Aiden Lynch is already a survivor at 16 when he arrives, alone and on the run from the law, in the glittering city of San Francisco. Luck turns his way after he rescues a wealthy man's son from a fight in the notorious Barbary Coast.
When Aiden wins a ship in a high-stakes poker game, the chance to make his own fortune is suddenly within reach.
The ship comes with a license for trade in Peruvian guano, a rare and valuable fertilizer. But what he finds in Peru is a savage business with hundreds of Chinese men forced into slavery, working in brutal conditions.
When one of the miners, claiming to be a kidnapped Chinese nobleman, begs for rescue, Aiden's loyalties, courage and morals are tested.
A powerful narrative . . . Aiden’s dilemmas are rooted in the time and yet move beyond it, creating a glimpse into the past that is relevant today.
Action-packed novel. . . It's easy to forget Aiden is a teenager as he intelligently grapples with one adult dilemma after another. He's a likable survivor, and teens craving a gritty saga with a hint of romance will not be disappointed.
School Library Journal