The Bodies of the Ancients

Lydia Millet  - published February 2017

trade cloth · 266 pages · $16.95 · 9781618731289 | ebook · 9781618731296

The Final Dissenters Novel

The Sykes family is faced with revelations from without and within. Whatever happens: nothing will ever be the same again.

How well do you know your family? In the third and final installment in the thrilling Dissenters series, the Sykes family are hoping to enjoy a normal Cape Cod summer. But there are strong and surprising forces lined up against them and there will be unexpected revelations and the highest price will have to be paid.

Cara and her two brothers are hoping life will be a bit calmer now that their mother has come home. No such luck.


“Children, adults, and myriad creatures fight the final battle in a war over climate change…. genrewise, the book completely fuses science fiction with fantasy…. relationships are tender. Memorably unusual.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Boston-born novelist Lydia Millet has racked up some serious recognition for her adult books, including the 2003 PEN Center USA Award for Fiction for My Happy Life, also a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her 2009 novel Love in Infant Monkeys.
“In more recent years, Millet, now living in Arizona, has turned to Young Adult fiction. In an eco-fantasy trilogy known as the “Dissenters” series, three siblings — two teens and their younger brother — search for their shapeshifting mother, who has disappeared fighting evil forces that are worsening climate change to try and remake the planet to their liking.
“The series, set in Cape Cod, is published by Small Beer Press of Easthampton.
“In The Bodies of the Ancients, the trilogy’s final book, Cara and her older brother, Max, are momentarily relieved when their mother returns. But new trouble looms: the head evil creature, ‘The Cold One,’ takes over a U.S. Navy submarine and threatens to use its nuclear missiles to destroy vents on the Atlantic floor that would release massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere.
“Battling back are a host of fantastical creatures as well as the three siblings and their mother. Cara, the middle sister, has the ability to “summon,” or see distant places, while her younger brother, Jax, can control others, read minds, even enter the internet with his mind.
“Along with their mother, the three siblings will have to use all their resources to win this final battle against climate change.”
— Steve Pfarrer, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Praise for Lydia Millet’s Dissenters Series:

“Millet’s prose is lyrically evocative (“the rhythmic scoop and splash of their paddles”). A lush and intelligent opener for a topical eco-fantasy series.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“A thoughtful and thought-provoking beginning to a new fantasy series. The Cape Cod woods, wildlife, and beaches are depicted with loving detail, and the dark forces arrayed against the young protagonists are at once tantalizingly mystifying and alarmingly timely.”
— Patricia McKillip

“Lydia Millet knows the sea like a selkie. The Fires Beneath the Sea smells of salt and tastes of mist, and that beauty speaks as strongly as its story of peril and hope for the future of our fragile world.”
— Kathe Koja (author of Talk)

“Readers will want to leave the lights on well after finishing this book as the detail depicted will create similarities in your mind to Clive Barker’s Abarat books. Readers will likely want Cara on their team as they jump, like Alice down the rabbit hole, through the guide book that turns into a window through another world.” — VOYA

Cover by Sharon McGill.

About the Author

Lydia Millet is the author of many novels for adult readers, including My Happy Life, which won the PEN-USA Award for Fiction in 2003, and Oh Pure and Radiant Heart, about the scientists who designed the first atomic bomb, which was shortlisted for the UK’s Arthur C. Clarke Prize. She has also written three books for children in her Dissenters series. She has taught at Columbia University and the University of Arizona and now works as a writer and editor at an endangered-species protection group called the Center for Biological Diversity.