Big Big Sky

2008, Red Deer Press

ISBN: 978-0-88995-404-5

Price: $9.98 CAD


Rustle is a young Scout in an elite, tight-knit Warrior group of five female mutants. They’ve been modified and trained to be ruthless, obedient Assassins though for what exact purpose they couldn’t tell you. Now the group is falling apart. Roku mysteriously disappears. Rustle has failed to prove her killing skills in a crucial test of courage and is hiding a terrible secret from the others. Loo, a blood thirsty Hunter who is always ready for action, is Rustle’s private yen. Solomon, the Healer of their unit, is a steady hand, but not even her powers can save them. Not when Shona, the Leader, is a pawn for the autocratic powers that be. Not when they discover they’re breaking the original commandment: until she may Decline, Deform, Disobey.

So when their unit is transported to Living Lab on an extermination order, they know it’s time to make a run for it, or else be permanently Deplugged. It takes tremendous wit and energy, but eventually they escape to the outside of the great mountain where they’ve been raised and here, for the first time, they behold the big, big sky of the real world. In this totally unfamiliar environment, they must learn to survive, and Rustle must face the reality of her true identity and the consequences of her love for Loo.

Order your copy online or buy at your local independent bookstore.


The Montreal Mirror
“Pushing the YA envelope about as far as it can go without being an actual mail bomb, Dunnion has put together something like a mix between Mad Max and the new Battlestar Gallactica. From Loo’s first words, ‘Blaaty whafa, Rustle?!’ The novel thrashes along with inventive invective that isn’t quite foul, but obviously is. Buried in the gore, however, is a novel that is as poignant as any other YA story of deeply felt teen alienation, be it by new authors like Castellucci, or classic ones like S.E. Hinton. That it takes place in an Alien Nation just cranks it up a few notches.
Juliet Waters for the Montreal Mirror

The Toronto Star
“The vision of the future in Kristyn Dunnion’s Big Big Sky is considerably darker, but the verve of her language and the strong rhythms of her prose give this dystopic tale a vivid earthiness. The strength of the story is in the intimate, complex relationships Dunnion depicts as she shifts perspective from one character to another, and in her ability to make us see our Earth anew.” [ ]
Deirdre Baker for the Toronto Star

University of Manitoba Library
“Dunnion writes with verve and elegance. The prose flows smoothly; the action moves forward strongly. Engaging main characters, varied and unique secondary characters, coldly scientific villains, a well-paced plot, timely themes, graphic dialogue, a skillfully designed social structure, and detail-rich descriptions combine to present an unusual and intriguing speculative novel. Highly Recommended.” [ ]
Darleen Golke