mother-figure. Rowley often tries to tell Jana that children are also an endangered species, and until all human beings have safe, stable and sustainable environments, there is little hope of saving the animals. Still, he and Jana love each other, and Russel seems to accept their relationship -- though perhaps warily -- and so far they have usually agreed to disagree on environmental issues.
To Rowley, Jana's environmentalism seems more like a therapeutic hobby, though she has invested a lot of her money, earned from selling her paintings -- as well as what he brings home -- into a dubious research vessel owned by a young white scientist who, disillusioned by corporate junk-science funded only for profit, has run away to Alaska in hope doing something that matters... ostensibly to study seals.
But all are brought together, along with two Aleut boys and a white teen refugee from "Outside," to stop a toxic waste dumping plot.