Imagine a past where the tragic Titanic never sank, but instead flew across the Atlantic Ocean. For 13-year-old Hollis Dakota, the wealthy heir to an incredible fleet of airships, this is his reality. When his grandfather, Samuel Dakota, was an infantryman in the Civil War, he discovered an unusual biochemical process for flight, a process that swiftly ended the war when the Union Army decimated the Confederates from the air.
Fast-forward to 1912, when Hollis and his family board the Wendell Dakota. It’s the largest airship ever built and is named after Hollis’ late father, whose death weighs heavily on Hollis’ heart. Hollis has been groomed to take over the company, but he fears he does not have his father’s ingenuity and confidence to successfully take the helm.
But then the Wendell Dakota is hijacked and his mother is kidnapped. To save the lives of everyone on board, Hollis needs to muster his courage, lead a motley crew of friends and reconcile his grandfather’s unfortunate past—all while trying to evade the hijackers.
Andy Marino’s latest novel is a genre mash-up of alternate history and steampunk fiction that touches on very real class inequalities. The Wendell Dakota, inspired by the Titanic, is a behemoth of luxury and indulgence, with America’s wealthiest families booking first-class accommodations while the poorest live in tent cities in steerage.
With smart and savvy female characters, anachronistic technology and a hero with gumption, Uncrashable Dakota is an adventure tale for even the most reluctant reader.