Author: Rachel Clark
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Teen, Nature, Mammal Studies, Literature/Fiction
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“When I began to read, I was absolutely captivated. A marvelous story…” – Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, anthropologist, primatologist, and U.N. Ambassador for Peace
Best friends Terra and Tiluk live alongside the wild orcas of Washington State. On the other side of the continent, Miles wallows in anger and self-pity fueled by his parents’ divorce. In a moment of harrowing fate, their lives converge when Miles witnesses a captive orca brutally kill his trainer at a marine amusement park.
When Miles contacts Terra and her family of whale biologists to better understand the “killer” whale, the three teens soon realize they are more linked to each other – and the whales – than they every imagined. Driven by a primal urge to connect with the highly-evolved consciousness of the orca, the teens take extraordinary risks to challenge big business and renew lost traditions.
Their journey is set to restore an ancient mystical bond between humans and whales that ultimately reveals The Blackfish Prophecy…a revelation about Terra – and those like her – that’s about to change everything.
The Blackfish Prophecy is a sweeping, emotionally packed book,with a gripping tale and a big heart. Rachel Clark has created a fascinatingworld of smart kids, mystical orcas, and acts of morality that must be carriedout, no matter how difficult. Readers of all ages will learn much about killerwhales, and why they simply do not belong in captivity. This wonderful story isfictional, but the facts are all too real. – David Kirby, authorof Death at SeaWorld
How to Keep Writing When They Die
Guest Post by Rachel Clark
February 13, 2019
Some days, I don’t. No. Some months, some years, I cannot.
Others do. They are stronger than me. Even now, I struggle. How does a whale writer choose a topic for a guest post that does not reek of extinction?
Here is how I write.
I do not look away. I watch them starve. To death. I see the calves—the ones we danced up and down for; hugging each other wildly, tears on our faces, so happy and relieved that this population had a handful of babies a few years ago—die. One by one. The latest, J50, the calf who came along in eerie synchrony with the calf who came to me for The Blackfish Prophecy, their lives syncopated in fiction in ways other novelists will recognize. The kind of coincidences you can’t explain. The ones that propel the world towards light. Liz Gilbert called it Big Magic. I call it the Force for Harmony. When we intentionally work with the Web of Life, partnering with it rather than dominating it, we are Mothering Nature.
Life as we know it needs some mothering right about now.
I cry, and I hold these babies in my heart, and I grieve. I watch Tahlequah carry her dead calf across a thousand miles and 17 days, showing us by her fierce act of mourning, what it has come to.
I grieve with her, a mother who can perceive the extinction of her own family.
And all the while, my heart changes to accommodate this new human experience of loss. Of witnessing their approaching extinction and so many others, by our domination of nature rather than our partnership with it.
My heart changes.
The story is changing. The story of life on Earth is changing.
Even when my hands are wet with my own tears, unable to put words to paper, my heart changes. And then, with time, with mourning, and eventually… with the profound—fierce—experience of collective, universal consciousness seeping into my own life, the sacred mystical reminders that we are all connected, my hands always come back to the words.
They are the doorway to my changed heart.
I write to tell the new stories. The ones emerging of harmony, partnership, and a thriving joyous future of people and planet. Of humans and whales. Of a force of collective social strength and empathy that is unleashed and rising in response to the fraying Web of Life.
In response to the dying of the whales.
It’s not so much how, but why. I write, like all other writers, because I have to.
Rachel Clark’s The Blackfish Prophecy, launched on Earth Day 2016 and is endorsed by Dr. Jane Goodall. Rachel founded the blog Mothering Nature, invited by the editors of Psychology Today. You can find her at www.rachelclarkauthor.com, on Twitter @MotherngNature, or on Facebook at Blackfish Prophecy. You can read her Mothering Nature posts at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mothering-nature
The ancient ways? Terra though, recalling her dream about Granny. What were those? In that instant, Terra knew with sudden certainty that she had to tell Tiluk the whole truth about her dream. And maybe…Joseph, as well. Gwen, rapt with curiosity, spoke almost more to herself than anyone else. “There’s so much more going on here than basic science.” Jason snorted and nudged her, “Ya think?” Then he turned to Bill. “I’m not sure I want to hear what’s next.” Jason, basically, had already fallen in love with this calf, his first, and the one he had discovered. His feelings were strong and fresh, and they made him vulnerable.
As a teenager, your life is supposed to be full of laughter and learning experiences. No one wants to see children grow up too fast and become adults, but what if you have to? The life that Terra and Tiluk live in their little cove with their parents and other researchers, allows them to see things in a different perspective from most children. They see the freedom that the Orca whales share with their families…or pods. They see the happiness between generations of whales. They begin to understand the way of life…and the dangers to the earth and all its creatures by humans. Clark has a sensational story, filled with passion for life, scientific research, and the desire to inform the world about animal endangerment and suffering. We have the power to change the world we live in.
Terra is a teenager living in Blackfish Cove with her parents, best friend, and other researchers dedicated to saving the Orcas from extinction. The research that they do consists of continual observations of the whales out in the wild. Terra decides to get creative and makes a page for the whales of Blackfish Cove on social media with the intent to get research and information out to the public. After the news gets out about an Orca whale killing its trainer at a famous amusement park, a boy named Miles gets in contact with Terra who claims to have seen the killing and has been researching it ever since! Terra and Miles become friends and work together along with her parents and outside sources to put together a case against the amusement park. Their hope for the organization to retire all of their whales to reservations for their own safety and well-being, is the main mission. Can they get enough support to require the amusement parks to retire their whales, so that they aren’t forever being held in concrete pools where they are taken from their families, freedom, and forced to participate in shows for profit?
Clark has done extensive research on this subject in hopes that the human population open their eyes on situations that organizations withhold from the public pertaining to the well-being and safety of their captive animals. While this story is mainly targeted to a young adult and middle grade audience, high school level and up would easily be compelled to read this novel as well. The book is written well, has a fast-pace, fantastic character development, and is original and unbelievably credible. If you are a reader of scientific research, literary fiction, and young adult fiction, you may want to pick this up.
A copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by Fawkes Press, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written. We provide a five-star rating for The Blackfish Prophecy by Rachel Clark.
Rachel is a writer and biologist. As a kid she got hooked on all things animal, vegetable, and mineral. To complicate matters, she was hatching up stories before she could hold a crayon. Once she discovered biology it was all over. Ever since her first class in 7th grade when she refused to dissect a frog, a little voice in her head said: You gotta share this amazing stuff about how nature works, and ask if we really need to harm it. The little voice only got fiercer once she went to college and worked with captive dolphins and Beluga whales, then got to see wild killer whales only a few weeks later. From then on it was an all-out quest to convey the wonders of nature, while pointing out the serious problems of our very bad habit of dominating others and the Earth. She’s been a card-carrying science writer for twenty years. The Blackfish Prophecy is Rachel’s first book.
These days when Rachel is not writing, reading, dreaming, or speaking, you can find her sculpting an unruly assortment of moose-pruned orchard trees & berry bushes, gathering veggies & eggs in her micro-farmyard, foraging for mushrooms, and feasting on local food with friends.
She is a lifelong yogini, devoted packmate to her free-spirited Canid, and mama bear who’s sustained by treks deep into the Pacific Northwest with her increasingly feral family. Rachel drives a 100% electric zero-emission car, and her family’s home is powered by renewable energy. Their little house is nestled on an urban lot they tend for kids’ play, territory animalia, sequestering carbon, and a food forest to augment the bounty of local growers.
Her work is fiercely aligned with the science of Life, harmony & justice for all: the enduring dream of Earth.